Why we won’t be working this IWD
Of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, more than two-thirds are women and girls. Economic inequality leads to women globally having less power across their education, their housing, their nutrition, and their freedom. Despite women making up 75% of the world’s workforce (*source: Oxfam International), women earn only 10% of the world’s income. Women own less than 1% of the world’s property.
Statistics like these can feel paralysing. Rather than feeling paralysed, we’re taking steps within our control toward improving the economic picture for women. Small steps that feel part of a long pathway, but are actionable and at the very least get us started along the journey and highlight the issues at hand.
When I reflect on the team of formidable women across Abel’s three offices (Wellington, New York and Amsterdam), it can sometimes feel that we’ve achieved equality. They’re smart, empowered, sassy women with dreams, ambition and the support required to make these a reality.
Scratch the surface however and the picture begins to tarnish. Unfortunately, the statistics still speaking for themselves.
Inequality at a macro level: Last year when Abel entered into our first capital raise, I was astounded to realise we were among the 1.9% (yes, 1.9%) of VC funding to go to female founders. An almost unbelievable number.
Inequality at a micro level: New Zealand “boasts” a gender pay gap of 9.2% (worse for Maori and Pasifika women). In the USA this gap widens to 18%, where women do literally the same job as their male counterparts for nearly 20% less – that’s an hour and a half of free work a day.
Pay transparency is the first step in correcting this gap. At Abel our values aren’t just lip service – honesty and transparency start with sharing our ingredients and ends with owning up to our mistakes. Somewhere between these two, sits gender pay transparency. It’s critical this is a validated and robust standard we can use across our global offices – a work in progress we’re committed to delivering within the next year.
In the meantime, to acknowledge our progress and recommit to being part of the pay gap change, our (female only) team is being given the day off for IWD. We’re not asking them to speak out, volunteer, champion the cause or do any other unrecognised unpaid work (as so often is the case for women), we’re giving a paid day off, for themselves.