The focus this year is #BreaktheBias and I am sure you will hear and read many times through the course of today what this means and how different people and organisations are thinking about it.
I’m going to keep my message simple.
What worries me is the lack of progress.
And when I say progress, I mean action that makes a difference.
I see and hear progress in the strength of women’s voices, whether that be in the political or corporate context. But my question is who is paying attention to these voices and these messages? Is it other women who are already big supporters of “breaking the bias” or are leaders in the tops of organisations and politics starting to really hear and respond?
Taking action to make a tangible difference to ‘breaking the bias’ is critical. Working across many organisations I see so much ‘activity’ and ‘action’ taking place. But yet, we still feel and see such a substantial lack of progress.
Perhaps the best leadership question right now is – To break the bias that exists in our organisations and cultures – Are we doing the right things, not are we doing things right? What action will really make the difference we need?
This leadership challenge remains a fundamentally adaptive one. It is not about having a checklist of tasks and activities to show action, it’s about really shifting the dial.
As a woman who has had to navigate through the tops of organisations myself and works with women every day doing the same, my ask of leaders is this….
Question what you believe when it comes to bias against women. Don’t take action based on your own assumptions, take action based on what really matters to those that are impacted;
Have conversations with women and really listen to hear what matters to them;
Take those insights and do a few things well that will make a real difference
Celebrate your progress on 8th March 2023.
Whether it’s actually possible to #BreakThe Bias is a whole other question but progress over perfection is always my mantra. And progress towards this will take a consistent, persistent and collective effort focussed on what really matters to make a real difference.