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March 8, 2022

Break The Bias On International Women's Day

Jordan Axani

A little girl standing in power stance against a brink wall with the words "For Women" painted in white on it.

#breakthebias

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. ⁠

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