Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

We stand with Ukraine

A perfect statement from Gaping Void.

Women’s History Month

Anne says: This Tuesday (8 March) was International Women’s Day (IWD) with the theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” You may have noticed the hashtag across social media #breakthebias. To select just a single article that represents gender equality is an overwhelming task, so, there’s a few resources that stood out for me.

The Bias Cut from MIT Sloan is a collection of articles started in 2020. It represents a women’s leadership series that profiles the career paths and creative problem-solving of MIT Sloan alumnae. Interestingly, the description from MIT recognises that “no matter the industry or professional milestone, all of them faced some type of gender bias, harassment, and opposition to their management styles.”

And from a local business women’s group, Inspiring Rare Birds, a recording from their International Women’s Day event that featured a panel of inspiring women who openly shared their personal and professional experiences. To watch the recording, you’ll need to register.

However, March is more than IWD, it’s also Women’s History Month. And to represent this, we will share initiatives or articles throughout this month. This week, I was visiting the largest hospital in Catalunya, Vall d’Hebron, and I noticed this mural. Of course, it must be part of Women’s History Month, but the story behind the mural and the initiatives at the hospital was inspiring. The hospital says:

“The purpose of the mural is to humanize the environment of the Vall d’Hebron Campus, through art, and to give visibility to nine women who, from Ancient Greece to the present day, have advanced the health sciences.”

Despite that only 30% of scientific researchers in the world are women, Vall d’Hebron has an impressive Women in Science program supporting 72% of professionals being women, with 60% of the main researchers and 50% of the group leaders are women. I’m glad I took the time to find out more and admire the mural.

We hope the stories of these initiatives resonate or provide inspiration for your own programs. If you’d like to be featured and share your story, please get in touch.

Read: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/topics/bias-cut

Watch: https://www.bigmarker.com/inspiring-rare-birds1/International-Women-s-Day-Building-Back-Fairer-b7e6de418e932991ec56e925

Read: https://www.vhio.net/es/vall-dhebron-estrena-un-mural-dedicado-a-las-mujeres-cientificas/ (This page is in Spanish, use your browser to translate into English).

Bias be gone! Can our unconscious prejudices be overcome?

Jakkii says: As Anne has outlined above, March is Women’s History Month, and this past Tuesday was International Women’s Day with the hashtag #breakthebias. Breaking biases and increasing gender equality (including non-binary and trans) requires more than just words or 10-point-action-plans for organisations and teams. It also requires us to question ourselves, find and recognise our biases, and then challenge them. Constantly. It takes work, by individuals as well as teams, organisations and societies as a whole.

This article is, in fact, a book review, but all the same, it seems fitting for the week, as it looks at unconscious biases and whether we can actually overcome them. The author, Nick Haslam, is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, and the book in question is The End of Bias by Jessica Nordell. In dissecting the book, Haslam discusses the many (many!) biases we have, saying:

Bias comes in more flavours than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Well known biases of gender, race, age, class, weight, and media barely scratch the surface.

Psychologists catalogue numerous biases of hindsight and foresight, attention and memory, reasoning and intuition, as well as a litany of mental illusions, fallacies, neglects, gaps and aversions. There is even the bias blindspot – our mistaken belief we are less biased than others – and the “bias bias”: the tendency to use the concept of bias too freely.

The book, and therefore the review, goes on to discuss impacts of unaddressed unconscious biases, such as in medical care where unaddressed bias may lead doctors to disbelieve or minimise patients’ complaints, for example. In the workplace, unaddressed biases may cause inequities in hiring, firing and promotions. From there, it discusses the view posited by Nordell in The End of Bias that bias is not merely an individual problem, nor simply a social one. They are “mutually reinforcing”, and thus both require work to address and resolve.

Haslam then moves on to discuss the limitations of The End of Bias, including that the book, while having an international focus, seems overly coloured by its US roots and (presumably) intended US audience. In the end, though, Haslam finds the book to be of educational value, and in the context of #breakthebias now seems as good a time as any to pick up a copy of any book that explores how we can work to end bias – gender-based, of course, but of all types as well.

Read: https://theconversation.com/bias-be-gone-can-our-unconscious-prejudices-be-overcome-175636

Friday Five

Five links you might find interesting this week:


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