Gender equality is having a moment. One hundred years after women were granted the vote, we have finally seen the statue of a woman join the 11 men in Parliament Square. We have heard women speak out against sexual harassment with the #MeToo movement and we have tried to measure our inequality of worth and opportunity by reporting the Gender Pay Gap.
But this is not equality. One statue is not enough. There is a much bigger issue at play - which is the absence of women’s ideas and voices in society. It’s time we talked about The Gender SAY Gap.
The absence of female voices, ideas and insights is the elephant in every room: from the newsroom, where we write and feature in just a fraction of the news; to our underrepresentation in the boardroom and the editing room, where even Hollywood’s leading ladies lack parity of dialogue. What are we teaching our children about women’s right to speak?
Society has failed to acknowledge a quiet revolution. For the last decade women have outnumbered men in high status professions. We are disproportionately the experts in the room, so why aren’t we hearing from female authorities?
The absence of women as thinkers and speakers for their organisations has to be called out and addressed. The supply of brilliant women is there: we are the experts in the room. The demand from companies, Government and media is there: organisations want your ideas and would be justifiably proud to have you represent them. Us elephants in the room are getting harder to ignore and if we want to make this year a milestone for gender equality not a just a moment, we need a surge of female voices to redress the balance.
The world needs a diversity of ideas. I urge you to be seen and heard: stand up and have your say.
And together, we can close The Gender SAY Gap. The world needs a diversity of ideas - which means women and all diverse groups need to stand up and speak out. If you would like to find out more, benchmark your organisation’s Gender SAY Gap or take action to increase the diversity of your thought leaders and speakers, we’d love to hear from you. Be part of the movement: contact us at [email protected], or read Claire's blog post on the topic.