Lee Schreter, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Littler, pens op-ed for International Women’s Day

The op-ed begins:

“Today we observe International Women’s Day (IWD) – a celebration of women’s cultural, political, and economic achievements.

This year, we do so conscious of the fact that progress for women has slowed in some regions – meaning that actions are necessary to accelerate gender parity [this year’s IWD theme is #pledgeforparity].

EY , a sponsor of IWD, estimates that at the current rate of progress, it will take 117 years to achieve gender parity – an alarming statistic.

There remain few women role models in the highest echelons of leadership – just 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and less than 1% of FTSE 250 CEO slots are held by women.

As a gay woman who serves as chair of the board of directors of the world’s largest labor and employment law firm, I’m keenly aware that very few of these women identify as openly LGBT. The Financial Times publishes an annual list of the world’s leading LGBT executives; and in 2015 only 24% of the list were women.

As we observe IWD, I want to take the opportunity to underline the fact that gender parity is an important goal not just for companies, or for society at large, but also for the LGBT movement.

This is one important reason why I am supporting and participating in OutWOMEN, Out Leadership’s initiative connecting and supporting senior-level LGBT women in business.

By connecting successful LGBT women executives to each other, and through an exchange of experiences and insights, I am confident that we can assist organizations in their efforts to foster environments where women in business feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work – whether gay or straight.”

Read the rest of the piece at GayStarNews.