Why we must all end gender bias now #BreakTheBias

PUTTRU’s message to business leaders

The 8th of March is an important day for women all over the world. And, we will even go further to say, the corporate world itself.

While it may seem to be focused on women and women’s rights, it is an opportunity for us in this sector to bring to the front burner persisting societal norms that are hindering our progressive goals as a community.

The theme #BreakTheBias is important today and grows in urgency every day. From climate change to energy poverty, Africa and the world at large will need to harness the full capacity of its males and females -their minds, intelligence and resourcefulness –   in tackling our most pressing developmental issues. In order to do this, we must break the bias. And it starts by acknowledging that the job of dismantling social constructions that broadly ascribes attributes on the basis of gender, and not on a demonstration of an individual’s own capacity or quality, will indeed require all hands-on deck. And, yes, as business leaders your role in this is fundamental.

More than a day for global advocacy on gender related issues, it is a day for collective reflection.

…this is a position we have taken- to avoid broadly ascribing attributes to a person on the basis of their gender.

#BreakTheBias – Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’. According to the UN Women, today is being set aside to recognize girls’ and women’s contributions to solving the climate challenge.

It is true that disaster affects the most vulnerable, and this tends to be women and children. However, they have not just been recipients. We have indeed seen women and girls contribute to bringing about solutions. Either through their voices, by speaking up against unsustainable development practices, or their sweat, by working in various fields to advance environmental consciousness, women have been playing a pivotal role in bringing about a sustainable tomorrow.  

More than being recognized for these, women want to be able to do the jobs they are passionate about without having to fight through hurdles and barricades that are there simply because she is female.

Business leaders need to be #BeBold to #BreakTheBias

While there is some progress on addressing gender inequality, there is still much to be done. For example, women may be gaining more access to technical roles, however many exit at stages where, ideally, they ought to be in leadership positions. Women in technical jobs might be fewer, but the few of them who do manage to enter these jobs are advancing at a slow rate than their male counterparts. For every 100 men promoted to managerial levels in technical jobs there are only 52 women, according to Mckinsey. In non-technical jobs the statistics on women’s promotion is far better.

#BeBold to #BreakTheBias

Faced with this, women in technical roles are choosing to leave, says the same Mckinsey findings.

Gender diversity is good business ethics and data shows that it improves the bottom line. For business leaders, gender diversity in both technical and non-technical roles should be seen as a tool to meet your company’s business goals. But this will not happen without a concerted effort to make this shift in your organization.

At PUTTRU, this is a position we have taken- to avoid broadly ascribing attributes to a person on the basis of their gender. But to gauge a person’s capabilities based on the demonstration of that individual’s own capacity, quality and potentials.

Will you #BeBold to #BreakTheBias?


Monica Maduekwe

Monica is PUTTRU's founder. See our About page for more.