​IWD: 4 Major Moments for Gender Equality in 2021

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Here at Talenza, we like to imagine an equal world free of bias...

Recruitment and hiring, in particular, can attract unconscious unjust bias that promotes sameness at the expense of diversity (not here, obvs).

It can feel slow-moving at times, but we’ve reflected on the last year and pulled out some major moments for gender equality that are truly worth celebrating. Check them out.

#1 Women in charge

UN Women reports that in 2021, eight countries have elected or sworn in their first woman Head of State or Government. Albania has a record-setting 70% female cabinet, Germany had its first gender-equal cabinet, and Kamala Harris took office as the first female Vice President of the United States. She’s also the first Black-American and Asian-American in the role.

Additionally, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria took office as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation – the first woman and first African to hold the position.

#2 Women leading COVID-19 research and response

Many women have been serving their community on the frontlines in health and carer roles, and they’ve also been spearheading COVID-19 research and innovation. 

In Australia, almost 60%of our medical research community are women, and several are leading prominent medical research responses to coronavirus. From researching vaccines to pioneering treatments and technology, women in science around the world are making a huge and visible impact. We’re excited to see so many women in STEM being celebrated and hope their stories will inspire future generations of girls and women to pursue careers in sciences and tech.

#3 An almost gender-neutral Olympics

If this one caught you by surprise, we don’t blame you! But it’s true. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics (in July 2021) were the most gender-equal Olympics in history, with almost 49% of participating athletes being women and a sporting schedule that gave equal visibility for men and women’s events during primetime hours. Compare this to the first modern Olympics in 1896 which did not feature a single female competitor.

#4 Lego announced an end to gender bias in their toys

Is there anything more amazing than creating with Lego? From Duplo animal farms to giant rocket ships and everything in between... Just us?

Following a global survey commissioned by Lego, they announced they are taking steps towards removing gender bias in their toys and marketing, including ending the use of labelling toys ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys,’ and expanding the diversity of their characters and their roles. Their survey found that parents, and, to a lesser extent, their children, are still influenced by gendered notions of a career.

The role that toys play in creating and perpetuating gender stereotypes has long been debated, inspiring a new Californian law requiring large retail stores to provide gender-neutral shopping sections for child-care items and toys.

Advocates, including U.S Democratic assemblyman, Evan Low, note that gender-based divisions of toys and other children’s products have contributed to “the proliferation of technology, engineering, science and mathematics geared toys for boys and “pursuits such as caring for a baby, fashion, and domestic life” for girls.

Happy days.

It’s been a big year – here’s to many more opportunities for breaking the bias.