International Women's Day 2016

By: Clare Hill, UK CEO
 
Today is International Women’s Day, and, as a female owned and led company we are delighted to commit ourselves to this year’s theme and join the #PledgeForParity, both within and outside the company.

2016 marks 30 years of Sysdoc, during which time we have seen positive advancements for women in both the consulting sector and business in general.  However, in a study by Ernst and Young, it was found that at the current rate, it will take 117 years to achieve gender parity.  Discrepancies in pay; in women achieving positions of leadership; and in access to education based purely on gender are all issues which need to be accelerated on the global platform. Steps are slowly being taken to ensure that these issues are resolved, with the UN placing gender equality on a list of their sustainable development goals. However, we return to the figure above – 117 years – and recognise that a continued, meaningful effort must be made if parity is to be achieved sooner than 2133.

At Sysdoc, we believe in advancing the position and purpose of all our employees, irrespective of gender, sexuality or race. We have promoted equal opportunity and gender equality since starting the business 30 years ago.
 
Our #PledgeForParity also reflects our work outside of the organisation and our active support for women globally, particularly in the areas of child protection and education. In Brazil and Angola, we have provided support to Happy Child International, a foundation which cares for children, mainly young girls, who are trafficked as young as 11 years old and commercially sexually exploited. Our founder Katherine Corich sits on the board and a number of our people are independent guardians of Happy Child, which provides a home for these children, taking them through rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration into education and society. We are again supporting the #ItsAPenalty campaign to raise awareness and prevent sexual exploitation of children during the 2016 Rio Olympics; repeating the highly impactful and successful campaign that ran during the Brazil Fifa World Cup in 2014.

As a consulting company we want to use our skills to make a difference. In New Zealand, we are working with the government; leading workshops to drive end to end, cross agency thinking to really make a difference to the protection of vulnerable children.
 
Our #PledgeForParity transcends borders. Across the globe, young children should be entitled to opportunity and a safe childhood. Women should be entitled to an equal voice in leadership. We believe in action, not words, and these are the principles we will continue to support in 2016, and the issues that should be on the agenda of all who are looking towards international change. Hillary Clinton said in 2014 that equality for women "remains the great unfinished business of the 21st century". Let’s ensure that a unified effort will see parity achieved in a fraction of this time, decades in advance of 2133.

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