#breakthebias: a deeper conversation with the leaders of today

Talking about equality in the 21st century may still seem anachronous to a lot. Yet, there still exists matters that need to be discussed. Since every conscious effort counts as an initiative to achieve a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world this women’s day, we grabbed the opportunity to steer a conversation with a few eminent influential personalities from UK, India and Australia. We discussed their views on Progression with Freedom and were delighted to hear their stories on matters they felt needed to be addressed.

The power to change

Isobell Cowell, Founder of Dear Future Marketer, said, “If I could change one thing, it would be to have more people understand that a bias does exist and that way it would be easier to address and make changes.” One out of many things that she thinks is needed to change is the ability of female leaders to lead and make difficult decisions. Also, removing words like “Sheo” from our vocabulary, she is just a ‘CEO’.”

Obstacles female entrepreneurs face during their business journey?

Amanda Baker, Founder & Creator of 5 Stories, shared, “One obstacle that every female entrepreneur might face at some point in her business journey is…hands down, imposter syndrome. She’s that annoying voice that says things like, ‘You’re not good enough. You haven’t got what it takes. You’re not tough enough.’And she loves to make you compare yourself to others. When she shows up, I politely say this. ‘Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say this to you: I am worthy and I belong here.'”

How is the corporate industry changing its policies to provide equal opportunity and employability for genderqueer people?

Yasemin A Basar, a freelance journalist from Australia, said, “Social attitudes toward LGBTQi+ community and a person’s sexuality continue to be fed by bias. This is especially true for trans people. Concerning genderqueer people, the corporate industry lags even further. There need to be further punitive measures, and educational campaigns as passing laws is not enough. We all should ensure they are implemented, as well.”

What elements need to be addressed regarding gender bias issues and breaking stereotypes in this generation?

Jules Brooke, Founder of Handle Your Own PR, and She’s The Boss (Australia) said, “I think the most important things are to close the pay gap so that women and men are paid equally for the same job. I also think every corporation must have an equal number of men and women on their boards if we are to truly change things.”

What aspects of this year’s theme of International Women’s Day, #breakthebias, still needs to be addressed in breaking stereotypes and gender bias issues even in this generation?

Naaz Joshi, Miss World Diversity 2017, 2018, 2019, Miss Universe Diversity 2020 and Miss Trans Queen India 2018 responded, “If I have to pick one thing that is still there in this generation is the right to equality. No matter how big a celebrity from the trans community I am, people still look at me with raised brows. People in my country don’t want to call me a celebrity because I belong to a marginalised community known for begging, clapping and prostitution, and people want to see me at that place only. I am not a gimmick, so pls don’t use me to show that you are doing it for me or to show the world you care when my very existence is a taboo for society.”

We have come a long way, yet we still have a long way to go. Only through tiny steps like encouraging individuals to encourage the gender-equal environment at home, workplaces, boardrooms, and workplaces can we achieve a gender-equal world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination based on gender. A more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world, where difference is valued and celebrated, because together, we can forge egalitarianism, and collectively, we can all #BreakTheBias.