International Women's Day: Major progress, but still a lot to do

March 2022 International Women's Day: Major progress, but still a lot to d

8 March is the 111th International Women's Day. A lot has improved since then, particularly for working women. But there continues to be a lot to do when it comes to gender equality. Including at a bank like the Hamburg Commercial Bank, where the issue of women's rights is a concern.

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Women's rights: a marathon, not a sprint

Realistically, the day when Equal Pay Day will no longer be necessary is a long way off. The history of the fight for equality demonstrates that the justified promotion of greater women's rights and equality is unfortunately a grueling marathon rather than a sprint.

And it's precisely this that has provided justification for International Women's Day since its inception in 1911.

“International Women's Day is immensely important. While it is just one day, the issues it addresses cannot be solved in one day alone,” says Katrin Waechter, Diversity Manager at HCOB. But she agrees that the subject of “Equal rights for all” is increasingly gaining traction. While an almost unbelievable six decades passed between voting rights for women (1919) and the right to have their own career without their husband's approval (1977!), the positive reforms have largely amassed since the turn of the century: The first “Girls Day” in 2001, the first introduction of a women's quota in positions of leadership at Deutsche Telekom in 2010, 30-percent quota of women on boards of directors of Dax listed companies in 2016.

“Equality still does not mean equal opportunity”

Rieka Meetz-Schawaller, in the HCOB-team with Katrin Waechter for Diversity Management, adds: “We have achieved a great deal in Germany, but equality is a long way off from meaning equal opportunity. Even in our company, there is still a way to go for this to be embedded culturally, and for lived equality and equal opportunities; structures are always slower to change than laws or decrees.”


So therefore, there is something to celebrate at this year's International Women's Day. Katrin Waechter: “The journey will continue – this is certain. With the commitment of many strong women. As well as some strong men.”