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International Women's Day Highlights Importance of Gender Equality in Workplace

Participants take part in the women's 'Beauty Run' in Minsk, Belarus, March 8, 2020.
Participants take part in the women's 'Beauty Run' in Minsk, Belarus, March 8, 2020.

Gender equality is the focus of International Women's Day 2020 on March 8, with the campaign theme #EachforEqual.

According to IWD, the theme comes from the idea of collective individualism, where "we are all parts of a whole."

Gender equality in politics, media coverage, health care and the workplace are some of the key goals of IWD.

Women make up almost half of the world’s population, but they still are underrepresented in leadership roles, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020. Published by the World Economic Forum, the report says women will not have equal representation in parliaments around the world until 2065, and they will only make up half of the world's leaders in 2124.

Gender parity, according to the report, will not be attained for 99.5 years.

A number of organizations and companies in the United States have been working to close the leadership gap by enacting more inclusive policies that make the workplace environment more welcoming.

Mine The Gap, co-founded by Jessica N. Grounds and Kristin Haffert, trains industries and organizations to create and sustain gender-inclusive environments.

“Something we are trying to work on in the workplace is how we broaden the expectation of how women operate,” Grounds told VOA. “Because we see men who were hierarchical in their style of leadership, but we expect women to be only collaborative and work together.”

Other organizations, such as the American Association of University Women, which promotes equity and education for women and girls, have created campaigns to close the leadership gap. AAUW suggests that individuals and employers educate themselves about their own subconscious biases, and promote fair expectations and policies for both men and women.

For International Women's Day, organizations around the globe are promoting gender equality. In the Philippines, the Connected Women organization is hosting a conference to help women adapt to the changing technological landscape of the workforce. In Nigeria, a variety of events are held addressing gender equity in fields such as entertainment and technology.