Celebrating International Women’s Day: Break the Bias
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
This year’s IWD theme is “Break the Bias.”
“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias,” said the IWD website. “
In honor of International Women’s Day, members of the University College’s DEI Committee shared what Break the Bias means to them in the higher education space and beyond, and shared their pictures striking the #BreaktheBias pose.
Breaking the bias in the education space means fully recognizing women diverse talents, not solely the stereotyped talents in which women are labeled. While many women are relationship builders they are also decision makers, data nerds, task-oriented, have strong voices, and get things done. I would like to see the bias broken that women at top levels can lead successfully, and differently than the bias of who can lead organizations at the highest levels. I think that breaking the bias that women can show anger and frustration as freely as men do, and accepted, is a bias to be broken, as well.
Ellen Winiarczyk, EdD Academic Director and Assistant Teaching Professor Nonprofit Leadership
It is critical to break bias in the education space. Our classrooms provide an opportunity to break down barriers and educate others on value of diverse perspectives. Women around the world are depending on educators to help create open spaces to have meaningful dialogue about their experiences, challenges, and struggles. If we can’t talk about these things, meaningful change will not come of it. In my own work, it is so critical to not only support women in the classroom and the workplace, but to also provide mentorship opportunities to create access to leadership positions and skill development. So many women do not feel like they deserve opportunities or they are not “good enough” to apply for that amazing job. It’s no secret that women typically take on multiple roles outside of the workplace and the classroom they are mothers, caretakers, run the household operations, and so much more. Why aren’t we talking about this incredible feat? We have to lift women up, and it is well overdue.
Allison O’Grady, MA Director of Teaching and Learning