Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! There’s no denying that women have come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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Happy International Women’s Day!
According to the United Nations (UN), “International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”
And that’s certainly what we’re going to do today.

How Far Women Have Come

The past year has been powerful for women. Remember the worldwide Women’s Marches that took place on January 21st? Or the fact that we had our first-ever female presidential candidate in 2016?
There’s no denying that we’ve come a long way, but there’s also so much work to be done.
Consider the following form the UN:

  • Globally, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value.
  • Only 67 countries have laws against gender discrimination in hiring practices, and in 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
  • Only 4% of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are female.
  • The number of women in the workforce is far behind that of men. If women played an identical role to that of men, as much as $28 trillion USD, or 26%, could be added to the global annual Gross Domestic Product by 2025.

Let’s face it – these facts are discouraging. There’s clearly more progress that needs to be made, but the good news is we’re headed in the right direction.

Women in the Workplace

We’re in love with this year’s International Women’s Day theme: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”
What does this mean exactly? Well, the idea is part of the United Nations’ larger 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The agenda outlines specific goals around women’s equality and empowerment by 2030, including:

  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

And while we’re not there yet, the fact that these goals are in place, and that companies worldwide are already making strides towards these goals, makes us hopeful and confident.
We’re particularly proud of how Zenefits has helped empower women.
In fact, last month, Zenefits invited Sallie Krawcheck, author of the newly published “Own It: The Power of Women at Work” and CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, to join our team for an open and honest conversation about career, finances, and success.
As a former Wall Street executive, Krawcheck spoke to a room full of Zenefits employees – both women and men – about the importance of investing in women, speaking up, and making sure we don’t just have mentors, but sponsors who will help fight for us as well.
It was a fun, enlightening, and thoughtful conversation, and it happened because Zenefits is committed to women’s equality.
We were also excited to participate in the 2016 Girls in Tech holiday dinner. Eight women from across Zenefits were nominated to go to the event, where they engaged in discussions around how to encourage young women to participate in STEM fields, as well as how to a build a more gender-neutral tech environment.
“Zenefits is committed to gender equality in our workplace and for our customers,” says Duncan MacMurdy, Chief People Officer at Zenefits. “We’re proud that our all-in-one HR platform enables small business success, as small businesses employ more than half of all workers, and nearly 30% of America’s small business owners are women.”

Making Progress

Women are certainly making progress in the workplace, there’s no doubting that. But, there’s still a lot of work to do, and as we celebrate International Women’s Day today, we just need to remember that the status quo isn’t good enough. We need to keep fighting and celebrating women year-round.

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