March 8th is recognized as the global holiday of International Women’s Day, a day to “commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women.” While it feels inadequate to have just one day dedicated to honoring women's contributions, it is still a good opportunity to show appreciation to all the women in your life. And the best way to show your appreciation is to break the bias.
“Break the Bias” is the theme of International Women’s Day 2022, which means that this year’s focus is on eradicating the “deliberate or unconscious bias [that] makes it difficult for women to move ahead.” The International Women’s Day website continues, “Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.” Here are a few tips for addressing and eliminating gender bias in the corporate space.
Because it is nearly impossible to solve a problem if individuals do not see the problem, the first step to eradicating bias in the workplace is to acknowledge that it exists. According to Headstart, “42% of women in the U.S. have experienced gender discrimination at work, women account for just 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and fewer than 15% of corporate executives at top companies, 40% of people agree that men have more right to a job than women when roles are scarce, and men are given higher performance ratings than women with identical qualifications and behaviors.” These statistics demonstrate how far we are from gender parity in the workplace and the urgent need to take counteractive measures.
While you cannot control other people’s thoughts and behaviors, it is your responsibility to call out inappropriate remarks in the workplace. Additionally, be open to feedback and potential criticism of your own behaviors. The goal is not to police one another, but to hold each other accountable for making the workplace as inclusive of an environment as possible.
A corporation where differences are welcomed and celebrated helps everyone, not just women. According to Fundera, “85% of CEOs with diverse and inclusive cultures notice increased profits. Companies with equal men and women earn 41% more revenue. Diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture new markets.” In this way, it is in companies’ best interest to establish cultures of mutual respect and inclusivity.
Hopefully these tips for addressing and eliminating gender bias in the workplace provide a helpful framework for improving your company's culture–– not just today, but everyday.
Also read: Black History Month