“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
Today is a day to celebrate and champion the women in our lives. It’s a day to reflect on the many accomplishments of women worldwide, but it also serves as a call to action: to #BreakTheBias and accelerate the drive for women’s equality. Please read on to learn more about our role in identifying and eliminating bias in the workplace, as well as an important announcement about paid leave for early pregnancy loss.
What is bias?
Bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice towards or against something or someone. We all fall into bias traps, often unconsciously, with attitudes and stereotypes affecting our perceptions, actions and decisions.
Bias isn’t limited to gender: people also face bias due to their race, sexual orientation, disability, or other aspects of their identity.
To understand more about your own biases, you can complete Harvard University’s Implicit Association Test.
What does bias look like?
Bias can present in many different ways, and is often unconscious. As an organisation that is committed to a fair go for everyone, being self-aware and challenging our own implicit assumptions is a critical part of ensuring that we do our part to #BreakTheBias.
Examples of bias in the workplace include:
- Selecting a candidate with no gap in her resume over another with a gap from when she was a full time mother
- A woman being passed up for a job promotion after her marriage, because she ‘might want to start a family soon’
- In a meeting, a client only looks at and speaks to the men on the team
- A male colleague interrupting and answering a question asked of a woman
Strategies to break bias
As a first point of call, we need to challenge ourselves to slow down and make measured decisions, to ensure we’re not displaying our own bias.
If you witness bias, there a number of ways to Call It Out:
- Speak up for someone in the moment. This may be reminding people of your colleague’s talent or asking to hear from someone who was interrupted. Or, when someone says something that’s incorrect, matter-of-factly correct them (either in the moment or in private later)
- Ask a probing question. Ask a question that makes them examine their own thinking e.g. “What makes you say that?”
- Stick to the facts. When you can, shift the conversation towards concrete, neutral information to minimise bias
- Explain how bias is in play. Surface hidden patterns you’ve observed and explain what they mean. A matter-of-fact explanation can be an effective way to combat bias
- Advocate for policy or process change. We can always do more, and better, so if you have an idea which would improve equality in our workplace, please don’t hesitate to share it.
What is TSA doing to #BreaktheBias?
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- Over 40% of our leadership roles are currently held by women. We encourage everyone to continue applying for internal positions that spark interest and provide the next step in your career.
- Flexible working arrangements are here to stay, and we’ll continue to advocate for more of our clients to adopt the benefits of hybrid and 9 day fortnight options.
- We’re constantly reviewing and challenging our own policies to ensure we’re supporting a diverse workplace and we encourage you to Call It Out and let us know directly, via your Team Leader, or through a member of our People Operations Team what further changes you’d like to see.
Introducing paid Early Pregnancy Loss Leave
Today we’re also announcing a change to our Leave Policy, introducing a new category of paid leave designed to support women during one of the most traumatic times of their lives. Up to one in five women will suffer a miscarriage in the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy, and currently there is no specific paid leave entitlement available in Australia to help women recover from this loss. By contrast, women in the Philippines are entitled to access the Maternity Leave Benefit to assist them with their recovery from miscarriage.
Effective 8 March 2022, any woman in our Australian team who experiences pregnancy loss within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy will be entitled to 8 days of paid Early Pregnancy Loss Leave, in addition to two days of paid Compassionate Leave. Personal leave balances may also continue to be accessed to support an appropriate recovery period. For further information about the requirements to access this new leave type, please contact the People Operations team directly.
Thank you to everyone doing their part to #BreakTheBias, and helping us to continuously improve the experience of women at TSA.
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX consultancy and services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.