Gender and Sexism - an Inclusion Breakfast session
In October, Alfa’s Inclusion Community ran a Global Breakfast event, this time focusing on gender bias and sexism. We chose to focus on gender bias in the workplace as it is very relevant within the tech industry, where we have seen high-profile stories making their way into headlines.
Gender bias occurs due to outdated, traditional views about the abilities and characteristics associated with gender, and can manifest itself in many forms. In the workplace, the social and financial implications are the most noticeable. By inviting open discussion on the topic, we aim to push Alfa towards being an industry leader for gender equality.
During the session we had a look at some statistics within society, the tech industry and Alfa – did you know, for example, that on current trends the global gender pay gap will not be closed for another 217 years! We also had a chat with a member of the board who kindly shared her experience with gender bias throughout her career, and her take on what we can do to set an example for the industry.
The second half of the session consisted of an interactive exercise in groups, organising scenario cards describing a potential workplace scenario that an employee may face into categories. This exercise encouraged conversation about scenarios that we may have experienced or witnessed and what factors might contribute to the bias that creates these situations, which led nicely onto our group discussion.
As usual, the group discussions were a large part of the session, where we posed three questions:
- What challenges exist for achieving gender equality in the tech industry?
- Do these challenges apply at Alfa? What do we do well at Alfa?
- What can we do to drive towards being a company that is gender equal
These questions were chosen so that everyone would have had a chance to explore statistics and examples of the situations that could arise around the workplace, making us aware of how we can all help prevent gender bias in our day-to-day. It also gave us a chance to reflect on what we do well at Alfa and inspire thought on what more we can do to contribute towards gender parity, especially in the tech industry.