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March EmPOWERment Hub: International Women’s Day 2022 – Break the Bias

March 1, 2022

Post Author: Carissa Browning, Board Member, Women+Power

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. As noted in the materials available here, whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Action is needed.

Alex Borstein’s Emmy acceptance speech for her role as the feisty Susie Myers in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a wonderful call to action:

I want to dedicate this to the strength of women. To my mother. To my grandmother. They are immigrants. They are Holocaust survivors. My grandmother turned to a guard – she was in line to be shot into a pit – and she said, “What happens if I step out of line?” And he said, “I don’t have the heart to shoot you but somebody will.” And she stepped out of line, and for that I am here, and for that my children are here. So step out of line, ladies. Step out of line!

Groupthink doesn’t just harm those marginalized by race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability. It harms all of us. If you are a working mother finding it difficult to connect with your team by 7:00 a.m. while also getting your kids off to school in time, chances are the working father struggles as well. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s systematic take down on laws that discriminated on the basis of gender began with the United States tax code which denied Charles Mortiz, a never married man, the right to deduct expenses for the care of his ailing mother. In Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld she argued the Social Security Act unfairly discriminated on the basis of gender since benefits based on the earnings of a deceased wife were not available to a widowed husband. When we step out of line, break the bias, flip the script and demand better for ourselves, we also do so for others. Bias harms all of us. So don’t be afraid to have that difficult conversation or to have a different perspective. Empower yourself and those around you by stepping outside of groupthink. It’s time to speak up.

#breakingthebias #stepoutoflineladies #flipthescript