International Parity at Work Day – January 11, 2023

International Parity at Work Day is on January 11. It’s a global day of action for promoting equitable pay, regardless of a person’s race, country of origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Globally, women earn 84% of what men earn on average. The difference is stark if you’re an immigrant woman, a person of color, and have children. People from the L.G.B.T.Q. community suffer horrible discrimination — where sometimes the fight isn’t for recognition but sheer survival. On this International Parity at Work Day, we celebrate diverse workplaces. Let’s call out practices that are barriers to a more just and better world

History of International Parity at Work Day

The first International Parity of Work Day was on January 11, 2017. The inaugural event held in London featured multicultural performances, inspiring dialogues, and awareness building on pay discrimination. It was an international event as business communities in Japan, Sri Lanka, Australia, and the United States also got on board.

Discrimination in the workplace is rampant even today. What’s shocking is that workplace discrimination still exists in the most developed countries, despite the prevalence of several anti-discriminatory laws. One of the main reasons for the disparity is bias — whether intentional or unconscious. Employers tend to make hiring decisions influenced by a host of biases: cultural, social, or personal. Rarely do candidates land jobs solely based on their skills.

The layers of inequality can be complex. They can also vary across geographies or industries. Take gender disparity, for instance. Men dominate boardrooms and executive positions in companies worldwide. Women often struggle to rise through the ranks as quickly. Within this dynamic, it’s challenging for trans workers to get their due. Similarly, other L.G.B.T.Q. employees struggle with coming out of the closet. The fear of discrimination forces many employees to lie about their personal lives.

Ethnicity can hugely impact job quality and income. Typically, unemployment in African-American communities is double that of white people. Although we’ve moved many steps ahead in this regard, the average earnings of most minority communities remain dismal.

More importantly, where individuals live and study can profoundly shape their future. People may only have access to schools without resources or academic rigor. Lack of awareness or exposure to STEM fields can hinder more women from pursuing fulfilling careers. The glaring disparity in early education manifests itself years later, usually as income disparity, lack of opportunities, and discrimination.

On International Parity at Work Day, we keep the conversation alive. A reminder to keep the momentum going against all forms of inequality in the workplace.

International Parity at Work Day timeline

1797
Abigail Adams Promotes Gender Equality

Adams creates a stir in the White House while advocating for women’s education and equal rights for women and men. 

1960
A Long Road To Equality

Women in the U.S. earn 61 cents for every $1 a man makes.

1964
The Civil Rights Act On Workplace Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act offers protection against employment discrimination "because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

1978
Talkin ‘Bout A Revolution

The first gay employee network officially makes an appearance.

International Parity at Work Day FAQs

What is meant by equal pay?

Equal pay is a person’s right to the same wage as someone else doing work of equivalent value. Nobody should be discriminated against based on gender, race, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. 

Why is equal pay important?

Equal pay contributes to a more just society. Eliminating indefensible or biased pay gaps is crucial across industries and professions. 

How do you deal with unequal pay?

To tackle unequal pay in the workplace, ensure you research and find out what other people in the market are getting paid for your position. If you notice glaring discrepancies, bring them to your H.R. rep or company’s attention. Have all the facts ready and be prepared to escalate the issue if needed.

How to Observe International Parity at Work Day

  1. Call out discrimination

    Don't perpetuate a culture of silence. Challenge disparity in the workplace and push for equality. Offering solidarity (especially when you’re not directly impacted) is everything.  

  2. Discuss with H.R.

    A lasting impact can come from institutional changes. Speak with your H.R. department and ask what policies the office has in place on workplace parity. Rally your colleagues since there’s always strength in numbers.

  3. Talk about it online

    Continue conversations outside the office. Social media is excellent to get the word out. Share credible posts or articles about International Parity at Work Day.

5 Facts About Gender Wage Gap That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. The numbers don’t lie

    Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes,

  2. The problem is pervasive

    The World Economic Forum states that the gender pay gap occurs in every country, industry, and profession — regardless of income.

  3. Progress is infuriatingly slow

    At the rate we’re going, it’ll take approximately 257 years to close the gap and achieve income parity. 

  4. Women with children have it worse

    Women often face a ‘pregnancy penalty’ — no worker protection, maternal leave, and workplaces that perceive mothers incapable of being professionals. 

  5. There’s no job security

    Most women worldwide work in lower-skilled and lower-paid roles without job security or a voice in decision-making. 

Why International Parity at Work Day is Important

  1. Just rewards and recognition

    Everyone deserves recognition for the hard work they do. International Parity at Work Day amplifies the voices of people who face unjustifiable discrimination every day.  

  2. Diverse workplaces are stronger

    In increasingly polarizing times like these, the world needs multiple opinions, voices, and perspectives. Recognizing and celebrating differences only makes us stronger. 

  3. Equal opportunities

    International Parity at Work Day reinforces the importance of equality. The future is brighter when we move forward together. 

International Parity at Work Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 11Tuesday
2023January 11Wednesday
2024January 11Thursday
2025January 11Saturday
2026January 11Sunday

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