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​IWD: #BreakTheBias with Mark Thomas

  • Publish Date: Posted 7 months ago
  • Author:by Mark Thomas

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 Mark Thomas, partner and director at Eames Consulting in the UK.

1. Within your market / industry sector, what progress have you seen businesses take to progress gender equality?

In technology there have been some brilliant initiatives around ‘woman in tech’ and I have seen a lot more women getting into key roles, especially at a senior level. But there is still a lot more to do. We need to be getting more young girls to see technology as a career when they are at school, getting them genuinely interested in tech, computing, and the like. The problem will not be solved completely by purely promoting the women that are already in the space, it needs a drastic increase in those entering the industry. 

2. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?

For me, the best ‘quick win’ companies can do to ensure their candidate attraction strategy is diverse is to implement a blind CV process. Take off names, gender specifics, education, etc. Select candidates based purely on their merits rather than being swayed by their name, gender etc. It’s easy to do and will make a drastic difference quickly. 

3. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women and why?

I think this is massive. Lots of women have the responsibility in their family for children. Picking them up and dropping them off at school, nursery etc. can massively hinder the type of job they are able to do when it's essential they commute to an office. The ability for them and their partners to now work from home and share that responsibility while also being able to pick up and then continue working is a game-changer and should be recognised as a key way to encourage more women into roles knowing that their home life and responsibilities away from work won't be a factor. 

4. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements, who inspires you? 

I am lucky enough to have worked with some amazing women in my role at Eames, both as clients and candidates, way too many to name all of them. Rebecca Bunyan, CIO (Chief Information Officer) at Lloyds of London is probably the standout for me. I recorded a podcast with her last year, and she is really leading the way in insurance technology leadership. But the most inspiring is my wife, seeing how she works, looks after our daughter, and puts up with me is pretty impressive!