This years International Women’s Day IWD2022 has the theme of ‘Break the Bias.’ The Onyva Team Members have come up with four approaches that they feel contribute the most to tackling gender bias in the workplace.
Different genders have been shown to have different communication styles, with male styles typically being more direct in expressing their opinions or needs. Common female complaints include being talked over in meetings or when stating an idea, which is then picked up by another male colleague in the room and rephrased as their own.
So if you hear a good idea – amplify it by repeating it and giving credit to the person who came up with it. Don’t let them be talked over, or someone else rephrase it, and make it their own.
2. Don’t let the loudest dominate
Ensure everyone is heard. In meetings, having short summaries from those attending in advance, with the points they want to make to the Chair/Organiser can help.
3. Don’t be a bystander, speak up
Step in and support each other and don’t be a bystander to gender based put downs or biased comments. These comments may not be significant enough to raise with HR, but nevertheless help fuel bias. Having colleagues, both male and female that speak up against low-grade bullying or inappropriate comments, can provide much needed support and change workplace culture.
4. Challenge ideas of merit
I’ve often heard ‘We promote on merit,’as a catch all term that makes organisations feel better about themselves, and even ‘it’s impossible to promote women,’ (said to me directly by a male CEO at one company).But who
defines that merit, and what does it actually mean in real terms? We need to challenge an organisation’s idea of merit. Especially, when it equates to traditionally male characteristics, as is still the case in many workplaces.
An article by our MD, Seema Sharma for Mendeley Careers
Gender Bias in the Workplace