Unconscious Gender Bias

Digging deeper into current issues of gender equality, we started to think… why do these things happen?

We came across an interesting article based on two co workers, male and female. Male employee Martin R. Schneider accidentally signed all of his emails with his female colleague’s automated signature as they shared the same inbox. Schneider realised what had happened after his female colleague received criticism by her employer stating that she was very slow at doing her tasks and communicating with clients. Schneider took it upon himself to resolve the situation and introduce himself as Martin Schneider to the clients and all the problems had disappeared. The client’s reaction changed and Schneider received positive feedback. Although Schneider stated: ‘’my techniques and advice never changed. The only difference was that I had a man’s name now’’. This made Schneider realise that women were not treated equally compared to men in the workplace. Schneider and his female colleague decided to conduct an experiment for two weeks and they swapped their email accounts. The results were shocking, Schneider had the worst two weeks of his life. Everything he said or suggested was questioned and criticised and he had wasted a lot of time trying to prove himself, whereas, his female colleague had experienced very rewarding two weeks and her work was actually valued because she had used Schneiders signature. Schneider tweeted this story on twitter and it went viral straight away with 7,000 likes and 5,400 shares (Rodionova, 2017).

This article has proven that people consider men more suited for certain positions than  women. We came across many more articles proving the same thing. Then we started to ask ourselves, why do people have these perceptions of male and female roles? Why do people consider men more suited for certain positions than women? Then we realised, maybe these perceptions are not deliberate. Maybe people do not realise that these judgements and perceptions of women not being suited for higher positions are not justified. So then, we decided to research into unconscious gender bias.

Unconscious gender bias has been imprinted in each individual from the day we learned how to speak. Reflecting back to the fairy tales our  parents told us before bed. Reflecting back to the colour scheme of our bedroom. Reflecting back to our parents as role models. All aspects of our childhood had been gender biased. In fairy tales princesses always had to be rescued by princess. Boys’s bedrooms would always have a darker colour scheme than girls. Mothers would always cook and clean while fathers would be working. These gender roles have been passed on though generations. Each generation has become less gender biased, however the problem still exists and affects us nowadays.

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