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As Britain celebrated International Women?s Day , the government encouraged blue chip firms to invite more women into their boardrooms.

Chant?l du Plooy takes a look at where the UK currently stands on the issue of gender equality and what it will take for our country to finally get the balance right.

?Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All?

This year?s International Women?s Day marked its 99th anniversary with the slogan ?Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All?.

When Women?s Day was first held nearly a century ago, its purpose was to help women around the world with the fight against female discrimination, voting rights and better pay. Today, it is mostly dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and successes of women.

On the eve of this year?s annual celebration , Kathryn Bigelow, appropriately became the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar for her internationally acclaimed film The Hurt Locker.

If it took women 82 years of filmmaking to succeed in that category, however, how long will it take them to get onto the executive payroll?

Although Britain has come a long way in diversifying our companies, we are definitely not on standard yet. A recent study by the Government Equalities Office unveiled that 60 of the public feel that there aren?t enough female directors in big companies.

Rightly so, because according to the Cabinet Office , merely 10 of directors at our top 100 companies are women and 62 of FTSE 250 firms don?t have any female executives at all. At this rate, experts believe gender equality in boardrooms will only be evident by 2070.

?More serious action? is Bequired

On International Women?s Day, Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his concern about the lack of gender equality in British companies.

?We all recognise the value of strong role models for women in all walks of life ? and there are many in politics, the arts, public services, sport and the third sector , but there are too few in Britain s boardrooms.?

He added that this was especially worrying considering the fact that more than half of graduates every year are female.

As a result, the government?s new Equality Bill will compel companies to reveal their strategies for hiring female talent; and a new parliamentary proposal, Women for Boards, will promote the issue.

However, if firms don?t comply, the Prime Minister said that the government will be forced to take ?more serious action to ensure companies recruit from the diverse pool of exceptional talent we have in the UK?.

The Benefits of Greater Equality

Ruth Spellman , chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, told Business Times Online that one of the reasons companies failed during the recent global financial crisis was because they weren?t diverse enough.

?If you can build a diverse workforce that you keep intact, you will do better in tough times.?

Silka Patel, an executive assistant at Cisco, added that a diverse team brings varied ideas.

?If we employ the same person again and again, we will never grow the company.?

A country that sets the standard for gender equality in businesses and the social arena is Norway. After Gro Harlem Brundtland became the first woman prime minister in 1981 , the country started implementing female quotas of 40 within the public and private sectors.

Norway?s first male Minister of Children and Equality, Audun Lysbakken, recently told Forbes that gender equality is a business necessity, because when institutions exclude half of the available talent, their performance is more likely to suffer.

?By making gender equality mandatory through regulations and welfare reforms, we ve made it easier for women to work and have a family ,? he added.

The Road Ahead

Gender equality doesn?t mean overlooking strong male candidates in order to recruit average female ones.

The new Equality Bill calls for ?positive action?, where companies will be encouraged to hire a person from a minority group over someone from a majority group if they are equally qualified.

However, at the end of the day, each boardroom seat should be given to the individual who is most capable of fulfilling the role.
For affluent travelers, one of the most popular reasons to take a foreign holiday is golf. There are renowned courses scattered across the globe. With the right knowledge, golfers can maximize their enjoyment of the finest courses in beautiful locales. There are courses located on six of the seven continents , though you'll never be able to play them all. Of course, maybe you're up to that challenge.

In Spain, you'll find several great courses located near La Manga. The La Manga Golf Club has three eighteen-hole courses, the ideal climate year round and great practice facilities. Located less than three hours from most major European cities, the courses of La Manga Golf Club feature many challenging greens. The putting and chipping practice areas are huge, and the driving range features ninety practice bays. The club is the official winter training course of the German PGA. The resort has also hosted its fair share of world tournaments. There is a coaching staff for amateurs or for those looking for tips on improving their game. La Manga is a great city for enthusiasts of the sport.

Take a hop , skip and jump from La Manga and you'll find the home of golf, St. Andrews Links in Scotland. Possibly the most famous set of courses in the world, St. Andrews Links has a history over a half-millennium old. Starting in around 1400 A.D., the sport has been played on these links for centuries, except when it was banned for nearly fifty years. King James II of Scotland ba. Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap Retro Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys From China Cheap NCAA Hockey Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys From China Cheap NHL Hockey Jerseys Cheap NFL Throwback Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys China

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