Don’t forget to #MakeItHappen on International Women’s Day!


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International Women’s Day is just around the corner, and the Sweetspot team was eager to pay tribute to such an acclaimed occasion by creating something very special that would compliment this year’s theme – #MakeItHappen. This motto aims to raise awareness about equality issues all over the world, and encourage men and women to proactively engage with both online and offline initiatives to make the change.

This is how our International Women’s Day dashboard was conceived and developed – by extending Sweetspot’s customary focus on collaboration towards gender equality. This meant involving both female and male participants from across our different teams to work together to create this unique (and downloadable!) dashboard commemorating such an important day.

Sweetspot International Women's Day dashboard

We decided to draw on some of the most recent and impactful statistics to examine how gender equality – or inequality – is reflected across different disciplines and territories. We have especially focused our attention on areas such as Employment and Education, and have highlighted the most compelling KPIs and data visualizations to present our findings in an interactive and easy-to-grasp format.

And this is what we found out:

 Postgraduate education ratio trend over the years


Sweetspot_International_Womens_Day_Dashboard_Education.pdf (558 downloads)

Women are incredibly smart, gifted and diligent! (of course you’ve never doubted that) Jokes aside, the total number of women with postgraduate degrees has been steadily growing throughout the years, reaching its peak of 44.15% in 2010. The following drop can be attributed to the precarious economic situation, but can the surprising gender gap be explained as easily?

 Senior management share by gender

Sweetspot_International_Womens_Day_Dashboard_Employment.pdf (562 downloads)

This gender gap is even more noticeable in the workplace, with women considerably losing to men this time. It seems simply unbelievable that with so many extremely educated women, the number of men in senior positions nearly doubles them! How shocking is that? Well, wait to add the salaries to this equation…

USA Salary Gap

Let’s focus on North America for a start. While reportedly one of the most democratic countries in the world, the USA does not precisely have a salary situation worth showing off. Some of the states, such as Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia or Louisiana, have a pay gap that surpasses 30%, with the latter state reaching 34.10%, and helping to make the US one of the top 15 countries with the biggest salary inequality. It is rather sad to realise that some of the world’s most advanced and developed countries are still years behind on such important issues as gender equality and employment opportunities.

 Occupational concentration by country / gender
Alas, the picture looks pretty similar when we analyse how many men and women are actually employed across Europe. In this spider chart, you can see that the pink line representing the number of working men hardly ever touches the purple line that depicts the women. This further demonstrates the unflattering situation, since ideally we would want these lines to be as close together as possible reflecting smaller difference.

As previously with the USA pay gap, we can see that the countries who are proclaimed to be at the forefront of progress in the European Union, such as France, Sweden or Germany, are the ones with the widest gaps, while the likes of Czech Republic or Hungary present a much more encouraging picture. Perhaps it is time we stop always looking up to the big players exclusively and recognise we have something to learn from the smaller ones?

London 2012 Olympics - USA Medals by Gender
But let’s not completely lose heart! Sports is an area that might help us regain our enthusiasm. The stacked bar chart above shows that we women are not only exceptionally intelligent, but also super healthy, fit and competitive. This is demonstrated by the London 2012 Olympics, where American women won almost 60% more gold medals than men! Moreover, prize money, although not entirely equal yet, has experienced major improvements over the past ten years, with sixteen sports already offering equal pay to men and women. Perhaps slowly, but it seems like we are getting there!

Women at Sweetspot

Sweetspot is a great example of how gender equality is not as far off as it might seem, as we work towards dispelling the notorious claim about men dominating the IT industry. Our team kept steadily growing throughout 2014, and resulted in a doubling of female team members from the 2013 stats.. Moreover, two of these women, Megan Wilcock and Sarah McDermott, occupy leading positions in our company – as VP Business Development and COO, respectively – thus breaking with the gender stereotype about female share, interest and participation in technology and management positions. Let’s keep up the good work!


So there you have it – the facts laid bare: we still have a few struggles ahead and a long way towards equality, but we are definitely moving in the right direction. The KPIs and charts of Sweetspot’s International Women’s Day dashboard reveal that men and women are not treated in the same way across different countries and fields, such as Employment, Education or Sports.

But guess what? We should embrace this challenge with thrill and optimism, fighting for our rights and proving that gender equality is not the last on the list of issues to be urgently addressed by governments and communities all over the world. It’s refreshing to see that both men and women are supporting this progress and working together to capture the benefits of a more egalitarian society.

Make It Happen - International Women's Day at Sweetspot
We hope that you can join in for some #MakeItHappen initiatives, be it running events to generate awareness about gender equality, attending events to learn more about women in professional environments, or simply being active on social media and using this inspiring hashtag. Don’t ever think that small actions are worthless, but listen to this wise woman’s words instead:

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”
Oprah Winfrey, actress & television talk show host

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Tania Asa

Marketing and Communications Executive, focused on content, Sweetspot Academy and inbound marketing. BA in English, University of Oviedo, Spain.

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