After months of speculation, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced on Monday that they are expecting their first child. In light of this announcement, there is now pressure for a strict timeline to implement new royal succession laws which would mean this baby will be destined for the throne regardless of gender.
This exciting news made me think about what a year 2012 has been for women. Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years of her reign, the only second British Monarch to do so. This remarkable lady is a great example of why the U.K. should implement the new royal succession laws so that we and the rest of the world can enjoy and flourish under future female leadership.
2012 will also be remembered for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, dubbed the “Women’s Olympics”. 2012 was the first Olympics where all participating countries have had women athletics in their teams, including Saudi Arabia which for them was a first. Out of the total 10,800 athletes, 4,860 were women, representing a record 45 per cent participation for women. Women boxers made history by being included in the games for the first time and Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi became her country’s first woman to win a medal in the games, saying afterward her medal was “for all the Tunisian people, for Tunisian women, for the new Tunisia”. Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee, noting with pride in his speech at the opening ceremony that it was “a major boost for gender equality.”
Now time to jump over the pond. In November’s U.S. Elections, more women were elected to the Senate (17 in total) than ever before. And this year Marissa Mayer was named the President and CEO of Yahoo when she was six months pregnant and became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
The Glass Ceiling has not been broken, but these remarkable accomplishments are shedding light on cracks that are appearing in certain places. Let’s continue to push for change so that one day we will live in a society where professionals will be given rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications, achievements and most of all gender.