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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Challenging inequity and empowering opportunity

#IWD2021, #ChoosetoChallenge

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and strides that women have achieved in the workplace. During the past few years, we’ve seen progress in various programs across the globe to help advance females in a number of areas. For example, gender disparities in out of school children have narrowed, resulting in more girls enrolled in school*. Literacy rates have increased globally*, but there’s still work to be done. Progress is being made to advance gender equality through a strategy to reform discriminatory laws in six areas by 2023**.

However, the progress made on advancing female participation in the workforce is experiencing a setback as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pace of progress towards gender equality will need to accelerate to recover from this setback.


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Our Leaders #ChooseToChallenge

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we asked women leaders from around our global network how they have dealt with and overcome challenges in their careers. Hear them share their experiences and perspectives.

"We must empower women through retraining and upskilling to access future growth sectors like digital, AI, renewable energy and the Green Economy. Increasing the number of women in these more resilient industries will go a long way towards female economic empowerment while increasing productivity in the economy overall. Programmes such as the Tech She Can Charter, of which PwC is a founding member, and #ChangeTheFace bring organisations together across industries to increase the number of women in technology roles. We need to #BuildBackBetter."

Brenda Trenowden,CBE, Inclusion & Diversity Lead Partner, PwC and former Global Chair, 30% Club

Blog posts from our leaders

Why COVID-19 has caused a setback for gender diversity – and what we can do about it.

Opening schools and camps can get us all back to the office.

How we're celebrating International Women's Day across CEE.

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International Women's Day: Three PwC leaders look back and pave the road ahead

For this year's International Women's Day, Policy on Demand features a conversation with Kathryn Kaminsky (PwC US Tax Leader), Bernadette Geis (PwC US Asset and Wealth Management Practice Leader), and Janice Mays (PwC Tax Policy Services, Managing Director) about their careers, women in the workforce, and the role of mentors.

Watch the interview to hear more about how they overcame challenges and seized opportunities.

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How COVID-19 has impacted women in the global workforce

The pandemic is disproportionately hurting sectors with substantial female employment. Forty percent of all employed women (nearly 510 million women globally) are working in industries hit hardest by the lockdowns, often in service industries and contact-intensive roles. The resulting economic fallout has not only disrupted sectors with a larger share of female employment, but it has also increased the existing inequalities of unpaid care and domestic work shouldered by women. If action is not taken to address these challenges, there’s a risk that more women will leave or reduce their participation in the labour market permanently, reversing progress towards gender equality and stunting economic growth.

What actions can be taken to address these inequalities and challenges that women in the workforce are facing? Read more in our Women in Work Index.

We #ChooseToChallenge inequalities and gender biases in the workforce so that we can make a greater impact in empowering valuable contributions to economic and social growth.

How women contribute to the workforce and the economy

Improving female participation in the labour market will have a significant impact on the economy. There are huge benefits from getting more women in productive, well paid jobs. For example, we could see a boost of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries by US$6 trillion a year by increasing women's employment rates across the OECD (to match those of Sweden - a consistent top performer). Closing the gender pay gap across the OECD could boost GDP by US$2 trillion a year. Having the tools and training in place to ensure that women are given equal opportunities is imperative.

How can businesses, governments and organisations help women return to the workforce and also help support those currently in the workforce continue to advance their careers?

We’ve identified four key areas:
  • Actively assess the gender and equality impacts of all policies

  • Address gender inequalities in unpaid care and domestic work to support and empower women to participate in the labour force

  • Take action to stop the pandemic from widening already significant gender pay gaps, through gender pay gap reporting, fair compensation policies, and effective gender action plans

  • Provide dedicated support for female business initiatives and future female employment in high growth sectors of the economy, through retraining and reskilling and support for female-led start-ups.

Learn about PwC’s New world. New skills. programme which aims to help upskill millions of people around the world.

Learn more about the advancement of women around the world

Women in Work 2021 Index

Key findings of the report include:

  • The impact of COVID-19, and government response and recovery policies, is disproportionately being felt by women.
  • Since 2011, the OECD has consistently made gains towards women’s economic empowerment, although considerable progress is still needed to achieve gender parity in the workplace.
  • The top three performing countries in the Index are Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand.
  • Significant economic benefits can be generated in the long-term from increasing the female employment rate to match that of Sweden. The GDP gains across the OECD could be over US$ 6 trillion per annum. 

Read more here

PwC Women in Leadership Program

Having more top women talent represented at all levels of business is key to the success of our economy. But we also recognize that women aren’t making it to leadership positions at the same rate as men. Some remain stuck in the so-called frozen middle.

The Canada PwC Women in Leadership Program is an award-winning program that brings together PwC key talent with key talent from our clients. It's helped with our Partner pipeline as we strive towards gender parity in leadership. 

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IWD2021: Meet the women in leadership across the Unstereotype Alliance

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021, the Unstereotype Alliance is celebrating UN Women’s official theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” by showcasing the women leaders across the Unstereotype Alliance.

On this page and across social media the Unstereotype Alliance unpack the official theme of IWD2021 by asking some of these inspiring women for their insights on the importance of female leadership in creating an equal future.

Akane Yoshida (Deals Leader, PwC Japan) is featured as part of the campaign and shares the advice that she would give to the next generation of women leaders.

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IWD2021: Meet the women in leadership across the Unstereotype Alliance

PwC Luxembourg and AMCHAM Luxembourg IWD Panel

PwC Luxembourg and AMCHAM Luxembourg together with the Luxembourg American Chamber of Commerce New York, are hosting their fourth International Women's Day panel presentation. 

This year the presentation is focused on the current situation, how we deal with crisis and manage disruption, what we are doing to relaunch the economy and if this situation has a disbalanced impact. 

Topic: Disruptive times: opportunities and challenges for gender balance?

Register to attend

PwC Switzerland; co-founder and board member of Advance

Advance is the leading business association for gender equality in Switzerland. 

For International Women’s Day, Advance is hosting an interactive flagship event where distinguished speakers will share their personal stories and reflections on what it takes to make equal opportunities a reality.

Andreas Staubli (CEO, PwC Switzerland) is featured as part of the campaign to ‘Change the face of leadership’ that launched the event, and you can read his story here.

Advance International Women's Day 2021: Let's Change the Face of Leadership

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Dale E Meikle

Dale E Meikle

Global Inclusion & Diversity Leader

Tuneet Bahi

Tuneet Bahi

Global Inclusion & Diversity

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Dale E Meikle

Dale E Meikle

Global Inclusion & Diversity Leader

Tuneet Bahi

Tuneet Bahi

Global Inclusion & Diversity