In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 and in line with the global theme #breakthebias, the SHE BRILLIANCE “Let’s Beak the Bias” workshop saw more than 50 women connect, communicate, collaborate and contribute to conversations tackling gender biases.
Held at the Marina Bay Sands, the interactive workshop featured panel discussions with guest appearance from Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower.
Moderated by El Kwang, Co-founder of SHE BRILLIANCE, the panel included Kai Chan, Global CEO of ISS Global Forwarding, Osman Faiz, Chief Information & Operating Officer AMTD Digital, and Saugato Banerjee, Managing Director, Asia, at A+E Networks. The discussions imagined a gender-equal society free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, and explores how hidden bias can show up, then learning how to get around it and help others to do the same.
“Seven in 10 women in Singapore today have a job compared to 20 years ago, indicating the progress and resilience of women in Singapore despite challenges,” said Gan. She added that one in three respondents in a workplace gender discrimination survey revealed that their companies communicated their policy against discrimination, and we can help support companies with their anti-discrimination policies with ongoing open dialogue. However, only two in five women in the survey were willing to report on gender discrimination in the workplace if they experience or witness it for fear of repercussions.
Gan says it is important for companies to create safe channels of communication and a psychologically safe environment for teams to work. “If you want to go far, go together.” Osman agreed, saying that it is a lifelong journey to commit to breaking the bias for women.
Saugato added, “My earliest passion for sports was influenced by my mother and everyone was surprised that she was the one that was the sports nut instead of my father. Doesn’t matter what you do, you can always be breaking the bias.”
To establish real psychological safety, trust and to contribute to breaking the bias, Kai said that it is important to be genuine and ready to accept criticism and feedback, being able to take an employee or colleague aside to understand the motivation behind their words and actions. “Don’t go by the agenda, understand what they’re going through, address it immediately and not let it fester.”