In the five years since Megan Rafuse and I started Shift, something has played out almost every time we'd be in a meeting with another man.
Whether it was about a business loan, a partnership or buying software, we'd often be in a 2:1 dynamic where there'd be two men and then Megan.
In these meetings, I was called on to speak first. Megan second. In these meetings, my points were validated. Megan's weren't. In these meetings, my questions were taken seriously. Megan's weren't.
And after these meetings, I was called when there was a decision that needed to be made. Megan wasn't.
Honestly, at first, I didn't take much notice. Being in a position of privilege means that I didn't have to notice. Even when Meg would point it out to me, I would reply with, "Really? I don't think so..."
Bias doesn't just happen in big ways. It exists in extremely small, nuanced ways. With Megan's patience and persistence, I began to see the pattern (even though I should have seen it already). Then I REALLY started to see it.
Of course, it wasn't just meetings. It was in everything. I thought since we were working in wellness, a predominately women-led industry, we'd be more immune than other industries. I was wrong.
Today is International Women's Day. The theme is #breakthebias which almost, I bet, sounds surprising to some men reading this. "We're in 2022 and there's still bias?"
Hell YES there is!
And while today highlights gender inequality, we can't reasonably talk about one without its intersection with racial inequality. There's no shortage of horrifying stats about missing women, unreported abuse, access to healthcare, work and wage inequality, and so much more.
So, here's the thing.
Bias fuels all of this. Bias gives means we turn a blind eye in our everyday lives. And at a systemic level, unchallenged bias fuels far greater injustices than the bias itself.
So let's take a stand not just on #InternationalWomensDay but every day to do better — one small action at a time.
No spam. Just tips and tricks to have a better week every Monday.