March 8th marks the day of a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – International Women’s Day (“IWD”). This event is a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The theme for 2018 is #PressforProgress: “[a] strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive”. The world is witnessing significant changes and attitudinal shifts in how gender equality is viewed.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist, Gloria Steinem. Thus, IWD is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. IWD has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow in strength. The aim is to inspire women in countries across the world and some countries are extending IWD to an entire month. The United States now designates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month.

While it is recognized that gender parity won’t happen overnight, the good news is that women are making positive gains everyday across the world. There are more women than ever before in the boardroom and women enjoy greater equality under legislative rights. Great improvements have been made, especially in the formerly male-dominated field of law.

Notwithstanding that progress, according to Catalyst, women comprise 44% of law school classes and “make up nearly 1 out of every 2 law firm associates.” However, “only 1 out of every 6 equity partners [is female]”. IWD is crucial for an industry that has no problem attracting women but can’t seem to hold onto them in the higher ranks. All companies, including law firms, must continually focus on attracting, engaging, supporting and advancing women in the workplace and foster an equal playing field for all.

dealcloser is grateful to work with strong, competent females and is proud to support IWD 2018!