Breaking the bias in IT
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements but it’s also an important call to action to challenge biases and accelerate gender parity. Giving everyone a voice and a seat at the table is an essential part of sustainable social and economic development and it creates room for diversity of thought which leads to greater innovation. In other words, gender equality means progress for all. I’m proud to work at a technology company that provides opportunities to all and that has women in key roles across the business. Our wider diversity and inclusion strategy aims to foster a diverse, fair, and inclusive culture to build pipelines of talent that focus on capability.
But I know we, like many in the tech industry, still have a long way to go to achieve full gender parity. Progress is possible but it requires perspectives and participation from everyone to break the bias – the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. I asked some of my co-workers explore what #BreakTheBias meant to them.
Flannery Devine Gibbons, category lead – Cloud: “It’s about moving forward from antiquated notions that career paths and industries should be determined by gender. People are often inspired to do something when they see others like them do it which is why visibility and representation are key. I was fortunate that my mum worked in IT and inspired me to explore the tech industry, and I’m so glad I did as it has led me to an exciting career path.”
Mark Murphy, head of Technical Operations and Physical Security “#BreakTheBias involves slowing down the decision-making process to make sure that I can challenge my own thinking, dig into my initial responses, determine if there is bias influencing me and correct my actions. Even those individuals that embrace diversity and enjoy leaning about different cultures may still be ingrained with unconscious bias stemming from their social upbringings. In many cases, this type of bias can be more challenging to break based on its hidden and seemingly harmless nature. I believe that the first step is to accept that we all have some degree of bias as this will allow us to correctly challenge our thinking to ensure that it does not impact our actions.”
Julie Marsh, head of UK Coworker Services
Achieving dreams is hard work but that ceiling should be non-existent. I would advise all women to truly believe in themselves and their dreams. Having faith in your abilities, your drive, and your determination to succeed will go a long way to empower the next generation of resilient female professionals who recognise that the views of others shouldn’t, and won’t, impact what they want to do in life.
Mobeena Iqbal-Ahmad, marketing manager
#BreakTheBias goes beyond gender and women are leading the charge towards a more inclusive workplace across the board. To me, seeing a diverse world, where difference is valued and accepted and decisions are free of stereotypes and discrimination, is what it truly requires for the bias to be broken.
Penny Williams is vice president of UK Sales at CDW
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