International Women’s Day 2022

Thank you everyone who joined WILD for International Women’s Day either at our event or in celebrating the incredible women in their organizations! We can all help #breakthebias by smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination.

Bias – whether deliberate or unconscious – is holding women back in the workplace. It makes it harder for women to get hired and promoted and negatively impacts their day-to-day work experiences. This hurts women and makes it harder for companies to level the playing field.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. WILD joins in this celebration because we believe strategic collaborations based on a foundation of shared purpose, trust and appreciation can impact positive change for women. Help us #BreaktheBias today and everyday.

Are you in?

Huge thank you and shout out to our conversation leaders: Shelby Klooster, Linda Morton, Alyssa Humphries Stewart, Likhitha Rangaswamy, Stacey Teresa Bello, Molly Hanson, Tal Janowitz, Elizabeth Williams, Luz Garcia, and Rachel Fitzgerald. They were all such inspiring sessions! Special thanks also to Shelby Klooster, Kelly Roberts, and Katherine Stekr for coordinating the event.

Keep scrolling or click the link for a recap of each hour: LEAD, VALUE, CONFRONT, and EMPOWER!

LEAD by example

Being an active bystander means being aware of when someone’s behavior is inappropriate and choosing to challenge it.

Be an active bystander by:

  • Noticing (general awareness of your surroundings)
  • Interpreting (if a situation catches your attention, interpret it as a problem)
  • Not Assuming (we often assume others will help; be that someone)
  • Knowing (prepare yourself to help safely – have resources and know relevant numbers)

What you can do in the moment:

  • Direct – directly address the situation (make sure it is safe for you and others
  • Distract – cause a distraction to diffuse the situation
  • Delegate – find help/report the incident

Here’s what we heard from you:

Any help is help – even the smallest actions matter ⬝ If multiple people choose to intervene, you can be stronger together ⬝ Being on the receiving end of these aggressions can affect your health ⬝ Address the corporate culture – bosses should STEP IN! You have a responsibility for your employees The power dynamic of stepping forward can be tricky when you feel like your job is at risk ⬝ We look to work for women-owned businesses, we know the support is there ⬝ The loudest voice in the room is NOT always the most effective ⬝ Be the change you want to see.

TRIVIA TIME Q: How many times more often do men interrupt women than other men?
A: Almost three (3) times more often.

VALUE and celebrate our differences!

As a woman, how do we value ourselves?  How do we value others?  How do those of us in leadership positions or positions of power/privilege use our voices to reflect the value of women as a whole and help younger women recognize their value?  How do we hold space for different lifestyles and viewpoints? We watched Pat Michell’s TEDTalk on being a DANGEROUS WOMAN for inspiration.

Pat Mitchell: Dangerous times call for Dangerous Women

Here’s what we heard from you:

All the best mentors made it feel safe to be me ⬝ Speak up, speak out, and stand up for one another ⬝ You remember a person by how they made you feel ⬝ Everyone should be given the equal opportunity, the equal offer, and they can decide to say no or yes ⬝ Leadership is another term for power, and leadership is the ability to turn over the talking stick and provide opportunities to other people ⬝ Own your difference to change the conversation in your favor ⬝ Because I’m a woman, I have to think twice about what I’m doing, and I have to edit myself all the time ⬝ We don’t have to go at it alone.

TRIVIA TIME Q: Compared to straight men, how much more likely do lesbian and bisexual women feel like they can’t talk to colleagues about their lives outside of work?
A: Around four (4) times more likely.

CONFRONT with confidence

Implicit (unconscious) bias is “a bias or prejudice that is present but not consciously held or recognized” …in other words a bias we hold that we are not necessarily aware of that may affect our outlook, behaviors, or decisions.

We surround ourselves with people that we most feel comfortable with; the people who help make a place feel like home and that we can rely on when in need of advice. Often this will consist of people who look, think, and act like us…this is NOT an indication of unconscious bias but more a biological inevitability that we are innately drawn to the familiar. It just means you like who and what you like and that there is nothing wrong with this. These are preferences but not biases. 

How to know when something goes from a preference to an unconscious bias? The truth is you might not even realize the difference. A preference is the act of selecting someone/something over another. A preference can BECOME a bias when the act of preferring becomes an inhibitor to impartial judgment resulting in a prejudice and NOT a preference.

Here are some common (but not all) types of biases that women face in the workplace:

What can you do?

  • Speak up for someone in the moment
  • Ask a probing question
  • Stick to the facts
  • Explain how bias is in play
  • Advocate for policy or process change

Here’s what we heard from you:

They were undermining me before I even got a chance to speak ⬝ Being able to speak up is super brave, but educating people and making people aware it’s an issue is the first step ⬝ Don’t wait for the moment to happen again – this is your moment to make sure it doesn’t happen again ⬝ I can’t count how many times I’ve been told women can’t be engineers, women can’t have work and family ⬝ It’s recognizing the bias within yourself, recognizing it and then dismantling it ⬝ Consider the ramifications of your comments or actions and figure out what you can do to correct them. Don’t end at saying sorry

Ask yourself:

“My one action to address my own bias is….”
“My one action to address bias against women in the workplace is…”

TRIVIA TIME Q: According to Harvard University’s Implicit Association Test, what % of people more readily associate men with “career” and women with “family”?
A: 76%

EMPOWER yourself and others

Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. When you empower others, you are giving them the tools they need to succeed. When you empower yourself, you are taking steps for a healthy mind/body and to be successful in your career. However, are you giving and getting all the best advice?

We watched Susan Colantuono’s TEDTalk on CAREER ADVICE and this video forced us to question how we empower women and men differently, and how our typical mentoring practices for women do not provide them with all the tools they need to succeed. There is a missing 33% of business acumen that is not taught in typical mentoring. Women learn how to be confident, or the “human factor” in business, which can only bring us so far. In order for women to reach higher levels of management, we need to learn and understand the financial side of the business.

Susan Colantuono: The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get

Here’s what we heard from you:

Don’t be afraid of failure, we all learn from our failures ⬝ My dad taught my brother how to handle money, but he didn’t teach me ⬝ Don’t wait for someone to mentor you. Ask for it ⬝ Don’t forget to give yourself a break; we all need to keep work-life balance in check and support (or EMPOWER) ourselves and those around us to keep that balance ⬝ Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the worst that happens is that someone says “no” or doesn’t give you the advice or mentorship that you were seeking; so seek it elsewhere ⬝ Set a roadmap for yourself to hold yourself accountable – empowering yourself ⬝ Lean on each other.  We are a community.  The more we advance as individuals, the more we advance as a collective

What we are going to do to #BreakTheBias:

  • Stand up for younger colleagues so they receive the credit they deserve
  • Amplify others voice
  • Create awareness in myself
  • Seek out the thoughts and opinions of those that are quiet rather than always listening to the loudest in the room
  • Lead by example and ensure my actions match my words
  • Look at talk time, making sure everyone has a chance to speak
TRIVIA TIME Q: For every 100 men promoted to manager, how many Black women are promoted?
A: Only 58 Black women.

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