Everyone’s Doing It: Rise of Gender Balance

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Here at Social Media Week, we strive for a gender 50/50 balance in all our activities and in all cities. Our current goal is to achieve this equal representation by the end of 2014, and it seems like we’re not the only one.

Yesterday, Mike Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) announced that from now on, when [he’s] approached to speak at a conference or participate in a panel discussion, [he] will ask what has been done to secure female speakers and [his] decision on whether to participate will be based on the answer.”

Additionally, ANZ has set a new target this year to achieve at least a 1% increase in the representation of women in management. This is a pretty significant task, seeing as the company employs more than 47,000. They’re calling it the Plus One Pledge.

Where did it all start? In Smith’s post, he explains that back in April 2010, he and 21 other high-profile male CEOs and senior directors formed the Male Champions of Change. Their goal was to use their combined influence to improve the representation of women at high-profile business events and forums. The group created a report that compiled all 22 members past experiences in promoting women into leadership ranks. So far, that report has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

I love the fact that male CEOs from companies like McKinsey and Goldman Sachs are making big moves to achieve gender equality in the workplace. It seems that more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and we at SMW love it!

Will you be a part of this movement and take action within your company?

@kbyczek is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Communications and English at Rollins College.

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