Why Now is the Time to Foster More Diversity and Inclusion for Women in the Workplace
Johannesburg, South Africa – XX August 2022 – The month of August particularly highlights the women of our country; recognizing the strength, achievements and impact of South African women in our society. As an African woman born and raised in South Africa, and proudly the first woman of color to be named chief marketing officer and board member of the world’s number 5 brand, the month of August has always symbolized and signaled an opportunity to advance the various issues affecting women in our country, one of the most immediate being inequality in the workplace.
This year’s Women’s Month had the theme “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Resilience”, which was neatly linked to the aforementioned issue, not only continuing to pay tribute to the more than 20,000 women who marched to Union Buildings on August 9, 1956 to protest the extension of pass laws to women, but also as a concept that highlighted Generation Equality
A campaign (first introduced during the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action) that links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030, Generation Equality is the most visionary agenda for empowering women and girls everywhere. At its core, it demands equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, and an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, among other important issues. .
“Women in the Workplace found that for many reasons women are simply less likely than men to advance: they face an unequal playing field, with lower chances of advancement at all levels ; there is a persistent lack of leadership in the highest roles; gender diversity is generally not considered a priority; and while employee programs designed to help balance work and family are plentiful, participation is low among both genders due to fears that their use will negatively affect their careers.
– 2021 Women in the Workplace Study by McKinsey
Achieving diversity and inclusion (D&I) and, therefore, equality, remains a big challenge globally, with adequate representation and recognition of women in the workplace being one of the main ones. This is
exactly why, in addition to efforts such as Generation Equality, we at Samsung have created Women in Samsung Electronics (WISE), an initiative invested in creating a better and more inclusive future for all, starting with our place of work.
“The gender gap in organizations has narrowed over the past three decades, allowing for easier labor mobility around the world. There has also been a growing awareness growing world regarding the right to a dignified and respectful workplace, regardless of employees’ sexual orientation and ethnicity, which promotes an open and inclusive workplace.However, labor market disruptions due to COVID-19 have had devastating consequences globally.According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), employment for women fell by 5% globally in 2020, compared to around 4% for men.
– Samsung: 2021 Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Study
WISE’s unwavering commitment to women’s equality is evidenced by the steps we take to create positive change both within our organization and in the communities where we live. This action is reflected in all our citizenship programs which promote girls’ interest in STEM in addition to WISE. We are proud to have achieved a 6.5% increase last year in the representation of women at the senior management level with more work continually being applied to augment current efforts.
Besides the obvious intrinsic benefits that equal representation of women in the workplace can have, some (pragmatic) people might still ask why more energy, time and, to some extent, monetary investment is needed? The question need not be raised outside of intangible benefits; other visible ones include creating a platform to share new and unique perspectives, improved collaboration, better staff retention, creating an attractive work environment for potential employees as well as greater profitability (McKinsey reports that the most gender-diverse companies are 21% more like to experience above-average profitability).
While there have been significant advancements in gender equality and diversity, it is evident that it is important to continue the overall efforts established by continually being aware of and acknowledging various organizational gender gaps while advancing the conversation associated with various action plans to address these gaps. . Now is the time to foster more diversity and inclusion for women in the workplace.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
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By Dudu Mokholo, Marketing Director of Samsung Africa
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