This International Women's Day, we interviewed some of our team asking them to share their thoughts on how we can #BreakTheBias.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
#BreakTheBias with Abigal Moss, associate director at Eames Consulting in the UK.
1. Which bias would you like to break about women at work in 2022?
This is a big question, as there are so many biases that women encounter. I genuinely would like to see a wider acceptance that women can be in leadership roles and be great mothers. The adaptations that businesses need to make to support this are relatively small, and having more women in leadership roles is proven to make a company more successful in terms of growth, revenues, retention… etc.
I also think that there is a huge bias against menopausal women – for some women, this can be an incredibly painful and difficult time, and there is little support available to better help them. This problem is something that has just been “accepted” - that feminine health just has to be ignored or the symptoms endured – but crucially women going through menopause do not stop being good at their jobs; we make many adaptations to the workplace for our pregnant colleagues, it's time to also look at menopausal care.
2. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern have helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women and why?
During the pandemic, businesses realised that they could operate remotely with minimal impact on productivity. This universal shift made all staff aware of the benefits and challenges that homeworking can bring. I can see that my male peers who are parents have enjoyed the flexibility and being more present in their kids’ school lives. Whereas in 2019, we would have had to book a half-day to see a nativity, it is acceptable to work from home, see the show and make sure that you catch up. When this becomes the norm or the expected scenario for men and women, without an impact on productivity, the outcomes are extremely positive.
3. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?
Have wording along the lines of “we can accommodate and support a flexible working pattern” so that candidates who can’t work traditional hours are more likely to apply. Most importantly, I would have your interview panel as diverse as possible, and if not, be open as to why that is. Equally, don’t make someone feel like “the diversity candidate” make them feel like a candidate.
4. What is your advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?
When you’re looking at what sort of a role you’re hiring for, what skill sets, what the day job is, look at what else is comparable, and look at the next steps for the role too. Also, look at what tech stacks you’re making mandatory – the minute you name a specific tool, a number of candidates, mostly women, will self-exclude – so if you don’t mind what SIEM tool a candidate has used, keep it broad.
5. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements, who inspires you?
Jacinda Arden – the ultimate example of a working mum who hasn’t dropped the ball on her day job. Also, Angela Merkel – I am in awe as to how she has managed her tenure.