Trending / March 18, 2022

IWD 2022 Recap: How GigaWomen #BreakTheBias Year-Round

With another International Women’s Day (IWD) past and Women’s History Month coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting a great deal on the work we still have cut out for us to truly achieve gender equality. Much of this effort lies in the hands of our allies, as these are the voices of support we need to evoke lasting change. On this note, I’m grateful to be a part of a global team that isn’t afraid to roll up its proverbial sleeves and get to work on issues that affect not just our organization but our broader communities.

It’s always been fascinating to me, being in a female-dominated profession (HR) in an industry that is historically so male-dominated (technology). As HR professionals, we are trained to be very aware of what is around us and what is “acceptable” and “normal,” not just for our own growth but also to support and enable the business.

Since I started my career in tech over 15 years ago, I have seen a real shift in how we look to recognize bias and how we dismantle it. As an HR business partner, I have been the only woman in the room countless times. The men that supported and advocated for me have had a huge impact on my career. With more male supporters, we can really drive major change and continue to break the bias, which was the focal point of this year’s IWD theme.  

To honor the progress we’ve made to become a more inclusive organization over the years, we asked our OneGigamon team to share their thoughts around breaking the bias.

Here’s what they shared.

Larissa Crandall, VP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances

The need to #BreakTheBias in 2022 must be a unified effort. We need to work together with the people in our communities, regardless of gender, to provide support and mentorship around inclusion and why it matters — only then can we drive lasting change.

Sarah Slothower, DEI Specialist

International Women’s Day, to me, is a day to honor and celebrate the successes of women and spread awareness that we still have further to go. Because of the work of those who came before me, I can open my own bank account and vote. These are privileges that past generations of women didn’t have, and in some countries, still don’t. The gender pay gap still exists, as does discrimination in hiring based on assumptions of decision-makers. Now, more than ever, we need to support women’s career development and work to break that glass ceiling and the biases that keep it intact.

#BreakTheBias means first acknowledging our own biases, then learning how to combat them. It is kindly educating friends and colleagues on how they could do better and being open to suggestions yourself.  I am proud to work with strong women and supportive men who acknowledge and celebrate IWD, at a company that is taking steps towards gender equality

Chrisel Ventura, Chief People Officer

I think the best way to break our biases is to get to know people on a personal level and withhold any preconceived notions. If we don’t do that, then we don’t let ourselves get to know them in the first place — bias often stops us from ever engaging.

Nathan Odell, Director, DEI and L&OD

This day’s theme, “Break the Bias,” holds special importance to advocates and allies of women in professional spaces. Growing up surrounded by women who were successful in spite of the systemic biases has emboldened my resolve to remove those barriers for others.  It’s not enough to shed our individual assumptions and unpack our own unconscious biases. Men must work with other men to help them see where their biases are driving behaviors and decisions that impact women. Breaking bias happens when we hold both ourselves and others accountable while creating a path forward for personal and societal growth.

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