International Women's Day Mitel 2022

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and marks a call to action for accelerating gender equity. While the day was officially recognized by the UN in 1975, women marched for better working conditions, better pay, and voting rights as early as 1908. Although the movement started over 100 years ago, the women of today still advocate for gender equality, especially in the workplace. This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, a message emphasizing how society needs to actively commit to combating the bias that makes it so difficult to forge a more inclusive world.

We asked women leaders at Mitel to share their thoughts and experiences on topics including workplace bias, the importance of continued advocacy for women’s equality in the workplace, and how team members and companies can improve the working experience for women. Joining the conversation were Dr. Sally Eaves, Professor in Advanced Technologies and award-winning international keynote speaker, and Shelly Kramer, Founding Partner and Lead Analyst at Futurum Research.

Check out the highlights below.

Talking about bias is vital

Change does not happen on its own and many women in the Mitel community have experienced bias in their own lives and in the lives of their peers. With the pandemic impacting women disproportionately, it’s important to fight to keep the historical progress made as we enter a new world of work. Juggling home and work life was a hurdle for women long before COVID-19, and companies must advocate for and listen to their female workforce all the time, not only during times of crisis or uncertainty. Awareness of bias is the first step to combating it and the best way to support the women’s equality movement is to provide them avenues to have their voices heard.


Allying with and valuing women in work

Since tech is a male-dominated industry, it is vital for men to take steps to support women in the workplace and become advocates and allies themselves. Women pursued their own rights and equality for a long time, but the fastest way to implement change is for men to actively uplift and listen to their female peers. Turnover for women in the tech industry is significant and it may stem from a lack of job support or growth opportunities. How can businesses combat this? By valuing their people through action. The best way for businesses to show how much they value their female workers is to elevate women to leadership positions, respect their contributions, and provide them the chance to develop professionally.


Advice for women, from women

Working women understand better than anyone the struggle of entering the tech industry and overcoming negative feelings from gender bias. Discouragement is hard to deal with and women routinely find ways to cope with bias in not only their work life, but everyday interactions. “Imposter syndrome” is a very real phenomenon and feelings of unfounded inadequacy for young women entering male-dominated workforces are common. What can women do to shake off those feelings? Believe in themselves and the value they bring. Do not be afraid to ask for help but recognize strengths and have faith in talents.


How to #BreaktheBias

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone in the world has them but are oftentimes unaware. This leads to the acceptance of offensive behavior because without awareness it seems like “the norm.” Being aware of the judgements made about one another based on traits like gender, race, or age, and actively preventing those implicit thoughts from affecting how we interact with and value each other is the best way to combat bias. Training programs, implicit bias tests, active listening, and holding one another accountable are all steps that anyone can take to strive toward a more equal and accepting society and workplace.


Whether bias is unconscious or deliberate, it does make things difficult for women in the workplace. Feeling undervalued and unheard will naturally lead to low job fulfillment and businesses must work to ensure women never feel like they are fighting an uphill battle to be successful and wanted. No one can #BreakTheBias without calling out and acting against gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. We at Mitel are so appreciative of the strong, intelligent women in our network and are proud to be connected to them and hear their stories.

To read the chat and all of the fantastic insights in their entirety, visit our Twitter page and follow the hashtag #MitelChats. If you would like to a better understanding of your own implicit biases, check out Harvard’s Implicit Association Test. Awareness is the first step to #BreakTheBias, and we encourage all employees to take part in celebration of IWD 2022!

Avery Huffman

Avery Huffman

Social Media and Content Specialist

Avery Huffman is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Public Relations and Corporate Communication. She enjoys writing and telling meaningful stories and creating interesting internal and external content.

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