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Breaking the bias - Celebrating International Women's Day

culture 8 Mar . min read

Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, it could be easy to question the need for a day to promote diversity, inclusion and breaking biases.

After all, its 2022 and some significant inroads have been made into tearing down the barriers women have faced in turning up to work to be treated the same as their male counterparts. But while that is very true, sadly, some countries, sectors, industries and workplaces still have some way to go.

In my work as the Director of Global Consulting for AskYourTeam, I have worked with some really proactive employers wanting to address some very real issues affecting women in the workforce. They have opted to engage our services to give their entire organisation a ‘voice’ in a safe and anonymised way to get to the core of any issues and address them quickly to put everyone on a level playing field.

It is a trajectory we are expecting to increase as more and more we find the world "expecting" diversity, equity and inclusion. The world notices its absence and celebrates its presence, and we are helping organisations get to the core of exactly that to set them up for the future.

Helping organisations know their truth when they are dealing with sensitive issues like discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment is imperative. They are all sensitive issues and handled badly they can create headlines that can bring an organisation to its knees, eroding hard built reputations overnight.

We must step up and be aware of the significant impact that bias has on women's equality - both conscious and unconscious bias - but we must also be mindful that some of these issues are not specific to women. They can happen to anyone and we need to be aware recognise it, and call it out. We need to #BreakTheBias.

Ultimately, it’s about respect. We need to ensure everyone’s right to a safe workplace is upheld and employees are treated the same regardless of age, race, religious belief or gender.   Employers need to ensure issues are addressed in the most practical way as quickly as possible and people can speak their truth and trust that their feedback is anonymised, without fear of repercussion.

If we empower people to have their say so organisations can validate their workplace practices and know their truth, everybody wins. Measurable change can be made immediately, on an ongoing basis, and employees can trust that speaking up will end toxic workplace cultures.

With the world demanding change, leaders are expected to do all they can to build integrity, safety and inclusiveness in the workplace. People want a voice, and boards and leaders want to know with confidence they can stand by their brand.

Leaders are stronger when they listen.

Jen McKay

Global Consulting Director

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