Recognized annually since the 1900’s, International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women across the globe, while working to accelerate gender parity and create a more equal and inclusive future. This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias, designed to raise awareness of deliberate or unconscious discrimination and stereotyping of women in communities, the workplace, or educational settings.
Over the course of the last century, women have proven that joining forces to combat inequalities can ignite powerful change. The first National Women’s Day (NWD) stemmed from the 15,000 women who were vocal in the need for voting rights, shorter hours, and better pay as they marched through the streets of New York City in 1908. A few years later in 1911, the first International Women’s Day was honored as women continued the hard-fought movement to earn a deserved seat at the table. Although there has been great progress made since then, there is no room for complacency and still a lot of work to be done.
This year, Samsung is highlighting the passionate women breaking barriers and increasing visibility by sparking a conversation to call out gender bias. Members of WISE: Women in Samsung Electronics Employee Resource Group came together to share their perspectives on how society can collectively #BreaktheBias and empower women through education and allyship.
Roxxan Hanson, Sales Operations
“Check your assumptions. Think about what information you use to form your opinions. Everyone has bias, but unchecked bias is a problem. Learn, then work to unlearn or correct for the biases you find in yourself. #BreakTheBias is not an item on our to do list that we cross off at the end of March. Correcting your bias is an action to carry with you the rest of your life to ensure the fair and equal treatment of those you encounter. In order to uplift all women, we cannot only focus on breaking the bias around gender, but around all the identities of women. To #BreakTheBias for women, we must consider the all the biases that women face.”
Monique Carruthers, Mobile Retail
“Gender bias put simply is treating someone differently based on gender. I believe that when we layer on other identities like race, age and sexual orientation, it puts a magnifying glass on whatever biases most people have, and makes it more difficult based on the way the world and the workplace view us.”
Felice Osborne, Finance
“As a strong Black Woman, I have heard all too often the stereotypical ideology regarding an “Angry Black Woman.” Unfortunately, I have decided to keep quiet on more than one occasion to avoid being mislabeled as “angry” or “aggressive.” These stereotypes that mislabel someone who decides to speak up for herself, in ways that others do on a daily basis, damage the ability to capture a truly diverse set of ideas, especially in the workplace, because some are in fear of speaking up.”
Victoria Heguy, Procurement
“Gender bias is prevalent in almost every aspect of life. Our brains are hardwired to categorize things we encounter in order to make sense of the complicated world around us. While people might like to believe that they are not susceptible to these biases and stereotypes, the reality is that everyone engages in them whether they like it or not. This reality, however, does not mean that you are necessarily prejudiced or inclined to discriminate against other people. It simply means that your brain is working in a way that makes associations and generalizations. From my perspective, we need to try seeing things from another person’s point of view. Ask yourself the question: ‘How would you reply if you were at the same position?’ Spend time considering people on a more personal, individual level.”
Kali Pickens, Integrated Marketing
“The first way to break the intersectionality bias is always communication. Have the uncomfortable conversations to really identify the issues at hand and find a way to work towards a solution. If we just ignore the bias, then we’re back at square one. We need to be upfront about the issues so we can work together to solve them. And, secondly, it starts with the individual. Make sure you’re doing your part by believing in your abilities and what you bring to the table. Furthermore, make sure you pave a way for those who might not be brave enough to speak up. Use your strength to help others and provide an example on how you can work together to combat bias.”
As Women’s History Month continues for the duration of March, there is much to celebrate and reflect on in the journey to creating diverse and inclusive communities where everyone can thrive. However, the fight for full equality is part of a larger battle to end discrimination and stereotypes that cannot be tackled by one individual or organization alone. This challenge is a collective, ongoing effort that must be supported through allyship and education as we empower each other to curate meaningful change. Together, we can #BreaktheBias.
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