The world stepped forward to break the bias - one direction, many paths

 August 09, 2022

Groups and individuals across the world stepped forward with a strong appetite to show their support for raising awareness and taking collective action to help Break The Bias on International Women's Day and beyond.

Breaking the bias has meant building the knowledge to understand and spot gender inequality, then having the courage and means to act upon it and call it out. And for many, breaking the bias has meant forging new pathways, overcoming adversity, achieving success, changing their direction, beating the odds stacked against them, and making new ground. 

#BreakTheBias forged one direction, through many different roads. As the International Women's Day 2022 global call to action, the Break The Bias campaign theme provided a unified means and direction to channel global collective activism for positive change for women and girls. Perhaps the world is a slightly better place due to the collective gains made for women's equality by millions of people worldwide all working to break the bias.

Here we share just some of the many great stories of those who have worked to break the bias, in their own way, in their own sphere of influence.

Do you have a favorite and impactful published story to share?

Wendy Sly: “Breaking the bias has happened before my eyes”

Olympic 3000m silver medallist, Wendy Sly says:"I guess I’ve lived through a period where breaking the bias has happened before my eyes. I feel that women competing in athletics are finally the shining stars and it is so deserved. They train as hard as the men, they sacrifice as much as the men and they deserve the same appreciation for their dedication and achievements. When I started running, I got called all sorts of names because it was strange at that time for young girls to be out on the streets running in a vest and shorts. Now, we all go to the supermarket or shopping in athletic gear, and no one bats an eyelid! The whole image of women taking part in physical activity has changed. It’s been a transformational period and I feel like I have seen so much of it. I truly believe we are constantly breaking the bias in track and field."

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Administrator to academic encourages women to break the bias and succeed

Hlengiwe Carol Mazibuko epitomises what the results of hard work and dedication can result in. She was schooled in Ladysmith in the Uthukela District of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, despite a lack of resources and opportunity, and worked relentlessly to establish herself as an academic at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Her determination, tenacity and persistence to achieve set her on a pathway to success against all the odds. " I personally wanted to contribute to educating and developing leaders, so I could leave my country stronger and better...I want to encourage women to break the bias that one can only succeed if we come from advantaged backgrounds. Sacrifice and hard work will yield the results you can personally be most proud of."

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We can break the bias

 A bias can be an unconscious, unfair and often an unreasoned preference or judgment towards a specific segment of people that might be skewed due to a past experience, personal upbringing and cultural conditioning. Scientists have identified up to 150 different biases...

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#Break the Bias: Giving girls a voice and fair representation in politics and the working world

Rushi Millns (FRSA), director of careers and outreach at Heathfield believes it’s time to amplify girls’ voices and break the bias. Girls make up 51% of the population, yet the presence of women in leadership positions across government and the private sector requires vast improvement. "Since women gained limited suffrage in 1918, the majority of policy and law has been written by men and reflects their bias. So how can we even the playing field and ensure fair representation in politics and the working world? We need to encourage girls to voice their opinions in current affairs and politics in a party political agnostic way, break the bias and find their voice...Breaking the bias is about recognising preconceptions that are hidden in our minds, so we can bring them to the fore and question them in order to break that bias ourselves."

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Break the bias against women

We are all responsible for breaking the biases against women in our homes, communities, workplaces and schools. Here are some ways you can be part of the solution.

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It’s time to ‘break the bias’ and close the gender pay gap at work

Caroline Waters, Deputy Chair of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission explains that employers reporting their gender pay gaps, plays a central role in breaking the bias in workplaces across the UK. "Increasingly, employers are understanding the importance of demonstrating what they’re going to do about pay gaps. It shows accountability and helps them to identify and remove barriers to women’s progression at work...Inequalities at work may not be eradicated entirely by reducing the gender pay gap, but it’s a practical and significant place for employers to start."

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A global focus on working to break the bias 

And across the world there are masses of articles, videos, artworks and social media posts - all calling for a focus on helping to #BreakTheBias. Here are some #BreakTheBias articles to take a look at.   

Enough is enough! Break the bias against women!

International Women’s Day: How 7 Team Canada Olympians ‘Break The Bias

How to 'break the bias' in medical research

More needs to be done to break the bias in engineering and manufacturing

Break the Bias around malnutrition

Women who #BreakTheBias: Stacy-Maria Trier forges a path in energy

4 ways to break the bias for mid-career women

'No, I'm not the captain's wife': Breaking the bias at sea

#BreakTheBias: Glaring under-representation of women in cybersecurity

Break the bias and create a more diverse and inclusive cybersecurity workforce

Female Founders Struggle To Break The Bias Despite Record Exits

‘Break the Bias’ targets harmful male and female stereotypes

5 Reasons to Break The Bias around women in tech for IWD

Drumming up support to break the bias

Share your #BreakTheBias recipe, as Marilyn Blattner-Hoyle dishes up hers

Let's #BreakTheBias and hear from today's female leaders across the UK

What does #BreakTheBias mean to our industry’s women?

How women can Break the Bias

Breaking the bias – The role of allies - and many more #BreakTheBias articles



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