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International Women’s Day: more than a day for women and men

Going beyond the day itself, International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all to commit to advancing gender equality and create real workplace inclusion. I challenge you to go one step further and make gender equality everyone’s business.
JAMES P. SCRIVEN
MARCH 13 2019

International Women’s Day: more than a day for women and men

(Photo by Werner Heiber from Pixabay)

As any other International Women’s Day, this year we came to work and engaged in women’s events led and celebrated by women. These are valuable efforts that raise awareness and showcase progress. Beyond this single day, I would invite you to go one step further this month and make gender equality everybody’s business.

To lead in gender equality and create real workplace inclusion, companies in Latin America and the Caribbean will need a commitment from everybody, both men and women.

Here are three tangible actions that businesses can take:

First, let’s invite everybody to the conversation. Success will be determined by more meeting rooms and panels of people who look and think differently. Gender diversity allows us to tackle group think, increase the scaling of good ideas and ensure we hone in on the region’s most pressing problems more quickly.

Second, let’s value everyone’s uniqueness. Success will be determined by a range of strengths–analytical skills, creativity, sensitivity, emotional intelligence and more. Companies are realizing how these individual assets, when contributed by people of all genders, can take the private sector to new heights, designing solutions that better respond to more costumers' business needs.

Third, let’s separate excellence from presence. Success will be determined by our work product, not by how many hours we sit in our chairs. There are companies that allow employees to telework or practice flextime. Oftentimes the employees who do manage their time better and produce more results with less. Focusing on a results-based culture and incentive structure can help level the playing field and boost business performance.

To all men I have to say: this is good news for us. When women are empowered in our professional and personal lives, men can spend more time with family and friends, and research shows how teams and companies will perform better too. Lean In recently published more ways we can ensure women succeed.

As IDB Group’s President Luis Alberto Moreno said in his International Women’s Day message, together we can try to make this the most meaningful day of awareness and celebration yet. Let’s use this opportunity to recognize the contributions made by women in our workplace and make gender equality everyone’s business.■

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