6 minute read

International Women's Day - Everyone Benefits from Gender Equality

Richard Clifton-Smith
09 March 2017

Today in Sydney, I was privileged to join 1,800 people for a breakfast honouring International Women's Day, hosted by UN Women. Together with female and male colleagues from AGL, we listened to leaders in business, government and NGOs share their insights into the achievements and challenges relating to gender equality in Australia and abroad.

Corporate leaders identified the quantifiable financial benefits of gender equality, that the most gender diverse companies clearly outperform their competitors. Representatives from UN Women, who promote women's rights in developing countries, shared accounts of the social and financial benefits brought about by empowering women to engage in education and the broader economy.

A key take-home point for me was that gender equality (aka 'feminism', or 'women's rights') can be viewed more broadly than a simple struggle for power, where there are winners and losers. More fundamentally, gender equality is about recognising, and respecting, the equal human rights of all people, beyond labels of gender - and everyone benefits from that.  An equal, inclusive and diverse society that accepts all people without prejudice is empowering for women and men too, as such a society allows and encourages all people to be themselves fully, without fear of prejudice, at work and at home. Whether or not we can make such a society starts with us.

To learn more about AGL's approach to gender equality at our workplace, see our media release on 'AGL Equality'.

To learn more about the amazing work done by UN Women, visit their website.