MF's Sarah Cartwright reflects on International Women's Day...
'A UN report last year found almost 90% of men and women hold some form of bias against females. A 2018 report said women hold only 25% of computing jobs, even though women comprise almost half of the total workforce. A study last year found that only 10% of executive-level roles were held by women in 2020. While I'm happy Digital Guardian bucks that trend, it's still a troubling statistic.'*
Even in 2022, it’s critical to challenge gender bias and elevate women, not just one day a year but every day. Even when we are well intended and believe we are not prejudiced, we still have biases about women.
One of the biases that causes the most frustration is that 'women are emotional and men are more assertive'. This bias fuels the 'double bind' that women suffer from, particularly in the workplace. We are still socially and culturally expected to be likeable, 'nice' and nurturing which continues to hinder our consideration for leadership positions and when we behave assertively, we get labelled as 'bossy', emotional and unlikeable.
One of the most effective ways of creating greater gender equity in organisations is to mandate inclusive leadership training so managers are aware of these biases and are held to account on fostering an inclusive environment.
*The Guardian, 2021.