This April, I had the opportunity to travel to Moscow as part of an entrepreneurs exchange program sponsored by American Councils for International Education. During my trip, I was invited to host a workplace gender equality workshop at IBM.
We discussed ways to renegotiate and evolve beyond the four most common forms of bias women experience in the workplace:
I shared some specific tactics that women can use to help one another overcome bias and excel. For example, women often feel as if their voices are not heard; men often don’t see this because their ideas are always heard, even if their ideas are not always adopted. To ensure that everyone’s ideas are heard and addressed during meetings, Corielle encouraged the women to interrupt the interrupters by saying, for example, “I’d like to hear the end of what Sarah had to say…”
In our conversation, we talked about the importance of women celebrating their own successes and actively encouraging one another to go for opportunities.
Though the invite to this forum was extended to all employees, as one woman put it, “The men are too intimidated to attend.”
I emphasized that it’s important to involve everyone in promoting gender equality in the workplace. Too often, women speak almost exclusively with other women about this issue. Too often, men speak about it far too little — and rarely with women.
I encouraged the women at IBM to make a point of talking to the men about this.
If you’re a man at IBM, make it a point to ask your women colleagues to share what they discussed during this workshop! All of these women would welcome their male colleagues to join the conversation, share their mentorship, and help elevate more women into leadership roles at IBM.
Thank you, IBM Moscow, for championing gender equality in your workplace and working with me to uplift women business and technology leaders!