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Discussion on: Ten Tips for How YOU Can Make Your Workplace Friendlier for Women

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Edoardo Tenani

Thank you for this post! Really spot on! Will definitely be added to reference list.

Something I found of profound effect has been training on "unconscious biases". There are videos available online and really showcase how we are culturally wired to behave in a certain way, indipendently from gender. It was a eye opening moment for me and I started being more conscious about when some of those mechanism kick in. Still is very difficult and something we should talk about more.

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Anna J McDougall Author

Absolutely! My background is in classical music where, for orchestras at least, "blind" auditions are the norm. In other words, the musician plays behind a screen. At first there was a lot of outrage because naturally, the artists/musicians watching auditions didn't believe they held any biases. It's great that they felt that way, but regardless, the number of women and minorities on orchestras shot through the roof once blind auditions were introduced. A lot of the time, these things are happening subconsciously. That makes sense, because they are pervasive parts of our culture: there's no shame in admitting that we have ingrained biases, but it's on us to work to try to overcome them as best we can. As with any problematic personality trait, we have to work to become better. E.g. In my early 20s I would interrupt people a lot in conversation: not knowingly, I was just excited to contribute, but in the process I would talk over people. I never intended to make others feel unheard, but that's what it did. I had to work at holding back a bit more, letting people finish, not pre-empting them, etc. There are plenty of similar traits we all have to work on, and ingrained bias is one of them!