The 8th of March is International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.

Joblife staff knows first-hand how social stigmas and biases affect our clients in their personal and professional lives.

Joblife works with people living with disability to find work, and we strive to address and debunk myths about people with disability in the workforce. Of course, intersectionality plays a part. As we also have clients who are women, people of colour, and are LGBT+. Making the biases they face entering the workforce much more prevalent.

For women, workplace biases are among the most widespread in gender disparity today.

Performance Bias
Women have to work much harder and hit a higher bar to gain respect for their work performance. Often, we underestimate women’s performance and overestimate men’s performance.

Affinity Bias
We gravitate to people who look, think, and believe in things we do. For example, mentors are drawn to mentees that remind them of themselves. Affinity bias has a particularly negative effect on women and people of colour because white men hold the majority positions of power, which means they’ll tend to gravitate to other white men.

Attribution Bias
Women get less credit for success and more blame for failures, especially in group tasks. Women are held to higher standards, receive less credit, and have less influence which results in a lack of confidence and creates barriers for women in the workplace.

Likeability Bias
We expect women to be nice and accommodating, while we expect men to be assertive. This means we tend to like men who take the lead and be assertive. When a woman demonstrates these traits, we tend to like them less.
On the other hand, if a woman is too nice or agreeable, we consider them incapable and too shy to be leaders. So, it is a fine line women have to walk to be respected and well-liked.

Double discrimination and intersectionality
Gender is not the only bias. We can have biases regarding race, religion, sexuality, and disability. Women of colour are even more underrepresented in leadership positions, behind white men, men of colour, and white women. Double discrimination is also true for women who are LGBT+.

Maternal Bias
This is the strongest form of gender bias. We think working mums are less committed or less interested in their career because she has kids

Joblife staff will be challenging workplace biases, utilising the activities available through the Lean In Toolkits. Then, our executive team are attending International Women’s Day Seminar that celebrates women in leadership and addresses tools and strategies for applying for work.

Joblife strives to continue building our capacity to help clients overcome their barriers to employment. To connect with us, click here.

Resources
From social media and marketing materials, to advocacy tips. You can break the bias by looking at the resources here.
Learn more about the biases mentioned in this article by watching the 50 Ways to Fight Bias video, which you can find here.