At My HR Hub, we feel it’s important to shine a light on ‘female leaders’ and for International Women’s Day 2022, we want to do this. This year’s theme is ‘break the bias’ and we feel this is an important topic to cover as we know how hard women work to do their best despite bias and challenges they may face.
International Women’s Day is celebrated throughout the world to celebrate and show appreciation for the amazing women who contribute to make our society better, through extremely challenging times, just getting through life day to day and the determination and strength women have.
This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias – we can all together “Break the bias” and celebrate women’s strengths and achievements.
“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” We took some time to get some thoughts from the women we work with about how important breaking bias really is.
Embracing the theme of breaking bias – we asked the women we support to reflect on the challenges they have faced in their careers and what they have done to overcome them and get to a place where they are able to thrive! Here’s what they said…
Samantha, Managing Director at the Live Well Practice
“Despite girls’ exam results at GCSE being higher than boys in 2021 (yet again) our world is still biased towards men. I feel until women are educated and allowed to cease being the project managers at home, they will not feel free to excel. When I had my children, nearly 30 years ago attitudes were very much different to now, but there is still a long way to go in making parenting an equal responsibility. That said, my family is still the most important thing in my life.
Is the world really becoming more divisive? Social media is trying hard to make it so, as far as I can tell. What happened to listening to another’s point of view? Live and let live? Then we look back at how far we have come – watching “It’s a Sin” brought this home to me, how much more open we are about sexuality. Much of our bias is unconscious, which means that to overcome it, we need to consciously address it. ‘I don’t care about someone’s race’ is not enough.
Q: A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Any thoughts on this?
Whilst there are still the mega rich having so many privileges and influence on our politicians, I can’t see this happening. I do feel change is afoot as people are starting to see through the corruption. You only have to look at the people on your local high street to see that society has changed.
Q: A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Any thoughts on this?
What is “normal”, we all have our talents and when we are allowed to play to our strengths, that is when a society thrives. We are not robots and pretending to be what we are not can be bad for our mental health.
We have to support other women and we have to call out situations where sexism occurs however difficult that may be.”
Sara, Managing Director at Influence
“For me, equality is the strongest driver – there should be no bias towards any individual and our differences should be celebrated.
Our gender identities, the colour of our skin, sexual orientation or religion is irrelevant. In the workplace and in everyday life, it is about talent, drive, passion, kindness, honesty, integrity – these are the important factors in today’s world.
Men and women can learn and support each other – not hold each other back.
Like anything, it is education and communication that will bring women’s equality and while we shouldn’t have to campaign for what is fair and right, this is what is needed to bring change.
Women are thriving more than ever in the workplace which is down to hard work and skill. The problem – or bias – comes when they are held back.
I am ever the optimist and when I speak to my daughter, differences are what make people interesting to her, that’s where I would like us all to get to.”
Danielle, Managing Director at Cherry Professional
“That is the type of world I would love to wake up in. Don’t get me wrong, we have made massive strides in my lifetime but there is still more we can do. Awareness and education – questioning and challenging views and making a real difference – starting at home with our children and families…. then in schools, universities, places of work, in our businesses and social settings.
We can all make a positive impact to seeing change, by empowering and influencing those around us to question things.”
Georgie, HR and Administration Manager at Archer Hotel Capital
“There are so many things that make it difficult for women to move ahead and #breakthebias it is hard to know where to start. Some industries and workplaces have further to go than others. I am very fortunate to work in an environment that encourages inclusivity and diversity, and we have a senior leadership team that champions equality, but I know that is not the same for everyone.
I believe that government should be setting the bar for organisations everywhere, but they are drastically behind the times. 2021 revealed more about the deep misogynistic culture that is within the UK police force and within politics globally, during their elected term 82% of women parliamentarians reported having experienced some form of psychological violence.
To truly #breakthebias I think we need to see more being done at the highest level as I think it’s the only way to create lasting change.”
Nicky, HR Manager
“Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We are the strongest when we cheer each other on”
Janine, Luxury B&B Business Owner
“Have the strength to change the things you can, the courage to accept the things you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference”
Shelley, The Fitness Cabin – Business Owner
“Everything is achievable in life for women above all self-belief, it’s in us all, dig deep”
“Don’t stay long in your comfort zone you stop growing”
Karen, Founder of the Weleda Wellbeing Advisor Network
“Working within your wellness is the key to sustainable success and success is wellness first and then wealth. We deserve it for ourselves and to lead for the young women to follow”
Rebecca Bull, MD for My HR Hub
“Imagine as a woman where you are working towards creating a wonderful life and overnight it gets taken from you.
I feel there is so much to say on the unjust and horrific attacks on Ukraine. We see women, we see grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts all fleeing a life, a home, a school, a workplace and their family and friends – a safe place, that promised a future. My heart goes out to each and every one of them, dig deep, then dig deeper, our thoughts are with you and your tears are ours tears.
Strong women are not born, they are made by the storms that they go through, we all just wished this was not a storm you needed to see. We pray for all the people of Ukraine, especially, we pray for all the women and hold you in our hearts.
Imagine a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. I think right now, we can only imagine this…”.
Marianne, MD of The Willoughby Book Club
“Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world that is equitable and fair, and where differences are celebrated? However, it is hard to not feel somewhat jaded this year, what with several high-profile crimes committed against women making headlines in the last 12 months.
This goes to show that we need International Women’s Day now more than ever and to continue shining a light into dark corners and fighting for a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all.
We are all collectively at our strongest when everyone is able to realise their true potential and passions, and not be artificially held back by bias or bigotry.”
Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to this story, we are so proud to work with so many wonderful female business leaders and hear their insights on International Women’s Day and it’s theme of ‘breaking the bias’.
Find out more about International Women’s Day 2022 by clicking here.