‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realise their full potential.’
– Malala Yousafzai
On 8 March, the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women are celebrated on International Women’s Day. The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Embrace Equity’. Excelsia College’s CEO Peter McKeon joined a morning tea to celebrate International Women’s Day. Peter discussed the challenges and barriers women face, including gender discrimination, limited access to education and opportunities and wage inequality.
According to Workplace Gender Equality Agency, there is a 13.3 per cent gender pay gap, a disparity most prominent in the professional, scientific, and technical services sector. On average, for every dollar males earned, women earned 87 cents, amounting to $253.50 less per week (WGEA, 2023).
International Women’s Day also highlights the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. At Excelsia College, we are proud that women make up 68 per cent of our workforce and 62 per cent of our senior leadership positions.
Another key issue that International Women’s Day addresses is domestic violence, particularly gender-based violence and harassment. Every woman has the right to feel safe and secure in her home, workplace, and community. In his speech, Peter urged everyone to work together to end gender-based violence and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Historically, there is an imbalance of women being able to access quality education. An estimated 15 million girls – mainly those living in poverty – will never set foot in a classroom, compared to 10 million boys (Theirworld, 2017). Furthermore, Unicef reports that 129 million girls across the world are not enrolled in formal education.
At Excelsia College, we are proud to say that 75 per cent of our students are female. Excelsia strives to provide quality learning foundations which create a variety of career opportunities when female students graduate in fields of education, social work, counselling, creative and performing arts and business.
‘Let’s commit to taking action to end gender inequality and create a world where every woman has the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Let’s all choose to challenge and work
towards a more equitable world for women,’ says Peter.