LINKAGE Q1 (2022) - BREAK THE BIAS
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day has asked us to Break The Bias by speaking out on gender bias, discrimination, and stereotypes in our world. There is no doubt that these issues have presented major hurdles for women to progress and succeed in their careers and across all aspects of society.
The time has come for us to take decisive action to not only level the playing field but to ensure that we are making it easier for the girls and women who are coming up behind us to succeed. This is a job for everyone. So, breaking the bias isn’t just about levelling blame to right past wrongs but finding solutions that will help create a more diverse and equitable world for both women and men.
That’s why our Women’s Leadership Conference is such a vital platform to empower women because we understand that women’s rights are everyone’s responsibility – hence why the Conference every year invites both women and men into the conversation. I am grateful to each of our speakers for their courage and strength to share their personal stories of success and failure with our audience, especially our Feature Speaker, U.S. Justice G. Helen Whitener of the Washington Supreme Court who reminded us that in order to embrace and protect vulnerable groups from exclusion, we all have a responsibility to each other to be truly inclusive at all times.
So how can we break the bias and create a more gender-equal world to empower women and girls? We can create this world by checking our biases. Every day we walk around with various stereotypes and prejudices that influence our beliefs and judgment of our world
Eliminating bias means educating ourselves about our biases because many times, these are unconscious biases that both men and women have about gender. Therefore, we must constantly reflect on these negative ideas, stereotypes and prejudices so that we can strive to change and practice mindfulness when making decisions. When we make the conscious effort to do this, we are creating a world full of better ideas, more innovation, and greater inclusivity among our peers. We are also encouraging more women to share their perspectives especially when they feel acknowledged and safe so that better decisions can be made to achieve better results.
Currently, half of the total companies listed on the T&T Stock Exchange have less than 25% female directors sitting on their boards. If this statistic is to be used as an indicator, it shows that a lot of work still needs to be done before we can boast about gender equity in the workplace. The problem has always been getting more women into the workplace and making sure there is a pathway for them to advance their careers.
Looking at the way we advertise jobs and avoiding gender bias in job descriptions is one way we can empower women to get them in the workplace. Job descriptions should encourage gender-neutral job titles or language, show our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, evaluate the requirements of the job by only listing the skills needed, allow opportunities for training and mentorship, and state the salary for the position being advertised.
The gender pay gap is still a big issue for women working in many industries even in 2022. We must ask ourselves how can we change this? We know that pay equity is essential for organisations because it is a sound reflection of their leadership on issues related to fairness and inclusivity in the workplace. Once pay equity is achieved, employers usually see better team morale, higher employee engagement, and overall job satisfaction. We can break the bias on the gender pay gap by making salaries transparent, promoting training to encourage easier advancement and opportunities for all employees, expanding paid family and medical leave, increasing access to child care, implementing fair scheduling practices, and of course, checking our implicit biases around the hiring and promoting processes.
There is a lot more we must do to break the bias that limits women and girls from reaching their full potential in life. While the solutions listed above are the starting blocks to creating change, breaking the bias on these obstacles requires everyone to become involved by addressing our own implicit or unconscious bias to affect real and sustainable change around these issues. Therefore, it’s an everyday, on-going deliberate act we must observe to right the wrongs we unconsciously perpetuate and promote that lead to division and inequality. I hope we see more men and women committed to breaking the bias and advocating for gender equity both in the present and the future so that achieving equality for women doesn't remain "the last unfinished business of the 21st century".
In this issue of Linkage, we will be addressing some of these issues and identifying how we can break the bias so that we are not just empowering women but encouraging men to become the agents of change that will help us to achieve gender equity in our world. I hope you enjoy this issue.
62 Maraval Road,
Newtown, Port of Spain
T: (868) 622-0340, 622-4466,
F: (868) 628-9428
Email AMCHAM T&T
P.O. Bag 150, Newtown,
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago.
HSE Excellence Awards
National Youth Productivity Forum
Copyright © AMCHAM T&T