Published: 8 Mar 2019

8 March is International Women’s Day.

It is a day when industries, organisations and individuals across the world celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This year’s theme, Balance for Better, is based on the need for balance to drive a better working world and to allow economies and communities to thrive.

Gender balance is a key part of this theme. However, statistics show that the world still has a long way to go to achieve it:

  • In the 21st century, women are paid less than men for doing the same work
  • Women face barriers to career progression and promotion which men don’t
  • Women face discrimination and abuse in the workplace as a matter of routine
  • Some sectors and professions struggle to attract women to their ranks – and this includes the quality profession

Women make up approximately 25% of CQI members and IRCA auditors. If we assume that this figure is representative of the entire quality profession, then it compares favourably with industries such as engineering and technology. However, when compared to the UK population’s gender ratio of 51% females to 49% males, it is far from ideal. 

What is perhaps more troubling is the gender pay gap reported in the CQI Workforce Insights, published in 2018. This revealed that of the respondents, women are paid on average 23% less than men and only 5.4% of senior management and director roles are occupied by women.

One of the basic principles of our discipline is continuous improvement. This should apply not just to our processes, products and services; our teams and our organisations; but also, to our profession.

If we believe that gender balance and diversity lead to a better and fairer profession, we must celebrate the achievements and support the development of all quality professionals, regardless of gender.