International Women’s Day: #BreakTheBias

This year, the theme of #BreakTheBias specifically focuses on encouraging us to have more conversations about bias, discrimination, and stereotypes that women are affected by, whilst taking action to challenge and stop them.

International Women’s Day is on the 8th of March, and this year, the campaign's theme is #BreakTheBias. 

International Women’s Day has been celebrated for more than 100 years,  encouraging us all to stop and celebrate the social, political, economic, and cultural achievements of women, whilst also making us think about how we can further promote women’s equality, both individually and as a global collective.

This year, the theme of #BreakTheBias specifically focuses on encouraging us to have more conversations about bias, discrimination, and stereotypes that women are affected by, whilst taking action to challenge and stop them.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at why International Women’s Day is so important, how we can actively #BreakTheBias in the workplace and create a more equal workspace and world, for all.

Why Is International Women’s Day So Important?

Not only is International Women’s Day an important marker that helps us celebrate the achievements of women around the world, but it’s incredibly important because it focuses on accelerating women’s equality.

Before we take a look at how we can positively make a change, it is important to take a look at why we need to make a change in the first place.

Here are just a few statistics that prove why we need International Women’s Day and why we truly need to be making an active effort to campaign for equal rights for women.

  • 9/10 people are found of being biased against women.
  • There is a gender pay gap against women that means they technically work for free for 2 months every year, in the UK.
  • Women’s healthcare is worse than men’s - in particular, the UK has the largest female health gap among G20 countries.
  • Women are 2x as likely to be a victim of abuse, and 3x as likely to be a victim of stalking.

  • 42% of women have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace.

It’s clearly extremely important for us to collectively work towards equality for women - let’s take a look at how we can #BreakTheBias in the workplace…

How Can You #BreakTheBias In The Workplace?

Here are some useful ways that you can #BreakTheBias in your workplace and promote women’s equality amongst your team members.

  1. Have And Stand By A Clear Policy On Discrimination

One of the most important things you need to do, and you hopefully already have, is a clear policy on discrimination in the workplace, including gender discrimination. 

If you haven’t got one, create one now! If you do already have one, make sure you share it around the company so everyone is aware of the policy and the disciplinary action that will occur if they cross it, and stand by it.

  1. Pay Women Equally, and Be Transparent About It

If you are a company that truly supports equality for women, you should be paying them equally. Make sure your business doesn’t have a gender pay gap, otherwise, you are part of the problem.

If you are not in the position to decide who gets paid what, but you’re aware of a gender pay gap in your workplace, speak up. You have a right to talk to your employer about the women in your workplace being paid the same, and hopefully, you can encourage real change.

  1. Call Out Discrimination In The Workplace

All team members have a duty to call out any discrimination or bias that they experience in the workplace. However, if you’re in HR or a leadership position, your duty to call out these actions is even greater.

Whether you see discrimination happening to someone else, or you are on the receiving end, you need to speak up and put in place real, disciplinary action against this person, whilst supporting the victim of the act.

  1. Actively Support Women Into Leadership Roles

There’s not only a huge gender pay gap, but there’s a big difference between the number of men and the number of women in leadership positions. So, it’s time that we actively support women into leadership roles!

If you notice that the leadership roles in your business are all filled by men, it might be time to take a step back, and look at supporting, training, or hiring women to fill more of these roles.

  1. Provide Training and Workshops For Your Team

Whether you send your team a web training from the International Women’s Day website, you personally speak to your team about discrimination in the workplace, or you organise training and workshops for your team, making sure that your team has both the knowledge and the commitment to support women’s equality is essential.

Together, Let’s Stand Up and #BreakTheBias! 

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