As someone who grew up believing I could do anything and then hit the workplace realities that block many women, I find great joy in helping companies worldwide make women a higher priority.

It’s not easy to change barriers to gender diversity, but change will happen. Within the next five to seven years, demographic shifts will force employers of all sizes to rethink the way they manage talent. The global workforce is shrinking, 10,000 U.S. baby boomers reach retirement age every day, and white men now account for just 17 percent of the educated global workforce, according to economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett.  A Booz & Co. study suggests that if female employment rates were to match male rates in the United States, overall GDP would rise by 5%.  Businesses that have not built a diverse talent pipeline will be hard-pressed to compete.  And that diverse pipeline has to feature women.

So take this day to honor the achievements of women, draw inspiration from words of wisdom, and look forward to a future in which women and men lead side by side.

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