Every day, women continue to face biases at work that keep them from reaching their true potential. This International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we spoke to leaders at Andela who are women at the helm of great change at our company. They shared their insights on what #BreakTheBias means to them and what it will take for workplaces to become a more empowering environment for women.
Agnes Muthoni, Director of Talent Partnerships
“We need more brave men and women to speak up about the things that are not working. The more we work towards a common goal, the more we’ll produce the change we want to see.”
Carly Lehner, Head of Revenue Operations and Enablement
“To me, Break The Bias means that in order to reach true equality in the workplace, we need to recognize and address our biases against women. It will take a conscious effort to break the bias, so look around your team and ask yourself how you may be biasing the women you work with. Do you always ask a woman to take notes in a meeting? Or to schedule the follow-up meeting? These are common unconscious biases that we need to break.”
Courtney Machi, VP of Product
“Women often feel like we need to be everything to everyone and as a result, hold ourselves to an impossible standard. Regardless of your role or position: Break The Bias by letting her know she’s doing a great job, that it’s OK to take a break, and by advocating for her any chance you get. At the end of the day, Breaking The Bias through advocacy is everyone’s responsibility. Regardless of your level or position, decide who you want to advocate for and follow through. Chances are she’s having to work harder than you expect to get to what she considers “good enough.”
Jay Hancock, Director of Enterprise Sales
“True change can be made to Break The Bias in the workplace, especially in tech, when we commit to the advancement of women and support career role models within our communities. We can mentor, empower, and be bold performers and explorers in our workplaces. When we support, acknowledge, and uplift each other, this is how we Break The Bias in the workplace.”
Mary Decker, Chief of Staff
“We have to advocate for ourselves and for each other—consistently and without hesitation. Accelerating Breaking The Bias requires clear and repeated articulation of the deeply entrenched structural inequalities and microaggressions that limit us. Every time we are confronted, feel overlooked, or misunderstood, we must step up for ourselves and for one another.”
Victoria Marafetti, Head of Product Design
“We’ve all witnessed how powerful women are. Historically, we have been continually put in a position of disadvantage, where our voices are often not heard or considered. What makes us unique is treated as a weakness. Today, the gender gap is beginning to close and we’re seeing, slowly, a more diverse workforce. We’re just starting to appreciate the legacy of women’s visions in the workplace, especially in tech, and this is just the beginning. It’s just a matter of time until those visions reach their full potential.”
Vitri Bhandari, Chief People Officer
“My vision for this year is that more women will take on senior leadership roles and will feel less pressure to mold themselves into someone else, or to pretend they don’t have to balance a multitude of passions—from family to learning new skills to focusing on personal health and contributing to the well-being of their communities. Women will start to speak up more and more, realizing they have an obligation and responsibility to other women who may not be in the same sort of position to amplify the messages.”
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