Gender bias and how YOU can move the conversation forward

On Friday, March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day where we honored and celebrated women around the globe for political, cultural and economic achievements to name a few.  While it’s recognized on this special day, I’m personally reminded daily of the brave, courageous and strong women I’m surrounded by and who I admire who are showing up and pushing the boundaries. 

I participated in Lean In Canada’s workshop on Friday where we discussed women’s bias and what we can do to help educate and change the conversation.  My commitment leaving that evening was to write about it through educating you with how you can help increase the conversation and hopefully influence change.

With that said, I’m hoping I can inspire you to be that brave soul who can be informed and offer new perspective regardless of your role in your place of work.

Gender bias is real and happens more often than you probably think.  It also comes in many forms in the workplace.  While it happens to both men and women, studies have shown women have experienced these biases far greater than men.

From receiving fewer promotions than their male counterparts to being passed up on important projects, to the biggest one that I think many of you will agree on where women are still earning less than men.  According to a study conducted in 2017, Pew Research Center showed that 42% of women in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender.

So, what does gender bias look like in the work place?

Some examples include:

  • Performance bias – A simple review of your organization to see if there’s an imbalance between men and women can speak volumes. 
  • Educate your leadership team that balance across gender helps the bottom line and brings different perspectives and experiences to the business.  Where is there an imbalance?  Is it across the whole company, a certain division?  Also, look at your company’s recruitment strategy to see how you’re attracting and hiring talent into your organization.
  • Wage gap – According to the Women’s Foundation of Canada, women with the same experience, socio-economic and demographic background earn approximately $7,200 less than their male counterparts per year, according to an Ontario Government report.  This was updated as of August 2018.
  • We’ve seen some progress in closing the wage gap with examples from companies like Salesforce.com. In 2018, a $6M gap would soon see to pay men and women equally across the company. But there’s definitely room for more improvement.  Where can you improve and how can you close the gap in your organization?
  • Maternal bias – women often face this when their male counterparts are being promoted to leadership roles or being overlooked for special projects upon returning from maternity leave.
  • There is often an assumption made when women leave the workforce to start a family, they won’t be able to handle the same level of work upon their return. Educating your leadership team that all opportunities that can help stretch and advance their employees should be left up to the employee to choose. Empower your employees to decide whether they can take on a new challenge.

There are many more types of biases that we can add to this list, however, I wanted to leave you with just a few common ones.  While moving the needle can take time, increasing the conversations in our organizations and creating awareness is a start. Educating what gender bias looks like, and how we can #BalanceforBetter, takes action.

You change the conversation by witnessing it when it’s happening and educating your leadership team on gender bias, followed by proposing a solution. It starts with having the conversation, bringing awareness to it and coming up with actionable solutions.

Remember, courage over fear, faith over fear and keep in mind, the smallest of efforts can often make the biggest impact. Don’t ever doubt that your words mean something.

What can you do in your organization to continue the conversation?

I’d love to hear from you and encourage you to use your voice and share your perspective!  Let me know in the comments below.

All my love, ❤

Lisa

Give yourself the gift to BE Present

Photo by Lisa De Nicola

Welcome back!  To a new year, a new start and 365 days ahead of you to DO whatever it is your heart ❤ desires.

Coming back from a relaxed holiday with lots of time for rest, sleep (LOTS of sleep), family time, filling my belly (and soul) with love and yummy treats.  I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  The return to work after the Christmas holidays can sometimes be overwhelming as many of us are often being greeted by an avalanche of work that is just waiting to get done. 

There’s a sense of urgency to get things started, to gain some momentum having been off and business dormant for a few weeks.  To get some traction on projects that might have been set aside to get done or started on in the new year.  Not to mention, re-adjusting back to your weekday work routine of early mornings, preparing for your commute ahead (mentally and emotionally), early nights and let’s not forget your diet.  Gone are the holiday treats and magically you’re back to morning smoothies, soups and salads for lunch, etc.  😉

So how do you ensure a great start to the year without losing yourself in the hustle and bustle of routine? 

BE PRESENT.

Being present allows us to BE in the moment.  It helps us stay connected in the task at hand, the person we’re having a conversation with, or the meeting we’re trying to participate in, etc.  It also allows us to remain grounded and puts us in a relaxed state.  Particularly if you’re one who easily gets anxious by constantly projecting to the future or playing into the distractions that surround us all.  Just like maintaining balance in your day to day has its benefits, being present is equally just as important.  You can easily notice some of the benefits listed above once put into practice.


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Believe me, I recognize the number of distractions we’re surrounded by.  Including those convenient devices we all walk around with 24/7, which can seem impossible to let go of all the time.  But the beauty that detaching and being in the moment in just the smallest of ways can offer us, is priceless.

In a world where we’re constantly planning for our futures or worrying about what happened yesterday, it’s no wonder we can’t appreciate the present moment for what it is!  The truth is, you’ll never have that same moment again if you’re too busy focused on the next thing to do.  What time you have to go to the gym, or that you have that appointment you need to make before you forget, etc. etc. etc.

I try my best to put this into practice every day, whether I’m by myself or with people and while it’s a work in progress, the benefits I can confidently say make a difference.  Not just for me, but the people I’m with as well.

Start with baby steps that can help shift your behavior.

Put your phone away when going to a business meeting or meeting a friend for coffee.  Not on the table face down – AWAY.

Take notice of your breathing and the way you feel whether you’re alone or with people.

If you have a nagging or recurring thought, notice it and let it pass.  Re-focus your attention to what you’re doing.  Writing down your thoughts or journaling before starting your day can help let go of any thoughts you might have and clear your head if you have a busy mind.

If you have someone in your life who is FABULOUS at being present – take notice of them!  Being around others who are equally present can make it easier to learn from and adopt simple practices.

Take notice of your surroundings.  Even if you go to the same coffee shop, ride the same bus or train everyday to work.  Try doing so without music in your ears, reading your book or scrolling through Instagram.  Try just sitting there without having to do something.

Again, baby steps to shift behavior.  It’s about progress, not perfection.  Give yourself the gift of BEING present and take joy in the benefits.

As always, I’d love to hear from you and please don’t be shy to share your thoughts!

What are some ways that help you BE present?

Thank you SO MUCH for starting 2019 with me!  I’m looking forward to the year ahead and what’s to come.  Thank YOU again for allowing me to fill your inbox each week, your time, attention, and energy. 🙏

With so much heart ❤ , 

Lisa xo

There is no work/life balance – there’s just balance

I think every company and every one of us can relate to the idea of work/life balance. Companies promote how important work/life balance is for their organization, and many of us want to understand what this looks like when engaged in a job search and evaluating potential employers.

Everyone seems to have a perspective on how this should look and I’ve been asked this question plenty of times in my career.  But one thing I do believe is we can all relate to trying to strike a balance no matter where you are in your life and what company you work for.

Continue reading “There is no work/life balance – there’s just balance”