How to break the bias and support women at work

BCW’s Sabrina Browne offers tips for developing a credible, authentic internal equity strategy.

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, when organizations will voice their support for women through strategic partnerships and initiatives. This year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, is based on the belief that together we can create a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

While some organizational efforts are well-intentioned, many have argued that corporations pander to women instead of addressing the real issues impacting women nationwide. Some reporters have even taken to social media to ask PR professionals not to pitch them during the annual occasion, reinforcing that their outlets cover women year-round and challenging organizations to do more to #BreakTheBias.

To drive success, an organization should develop a strategy that allows you to reach internal audiences across all touchpoints and demonstrate how your organization is cultivating an equitable workplace.

Consider these tactics for #IWD2022 and beyond:

1. #BreakTheBias authentically.

Conduct an internal assessment to see where your organization’s current policies measure against industry leaders and competitors. This will help you benchmark where you are to date and set realistic goals to align your organization for success in the future.

Moreover, it allows you to gather firsthand insight from employees to ensure your assessment captures the authenticity of your workplace.

2. Assess your organizational credibility.

After your internal policy assessment, the next step is to gather data on the current number of women in leadership positions within your organization, especially those at the mid-senior level.

This is a critical step to demonstrate your ability to advance women at all levels in the workplace, ensuring you do not only employ women in junior positions and disregard their advancement.

3. Solidify your message.

Social activism is the most successful when organizations genuinely believe in the issues they are advocating for – and when the issue that is being highlighted aligns with the organization’s overall identity.

Your #BreakTheBias messaging will fall flat if you don’t complete the above measures and your employees are unable to make an immediate connection to your company’s programming or initiatives.

4. Create employee resource groups.

Women make up 60-80% of the PR workforce nationwide. Yet there is a leadership gap where women occupy just 1 in 5 senior positions. This is where employee resource groups (ERGs) can help  your employees build relationships, strengthen community and gain visibility with leaders across the organization.

ERGs can also help in the ideation and execution for IWD programming and other key moments such as Equal Pay Day.

These steps are critical for all organizations, especially those who do not have women in their C-Suite or have minimal female representation on their board of directors.

At BCW, I’m honored to work at an organization where women leaders are proudly represented from our C-Suite to entry-level employees, ensuring women have a voice at every level in our organization.

Together, we can #BreakTheBias and accelerate women’s equality at work, home and communities around the globe.

Sabrina Browne is vice president, corporate affairs at BCW.

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