Breaking the Bias in the Workplace
Throughout the month of March, PointClickCare employees celebrated Women’s History Month, as well as International Women’s Day, with educational events and workshops focused on equality and inclusiveness.
We also reached out to employees to hear their views and experiences as women working in the corporate world. With the theme of breaking the bias, we asked a series of questions on gender equality, helping other women develop in their careers, and breaking the bias in the workplace. Here’s what they said.
Strength Recognizes Strength
All participants agreed that strengthening the voices of women in the workplace was important and to do that we need to ensure women are being heard. Deborah Branco, Sr. Manager, Account Receivable and Billing, said that this amplification of voices and experiences helps society focus on areas where improvements are still needed. “In the areas where disparity remains, it creates a sense of shared story which hopefully empowers other women to use their voices where inequality of any kind exists.”
For Raisa Morales, Sr. Director of Strategic Initiatives, amplifying other women is important because the more we share our experiences, the more opportunities we create. “There is no better way to motivate, uncover possibilities, show different paths, or even reinforce current paths, than to share our own stories. We need to learn from each other, learn that we can do whatever we set ourselves to do, the journey might not be easy, but it totally doable! And we are not alone!”
Tripti Chana, Director of Architecture-Core, commented on this further by saying that amplifying women’s voices is a way to ensure women are not only heard, but also respected, valued, and recognized, to feel belonging in the workplace. She also said it is important to “ensure quiet voices are not dismissed or taken over. It is important that all experiences are shared. This is important for two reasons: First, to create awareness and education of how gender bias plays a role and affects women adversely at workplaces. Second, to address these biases and create equitable opportunities for women in all aspects from recruiting, compensation, professional development, and career advancement, to rewards and recognition, or simply everyday work culture. Amplifying those voices is not only the ethical thing to do, but it’s also important to ensure talent and/or opportunity is not lost for the organization.”
Breaking the Bias
The theme of International Women’s Day this year was “Break the Bias.” For Tripti, breaking the bias means not accepting any systematic discrimination or gender stereotypes that disproportionally affect women’s success in the workplace. She said, “it also means to increase my own awareness of unconscious biases, be vocal, and support others to recognize and challenge the status quo.”
Raisa told us that while it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability, reframing and owning conversations from your own perspective goes a long way in making male counterparts allies. “When we are all allies and we see and understand each other, bias is limited.”
For Rosy Tiwary, Sr. UX Designer, breaking the bias means “a world where we seek diversity in our own thoughts and actions, celebrate and respect each other’s differences, and extend support to all.”
Christi Lindensmith, Sr. Director, Professional Services, commented that breaking the bias starts with “being aware and then proactively looking for opportunities to lean in and understand others’ perspectives and experiences. Where appropriate, identify blind spots and influence the change in thinking through respective sharing and modelling behaviors that provide equality for women in the workplace.”
Tarrah Ledoux, Director of Marketing Communications said that “breaking the bias means flipping bias on its head and making an intentional celebration of our differences.”
On Our Way to the Top
Our participants mentioned that some of the ways they are already ensuring they break the bias in the workplace is by lifting other women up and helping them to learn the skills necessary to know their worth and advocate for themselves.
Tarrah says that she aims to help women progress in the workplace each day as she fearlessly leads and advocates for her all-female team. “My team is all women, and I make a point to work with them on goal setting and setting themselves up for success through self-advocacy and negotiation. I make sure that I give them opportunities to build visibility and credibility and try to empower them to make decisions and own them, knowing I have their backs. I want them to know their contributions, their worth, and be able to articulate it, and what they deserve because of it.”
Christi told us that one area she is working on is giving constructive feedback in a way that unlocks the potential of her leadership team. “I encourage them to follow their career in their strengths, provide opportunities to share their talent with other teams in the organization, and, most of all, make sure they know they are enough and don’t need to prove their worth by working crazy long hours or taking on too many projects. It’s ok to say NO.” She also added that, where needed, she makes sure to support “their ability to care for their loved ones, which is a common dynamic that women balance in their careers and has been exasperated during the pandemic.”
Rosy and Deborah added that they also focus on developing the talent and progress of women both within PointClickCare and in their communities. Rosy told us, “I mentor and support women at my alumni college and through the coop programs at PointClickCare. I am also informally involved with the Halton region support program for new immigrants, for careers in design and technology, as well as cultural immersion.” Deborah commented that she is “an active mentor to other professionals in and outside of my industry, but I am also an active mentee. This balance between both giving and receiving guidance helps me to continue to grow and learn myself as I try help others do the same.”
Thank you to all our participants. Your perspectives will help us create a gender-equal world for future generations.
March 31, 2022