International Women's Day 2022: #BreakTheBias
Change cannot be achieved in isolation, and when I was asked to host the International Women’s Day event for WILD (Women in Lighting + Design), it became the perfect opportunity to tie in this year’s IWD theme, #BreakTheBias. This global campaign is set to raise awareness around bias, and to encourage action toward women’s equality. Bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, is holding women back in the workplace—with lower pay and positions, lesser opportunities, and inadequate family support. With a focus on building workplaces without barriers so women can thrive, the campaign seeks to elevate the visibility of women creatives, and to continue inspiring women to pursue their goals freely.
I was personally inspired by the stories and shared struggles that were suffered in order to break the glass ceiling and help younger women like me recognize—and stand up for—our value. My biggest takeaway from the event is Accountability. Regardless of gender, race, or culture, we all need to hold ourselves and one another accountable for biased behaviors or perceptions. Unconscious bias lies in our blind spot and without us even realizing, influences how we perceive situations and people and therefore how we behave towards others. A culture of communication needs to exist where biases can be openly discussed. This way we can create an environment based on trust, candidness, and sincerity, so that we feel comfortable bringing our authentic and best selves to work every day.
Women in Lighting + Design, or WILD, is a community of women and allies that provides mentorship, education, and networking opportunities. Growing from a need for community within the lighting industry, WILD began meeting casually in the 1990s. From small beginnings, WILD has developed into an established organization with multiple chapters nationwide and a burgeoning international presence.