Paying it Forward During Women’s History Month 2020

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Be Equal! Peluso (upper right) with IBMers at a Women’s Roundtable in Raleigh, N.C., Feb 26, 2020.

The next generation of women will ask one simple question of us – did we make the world better for them? As I reflect during this Women’s History Month, I truly believe there has never been a better time to be a woman, and there has never been a better time to make progress together. We stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us – those who paved the way because they knew real inclusion would make the world stronger.

And yet, as we celebrate Women’s History Month 2020, we know there is still a lot to do.  According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it will take 99.5 years, on average, to close the gender gap.

So why am I optimistic? It’s now irrefutable that more diverse teams produce better business results, leading to many more companies making diversity a formal business priority, as it should be. Leaders, and many who are male allies, are committing to median pay equality, board diversity, and greater transparency and accountability. The World Economic Forum found that, compared to last year, many countries improved their gender parity scores.  And perhaps most of all, I’m constantly inspired by the many women and male allies I get to meet around the world, from Shanghai to Sao Paulo, Cairo to Chicago, Bangalore to Bucharest and everywhere in between – all of whom are rolling up their sleeves together to tilt the world.

We are at a time in society where equality matters — to be in this moment, to be united with each other — it’s an unbelievable privilege.  The women who fought for girls to go to school, vote, choose their careers, and determine their future, paved the way for all of us. But gender equality is no longer a women’s issue. It’s on all of us to create the world we want. Let’s all take advantage of this moment to take action, create more diverse & inclusive teams, and as we do, we will pay it forward for the women who will come after us.

Senior Vice President, Digital Sales & Chief Marketing Officer, IBM

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