After the Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was assassinated by a car bomb in October 2016, thousands of shocked Maltese citizens assembled twice in the following fortnight to demonstrate against governmental corruption and cover-up. The organisers chose Lennon’s Imagine as the song of hope for both protests.The organisers were predominantly women.
Since the last male-dominated millennium has brought us to the brink of environmental catastrophe, I have been imagining how women might get us out of this mess. I am encouraged by all the stories I see about women mobilising across the world. Just this week, I have read that in January, five million women in Kerala, India, formed a 620-kilometre-long wall to demonstrate for gender equality.
How can we support the massive shift needed to achieve real gender equality and fairness? Imagine a female US President committed to a Green New Deal – I am not the only one who does; and a woman in charge of Russia; imagine the seven members of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo were all women, not men.
France and Norway have quotas for women in the boardroom, but we can take that a lot further. It should not be difficult to legislate for women in big companies to constitute approximately the same proportion of senior management as for the workforce as a whole. 57 per cent of Tesco’s 440,000-strong workforce are women, but only 25 per cent of its senior management are, despite its declared commitment to equal opportunities. If in five years, Tesco has a female chair, CEO and seven out of ten women board members, instead of the opposite, as today, these claims will sound less hollow.
“Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.” It’s easy if we all try.
Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally: firstname.lastname@example.org.