International Women’s Day is a remarkable day in which we honor and celebrate all that women do to make our world a better place to live, work and thrive. This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.
Collectively, women have made great strides during the past century. We have become world leaders, executives, business owners, major contributors to our households and decision makers. Can you believe that there was once a time when we couldn’t even vote, hold a public office or wear pants?
We should take a moment to celebrate our achievements. But we must also be mindful that there is a long journey ahead before diversity, equity and inclusion are fully realized throughout the world.
25 Ways to Support Women and #BreakTheBias in Your Workplace + Community
Regardless of gender, we must continue to be champions of women’s equality long after the fanfare of International Women’s Day has worn off. Here are 25 ways to support women and #BreakTheBias in your workplace and community.
1. Send messages of encouragement to women who have shaped your life personally and professionally.
2. Do your part to close the gender wage gap by supporting equal pay initiatives in your workplace.
3. Take this Implicit Association Test to identify and address your hidden biases.
4. Build a balanced pipeline and talent pool within your organization.
5. Lead by example and set the tone for diversity, equity and inclusion on your team and within your organization.
6. Connect with and support women employees and team members.
7. Learn about common types of bias that women face (unconscious, performance, attribution, maternal, likability and affinity) and how to overcome them.
8. Encourage women to take the lead on projects and share their insights at meetings in the workplace.
9. Ensure that your professional expectations of women employees align with their core job responsibilities.
10. Make a case for gender diversity in your organization by promoting the benefits of diverse teams.
11. Speak up for colleagues when they are targeted by others who have unconscious biases.
12. Meet with leaders in HR and executives at your company to propose initiatives that eliminate bias in the workplace.
13. Educate recruiters, hiring managers and interviewers on ways to reduce bias during the hiring process.
14. Create opportunities for women to network with each other in your organization.
15. Divide ‘office housework tasks’ such as taking notes and tidying up the conference room equally among all team members – including men.
16. Encourage women to take as much maternity leave as they need. Reassure them that they have the right to use their leave without feeling guilty about it.
17. Implement DEI tools and technology that will help your team hire candidates based on their skills and experience – not inherent biases.
18. Resist the urge to make assumptions about women based on their marital status, motherhood or other issues that aren’t related to their professional capabilities.
19. Encourage women who sit on the sidelines during meetings to take a seat at the table.
20. Create structured meetings to reduce the likelihood of women being disrupted and marginalized while they are presenting their ideas.
21. Connect with people in your community with diverse beliefs and backgrounds.
22. Consume books, podcasts and media from diverse groups of people so you can understand different points of view.
23. Use your influence to help women and people in underserved communities.
24. Make decisions based on facts and data – not your feelings and emotions.
25. Slow down so you can make intentional decisions. We are more likely to display our biases when we are in a hurry because our brain likes to take shortcuts when we make decisions.
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