International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900s, which was a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
Annually on 8th March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.
Now we have everything from female astronauts to prime ministers as well as (shock horror) the right to vote, so why should we have a day which is dedicated to this?
Female leadership in Singapore
The simple fact of the matter remains that in Asia at least the percentage of women at the apex of Singapore's businesses has declined over the past few years.
The recent International Business Report, conducted by Grant Thornton, found 23% of women in Singapore hold senior management roles, down from 27% last year and Singapore's score this year was also lower than the global average of 24% and the Asia Pacific average of 25%.
This is further highlighted by the number of events that were held as part of International Women’s Day this year which was as follows:
- UK – 419
- US – 262
- Aus – 158
- Canada – 154
Asia did not even feature in the 100+ category, yet given the amount of business and therefore wealth that is created out of this region this is concerning.
The report also concluded that in positions such as human resources directors and CFOs, women have the highest representation at 25% and 23% respectively but since that means that men attribute for the remaining 75% and 77%, it does leave me scratching my head a little.
Singapore - It is seemingly still a man's world, at least in local and global boardrooms despite how well girls tend to perform in school, at university and even in competitive sport. The aim should be that we should make everyday International Women's Day so that it becomes the norm not the exception.