International Women’s Day 2021
Today is the 111th International Women’s Day. At its inception, many women around the globe did not have any voting rights, could not own property in their name, could not even petition the courts for a divorce.
So much has changed over the past century, so many battles have been won and the quality of women’s lives has not only been transformed, but the power to make that transformation has finally been handed to the women themselves.
It is easy to become blinded by these achievements, to believe that the work has been done and we can sit back and rest from a job well done, but the truth is that we have only just begun: with only 7.4% of Fortune 500 CEO roles being filled by women, and with only 10% of global start-ups being co-founded by women, there is still a gap between the ideal and our reality.
Part of the problem facing women, and more importantly girls, today, is the lack of role-models in senior positions across the board. Given that women have had barely half a century to begin to make their presence felt in the executive workplace, it is not so surprising that the numbers are still low. What is more surprising is the reluctance of women and men to step up and encourage girls to look beyond their comfort zone: if we show them that there are women with successful careers as engineers, laboratory technicians, IT managers and yes, CEOs, Prime Ministers and entrepreneurs, they will learn to believe that these possibilities are open to them too.
Okapi is proud to be a part of the drive towards inspiring women. Founded by Iris Cedon and Maya Gal, Okapi boasts not only two female co-founders, the CEO and CTO, but a workforce consisting of 65% women. The ethos of the company is to nurture all staff members, in recognition of the fact that each person brings their talents to the table
When we take a look around, we see that women have smashed through so many glass ceilings. In almost all fields of art, science or politics women have attained the highest positions and achievements, whether it is as nobel laureates, political leaders, company executives or even working on the International Space Station! And yet, each of these achievements has been a breakthrough, an exception, a woman working in a “man’s world”. At Okapi, we are not only dreaming, but working towards a future where all of these possibilities are being modelled for our daughters, just as they are for our sons.