What bias have you experienced in your working career?
Bias thoughts or behaviours are not always obvious. You can be exposed to some sort of attitude in your daily life without noticing. I only started to question this ‘uncomfortable’ feeling once I knew more about what ‘bias’ meant. I think I have experienced affinity bias and/or confirmation bias in my working career in a positive and negative way and I only understood what it was once I knew more about diversity and inclusion topics.
How did you handle bias when it happened to you?
I think the first thing you should consider is that a bias thought is never about you. The way people treat you is their responsibility. It is important not to be offended by it. My defence mechanism is to never take it personally because they would reflect the same bias thoughts and behaviours in another form to somebody else.
What have others done to support your career?
I have had a lot of support in my career and met with brilliant people who had a full understanding of what it means to be exposed to bias — and it is more common than we think. I am grateful for all the support I have received along the way, especially from some of my female colleagues through mentorships. I learnt a lot from my colleagues’ insight and experience because they had experienced similar biased behaviours before me and they knew how to overcome them. In my working life I am also trying to be open to colleagues who need a little support and encouragement.
What advice would you give to a female colleague joining Knauf Insulation today?
Construction is still a male dominated sector, but if you take the decision to join Knauf Insulation you will find a multicultural organisation that acts as one family with plenty of people ready to help. You will meet successful, strong female colleagues who are great role models and always happy to help. And always remember, together we can break the bias.
What needs to be done to support women and tackle bias in the workplace?
We need to examine — and train ourselves — to understand the lens we use to see others to raise awareness of bias. To close the gender gap and see more women in higher management positions we need to keep supporting our female colleagues and give them the same opportunity and chances as to our male colleagues. Everybody deserves a fair, healthy working environment where they can flourish.
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