2022’s International Women’s Day is all about breaking the bias. When we say #BreakTheBias, what does that actually mean? And why does it matter?
Bias – or in this case, gender bias – is about the associations and assumptions made about people, based on some element of their identity. Sometimes this is ‘unconscious’, sometimes not, but in a workplace setting it can lead to unfair decision-making, discriminatory behaviour and gender inequality. And that’s what we’re challenging today.
It’s easy to assume that there’s no issue in your organisation. But considering 42% of US women have experienced workplace gender discrimiantion, there may be things you’re overlooking. Here’s just a few workplace bias examples:
This is just a handful of examples – but there are a lot more out there. But is it really such a big deal if people experience bias in the workplace? Isn’t it inevitable?
Women face bias in the workplace, but other identities face challenges too – men of colour and white women were seen to have similar experiences, for example. But where discriminated-against identities intersect, these negative experiences are amplified. Women of colour were found to face bigger hurdles than any other group.
Being aware of these added challenges is essential. And there may be no easy answer, with one study showing that mandatory diversity training didn’t help people progress, but it all starts with being aware of the specific, complicated, interrelated experiences within your company.
We collected three real-world experiences of gender bias, submitted anonymously, to shine a light on what you might not be noticing in your organisation. Because bias is subtle. If you don’t know it’s there, you can’t find a solution. That’s why listening is so important.
If you want to understand if gender bias is a problem in your organisation, collecting data on employee experiences is a tried-and-tested method. And there are three things you need to consider:
It’s scary to open up – especially if you’re worried it might backfire. Our Inclusion survey can be sent anonymously, so employees feel they can speak up without it getting back to them. Some comments might be hard to read, but if you don’t get honesty, the whole exercise is pointless.
The ‘wrong’ questions don’t make it clear what you’re asking, are closed-off, or lead the respondent. With our Inclusion survey, every question has been written by industry experts – so you can guarantee the answers will offer them useful data you really need.
Depending on the size of your team, going through all the comments could take time. Our platform uses advanced language tech, pulling out common themes and identifying comment sentiment – effectively reading the comments for you, so you can spot the biggest problems.
Listening. It’s step 1 to breaking the bias in your workplace – and in society as a whole. And we want to help organisations do that, using our platform. That’s why you can send an Inclusion survey for free, just by signing up today.
Get started for free, and let’s #BreakTheBias: