Break the Bias Perspectives: International Women's Day 2022
At Speakap, we have many strong and intelligent female employees working with us. We are proud of this because we are aware of the gender biases present for women in the workplace, and we want to do our part to help reduce these biases. Female representation in the technology sector continues to be low, which is why it is important for us to draw attention to the topic of International Women’s Day and everything it stands for.To celebrate this year's International Women’s Day, we asked all of our employees to answer four questions related to this year's theme; “Break the Bias”. We documented perspectives of both our male and female employees, thus shedding light on this topic from different genders. This is also important as breaking the bias falls as the responsibility of all genders.
Here are the responses from some of our employees, happy reading!
What makes International Women's Day important?
International Women's Day is important in order to bring awareness to how unfairly women are treated in so many different aspects of our lives. This day is important until it is not important anymore.
Alexander Behrens, Director of Engineering
I think it’s really important to take out sometime and give a shout out to women's contributions and achievements, and to continue encouraging every Woman around us!!
Sukhada Kulkarni, QA Engineer
Women should be treated equally like men throughout their careers and given the same career opportunities as men.
Erwin van der Vlist, Managing Director
It reminds me of how far we’ve come as a society with regards to giving women their equal rights, and why we should continue to celebrate it. We really need to see each other as equal human beings and treat each other with equal respect! Let’s help make this world a better place to live in for everyone.
Jermaine Dilao, Senior Android Engineer
It is important to make aware the unaware one's about the representation of half of world's population and to provide them equal chance for opportunities without any discrimination.
Nagendra Shrivastava, Tech Lead QA
It is a day to reflect on the status of women, a day to realize what we have achieved and what still needs to be done.
Donika Dijkstra, Customer Success Manager
What comes to mind when thinking about the phrase "Break the Bias"?
A bias prevents one from seeing people for how they truly are. Breaking the bias means a completely open approach to someone. Do not look at style, gender, hair, music preferences, movie preferences.
Emile, Customer Success Manager
Let the person's actions and skills speak for themselves, not what box they tick when asked for their gender.
Fred Salaysay, Senior Fullstack Engineer
Create processes to evaluate people based on what they do, not what they look like.
Paulo Linhares, Senior Frontend Engineer
That it is very difficult to do so, because patriarchal structures are so embedded in everyday life. But, as they say, if we don't do it now, then when? And if not us, then who ;)
Sarah Darweesh, Director of Marketing and Growth
What comes to mind is the responsibility we all have to make sure we view everything and everyone neutrally so to give everybody from all walks of life a fair chance.
Eyal, Senior UX Designer
We live in a society that says since our childhood that boys can do basically everything and girls are limited in many aspects, physically and intellectually. In my opinion, Breaking the bias means that we should not create unnecessary and unfair barriers. Everyone is capable of everything, let them find out what is best.
Paulo Vicente, Technical Product Owner
Have you ever experienced or observed gender bias and what did you do about it?
Yes. Especially early in my career, I was often interrupted or ignored during meetings and heard my ideas later accepted when repeated by a male colleague. We happened to have implicit bias training one day and my male colleagues asked if they often interrupted their female colleagues. I gave them specific examples from a meeting that we had that very day and it resulted in a productive conversation about how we would run meetings. That's a nice example of something going well, but not the norm. Unfortunately I've also been told things in previous organizations such as "it's not appropriate for you to stay at a company happy hour this late" (once I was the only woman still there) and that I am both too quiet AND too dominant during meetings (the fine line that we are asked to walk ladies ;) )
Alexandra Henke, Head of Commercial Operations
Yes, my wife was not hired because the person hiring did not think a woman would be able to lead a team.
Remmelt Koenes, Senior iOS Engineer
I'm a backend engineer and in my career of more than 20 years, not even once I had a female co-worker with the same role as mine, so there's a lot of bias in the community, some of them as the result of lack of different references. But in the workplace, if I say that I never observed it, it's because I made myself blind to it. It happens in the small things, in assuming without asking.
Tito Costa, Tech Lead Backend
Working while being a mom and other women asking me all the time during my pregnancy if I was going to work 2 or 3 days after having my daughter. I directly asked them why they didn't ask my husband the same question since taking care of our daughter isn't only my responsibility. I keep on challenging others who have a bias on (me) being a working mom.
Marit Stoop, HR Advisor
Plenty of times. It starts already with using female genitals as a swear word. Most people are not even aware of it, so I just point this out. After people are made aware of it, they usually notice it the next time they use this language.
Neela Gaul, Werkstudent SDR Germany
Unfortunately, I have witnessed this multiple times. I stood up for myself or others. Nevertheless, I wish I could say that I have stood up as often as I have experienced it. It is a constant process of being aware, listening and learning. We can do better as society and individuals.
Sabrina Elbin, Sales Director
I admit I sometimes have predefined stereotypes, like for example if I hear "we are hiring a new developer" I will probably think we are hiring a man. Even though statistically the percentage of male developers is quite higher than female, this gap is being reduced with many women with great programming skills.
Ricardo Adrados, Team Lead
What is your message to help call out discrimination, challenge stereotypes, and break the bias?
Respect each other as you would like to be respected yourself.
Ties Güensberg, Sales Director
Start with yourself. By being aware of the problem and your own (whether it's on purpose or not) actions, you can already make a difference.
Jan Sparnaaij, Business Insights & Automation Manager
Be bold and keep on pushing. Don’t hold back thinking that you will not get there; see how far we've already come (remember the time women couldn’t vote and now we're represented in a lot of governments + leading countries).
Annelies den Boer, COO
Equality can start with words but should not stay as mere words.
Ken Chew, Acquisition Operations Specialist
We all have a voice. We need to use it especially when in a difficult situation.
Brian Amadeo, Sales Director
Adjust your perspective. Try seeing things from another person's point of view. How would you respond if you were in the same position?
Phillip Huiskes, Finance Assistant
Be observant, always serve as an ally when given the opportunity and do not be shy to openly voice your opinions.
Dave Glicklich, Sales Development Representative