International Women’s Day is indeed a day worthy of recognition — but it’s also a day for reflection; in particular, on why there needs to be such a day in the first place.
At Torre — our parent company that also presides over other popular online platforms like VoiceBunny, WritingBunny, and our most recent additions to the family, Torre Remote and Torre Bio — gender equality has never been an issue; it’s so embedded in our culture, so firmly woven into the fabric of what we stand for, there’s never really been a need to apply our minds to it within the ambit of our operations. As a team, we like to think we make every effort to lead by example.
That, of course, doesn’t mean we don’t raise our collective voice in support of the greater cause. We do. Frequently. Globally, gender inequality remains far too prevalent. Fundamentalist religions still relegate womanhood to such levels of degradation it’s not only disturbing, it’s downright shocking to anyone who subscribes to the concept of decency and human dignity.
Closer to home and within a more secular environment, the #Metoo movement has exposed so much intimidation, coercion, as well as physical and emotional abuse in the plush corner offices of corporate deal-mongering that it boggles the mind. How can this even be possible in enlightened democracies today? Perhaps because too many of us allow gender inequality to persist by pretending it isn’t there when it won’t go away. Evil always seems to infect broader society when good people say and do nothing.
In combination, speaking up and doing something proactive pave the way for consequence. Often, consequence strikes a chord that reverberates consistently over time, thus setting the tone for the future. Therein lies real strength. No woman has ever made history by keeping quiet. Malala Yousafzai put it best when she said: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
Rosa Parks is a perfect example. Her quiet, single-minded resistance triggered a raucous revolution. What might happen if we all spoke up in unison for one purpose — and we make that purpose the one at hand?
No country in the world has yet achieved genuine gender equality, yet women make up roughly 49.5% of the earth’s population. Figures from 2017 show there are now 32 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies — an all time high, but still only 6.4%. If we carry on at this pace, women will have to wait 217 years for there to be no gender gap.
Oprah Winfrey urged: “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”
At Voice123, 38% of talents on our platform offer female voices. We want that number to grow substantially. In 2014, there were 32% more projects for male voices than for female voices. Last year, the discrepancy had dropped to 19.83%, so there’s no doubt we’re on the right track.
As a follow-on, we’re proud to say that in terms of pay gap on our platform, women are only earning 1.43% less than men — nowhere near the massive 32% gender gap that still applies in most industries worldwide.
Nevertheless, in keeping with the words of Ayn Rand who grittily insisted that “the question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me,” Voice123 would also like to speak up and take action. We want to facilitate the creation of reverberating consequence going forward. So:
To every woman who would like to upgrade their Standard membership (or extend a current Premium membership for another year), we’re offering a 32% discount on our usual $395 fee*. This is much more than a symbolic gesture. We want to incentivize women around the world. We want to empower them. We want them to step up to the microphone, and raise their voices. Poet and activist, Audre Lorde, wrote: “When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed but when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”
Let’s all speak out together, ladies — and do it with one voice. There’s no better way to recognize, reflect on, or celebrate the equality of true humanity on International Women’s Day.
The Voice123 Team
*Terms and conditions apply.
This offer was available until March 13, 2018, and applied to current female Standard members and Premium members whose membership renewal is closer than Oct 1, 2018. If you’ve signed up for this offer and still haven’t heard from us, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.