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International Partity at work day

International Parity at Work Day is on January 11. It’s a global day promoting equitable pay, regardless of a person’s personal characteristics

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 colour, 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


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 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 rigour. 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. This is a reminder to keep the momentum going against all forms of inequality in the workplace.