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 Hannah Turner, senior principal at Eames Consulting in the UK.
1. Which bias would you like to break about women at work in 2022?
Fostering an environment to promote success for women at work that doesn’t mean fostering an environment that pushes for the fall of men. We can all work with one another to build a workplace that attracts a diverse group of people to the table (and more importantly supports, builds, and retains them once they’re there) without having to force anyone else out – it’s about making the table bigger, not taking seats from anyone else sat round it.
2. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?
Within the actuarial market, where I specialise, companies can do more to encourage more girls to take mathematical subjects at school. This can be done through mentorship, running programs/internships, and holding educational talks. This would help achieve a more gender-equal uptake for entry-level roles for future years within the actuarial space.
3. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?
Check the language you’re using – some phrases may resonate strongly with certain groups of people, which can mean attracting applications from one group disproportionately. For instance ‘inspired by’ can elicit a more feminine tone than ‘driven by’. It’s not about making every job description only appeal to women but ensuring you know the effect your language is having and tailoring this to be as inclusive as possible.
4. How can organisations support their employees in raising awareness against bias?
By having supportive and open conversations in the workplace amongst employees. Education is just as important as taking action, if companies encourage conversation around bias in the workplace then it is easier to recognise when groups are being discriminated against.
5. What advice would you give aspiring women in the industry you work in?
Find a mentor/coach who particularly inspires you and demonstrates skills you’re looking to build. It’s important to approach a mentor who has skills and attributes that you want to strengthen, or who can provide you with a different viewpoint to your own.