Today marks International Women's Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is "Balance for Better", which means achieving gender parity, in all environments, in order for economies and communities to thrive.
#BalanceForBetter really resonates with me.
I’ve worked in the tech industry for eight years and strive to overcome the gender imbalance that I live and breathe every, single day.
It feels daunting to face such a deep-rooted societal, cultural and economic issue alone, and it highlights the importance of collective (and tangible) action.
Balance is not solely a women's responsibility, nor is it only faced by women.
Working women are on average paid 20% less than men. This means that it is often a more economically sensible decision for a woman to forego work to be the primary caregiver with kids at home. This has contributed to an imbalance of parental leave policies in the work place.
Everyone has a role in forging equality, from using inclusive language or challenging stereotypes, to using your voice to uplift and advocate for women. We must all share the responsibility, as a balanced world is a better world for everyone.
As explained by Gloria Steinem, "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."
We now have more women in the boardroom and leading businesses, more women leading countries, and more visibility of women as role models than ever before. BUT, let this not fool us into thinking our campaign for equality is over! Although these are important steps forward, we have not yet achieved complete parity.
So, my message to you on International Women’s Day is this:
Let us take steps forward together.
Be it grassroots or large-scale, to walk into a brighter, more gender-balanced world.
Laura is a senior software engineer at Versent developing APIs and microservices for clients around Sydney. Currently based in Australia, she has worked across New Zealand and Singapore working in biometrics and full stack development.
Besides spending too much of her time re-watching past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race and perfecting her mojito recipe, she enjoys diving and encouraging increased diversity within tech.