Since 1987, we have celebrated female achievements in March, naming this month as Women’s History Month. Though slow to gain popularity, each and every year more and more of us come to understand the importance of recognizing and appreciating the role of women’s history in American society. From the workforce to home life, women have made major leadership contributions.
This year, the theme of International Women’s Day was “Accelerating Equality and Empowerment”. We couldn’t think of anything more fitting in our current socioeconomic landscape. From salary transparency and closing the wage gap to family planning and reproductive rights, the education and access of women and young girls are paramount to the end goal of reaching equality.
Female leadership is often underestimated, overlooked, and not fully explored. While numbers have increased, due to initiatives that directly address the gender gap issue, still only 15% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female. And even though women-owned businesses earned $1.8 trillion in revenues, that’s only 4.3% of the total private sector annual revenues.
And, staying true to history, women of color have fared worse than their white counterparts… often feeling excluded from the movement as the majority refuses to address the heightened level at which racism plays into misogyny.
The empowerment of women in every facet of life can lead to the empowerment of people as a whole. An emphasis on female leadership must remain a key focus point for thought leaders in every industry. Studies have found a direct correlation between female leadership and increased company performance. The National Partnership for Women and Families says workplace and wage equality can be met through the fair treatment of women, which includes giving us access to high-paying jobs that consist of leadership positions and allow for growth.
While we have made so many strides to reach gender equality, especially with female leadership at the forefront, there’s still so much more we can do. Women have stories to tell, experiences to share, and contributions to make worldwide.