What does #BreakTheBias mean to women at TotallyMoney?
By Helen Anglin-Labiak, Senior Communications ExecutiveMar 16th 2022
#BreakTheBias is the theme for International Women’s Day 2022. But, what does that mean for the women at TotallyMoney?
Equal opportunities for everyone
Liz Afolabi, “That every human (regardless of what gender they identify with) is given equal access to every opportunity and isn't thought less of because of the nature of the gender they identify with.”
Rebecca Shears, “Every person, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or religion should be treated as equal in our society and our workplaces. It is not enough to talk about it, actions speak louder than words!
Awareness of unconscious bias is critical to move forwards and we as women should call this out whenever we see it. We have come a long way but there is still a long way to go.”
Mishka Stalham, “'Breaking the bias' to me means changing the way everyone (not just women) thinks about equality, and not just in the workplace but in our society.
Breaking the bias should not be seen as a women-only problem, we need everyone on board to fight against this and actually take action — not just talk about it — and continue taking steps in the right direction.
Everyone should be given equal access to opportunities and no one should be overlooked in their journey to do better for themselves.”
Anya McLaughlin, “Breaking the bias means everyone having equal opportunities and experiences regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc. It also means people being aware of the unconscious biases they may have and how they impact others.
At the moment, we're in a place where many people have biases that they may not even be aware of and people can say things like 'I don't see race/gender' which can be unhelpful in acknowledging that people are different and have different experiences.”
Addressing the bias
Jennifer Gould, “There are so many different things we can do to #BreakTheBias in our own way. Something that is important to me is challenging language which, whether consciously or unconsciously, reinforces gender stereotypes or barriers to inclusion.
The words we use can have a significant impact. So, if we are going to #BreakTheBias, we must be thoughtful and intentional about how we choose and use them."
Arianna Recchia, “"Breaking the bias" for me means actively looking to interact with people that are out of my inner circle and include new points of view to the table. Notice more positive examples around me and try to change how I approach things to see if by reversing the role there's any bias that unconsciously takes place.”
Qin Su, “To me "Breaking the bias" not only means the external environment, where everyone should be treated equal despite background, gender, sex orientation, ethnicity and etc, it also means internally we are aware of the biases we hold against ourselves that were shaped/influenced by the social conditioning and our upbringing.”
Gabrielle Gleeson, “To me breaking the bias is confronting and calling out the subtle, hidden and unknown biases that we all hold. There aren't many people in the modern workplace who would admit to holding biased views against women (or against any other group for that matter), but unconscious bias still exists and influences decisions.
We all have a responsibility to be aware of our own boundaries, do our very best to reflect and find our hidden biases, and be prepared to call each other out / be called out when those biases appear.”
Helen Anglin-Labiak, “There are still roles and industries where it’s seen as a surprise or shock to have a woman there. For me, breaking the bias is about saying “I am here” and “I am a woman,” even though these may be male-dominated places. What’s more, as a woman “I can do this job well.” Every job is the right job for a woman if it’s what she chooses to do.”
Janice Tong, “ To me, "breaking the bias" means the stereotypes and biases around my gender identity no longer play a part in my career and personal life. This is especially painful when it also crosses with my ethnicity.
It's about an organisation or community coming together, to ensure stereotypes and biases pertaining to gender identity play little to the decision of individual growth and progression. It's about celebrating the diversity in thoughts and ideas that equity can bring.”
Linnea Viola, “For me breaking the bias means going against the norm. As women we are taught to make others comfortable in our presence, which often means accommodating, or making ourselves smaller. But we are also taught that women are competitive with one another and that there isn't space for all of us.
So breaking the bias means taking up space while also supporting each other. There is nothing wrong with believing in yourself because, in that belief you can lift up others and support the women around you. Through a true supportive culture we can #BreakTheBias around how women should be, and just let us be.”
Taking the bias out of career decisions
Sharon Evans, “I'm thinking about the fact that many women as they get into their 30s and 40s sort of disappear from the same career track as their male counterparts. Most male lawyers I trained with are now partners in law firms. The women are much more varied - part time work, housewives, self-employed consultants, no longer lawyers, full time carers - all down to seeking out better work life balance.
Sounds great in some ways but I doubt most women are using that extra time for hobbies and reflection. They generally are carving out time to accommodate a disproportionate load of their domestic lives and childcare. Sheryl Sandberg talks about keeping your foot on the pedal and I think that is great advice - i.e. don't make sacrifices in your career until you have to - keep going as fast and hard as you want to and are able to. Don't try to factor in everything your life might be in the future when you make a decision.
For me, we haven't broken the bias until there is a better end to end pattern in women's careers. Those amazing and bright female graduates who start work so ambitious and focused should also be ending up as senior figures, C-suite and board members in the same proportion as the men they graduated with. “