This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreaktheBias. This is a call to all individuals to examine their own thoughts and actions and how they are impacting the ability to create an organization that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Bias separates us, it creates a wall that prevents equal access to opportunity. It is only by #BreakingtheBias that we can truly come together and create an inclusive environment.
In the workplace, bias can be particularly harmful to women, minorities, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community. A few examples of bias include:
- Interrupting and talking over a person.
- Accusing someone of being emotional or aggressive instead of competent.
- Asking the same person in a meeting to take notes or assigning all the administrative tasks to the same person on a project.
- Disregarding advice and comments from people.
- Undervaluing an employee because of their age.
- Discounting a qualified candidate’s resume because of their name.
- Recommending someone for a promotion over someone else because they are similar to you.
- Making assumptions about an individual’s personal life based on their gender.
You may ask, how do I change? Here are a few suggestions:
- Be mindful of your words and actions.
- Be open to looking at situations from another point of view.
- Every day, have a conversation with someone who is different. Be curious. Invite them to help you solve a problem. Learn from them.
- Admit when you are wrong. We all make mistakes and may not realize how our words impact others. Apologize with humility, not with jokes and sarcasm.
It is no longer enough to simply recognize our own biases; we must act to change them. We must call out gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping when we see it. As Graham is committed to creating, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, we are working hard to change our biases and foster an even more respectful workplace.