Break The Bias
International Women’s Day happens every year on March 8th, but did you know that each year the theme and goals change?
This year it is all about #BreaktheBias, looking at how women have already done that and also how we can do more to continue challenging stereotypes, raising awareness against bias and taking action to help reach equality.
If you’re not sure about what bias means, here is a short overview – “the inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.”
So this year the focus is all about how we can help make the world a fairer place for us and for the next generation; free of the prejudice that many people and especially women can face.
There are many different types of bias but the one that all women have likely encountered is gender bias and it is something that women face daily, it can be in smaller and more ingrained ways but also in larger, more suddenly affecting ways. It can come in the form of comments when you are at work about how you look that day, or how you have chosen to dress but it can also come in the way of being spoken over in a meeting about your subject or project that you are presenting.
But more importantly it can start when you are a child and don’t exactly know what the comments mean but they affect you going through life, such as "you’re loud, for a girl" or "you’re bossy" – so you become quieter and speak up less and they reinforce the stereotypes that girls should be quiet.
Today isn’t just about raising the awareness about bias though it is also about women who have broken through these biases and have reached not only the top of their field whether that be in sport or business but also the women who have broken through in other ways such as starting small businesses and being told no every step of the way or going back to school after they had to leave for whatever reason.
The hope is that by raising the issue of bias against women and the stereotypes that it then reinforces about women, is that we can break the bias in a meaningful way that would mean that especially for the future generations there is less bias in places like school and work and so that they can have equal opportunities going through life, at every point.
International Women’s Day is about how we can do all these things and more, as women whilst also knowing that for some of us we can help others to reach their goals because of our privilege and because of our circumstance. It is about uplifting all women, no matter where they came from or where they are now.