Pearson Partners HR Roundtable
#UsToo: Bridging the Global Gender Gap
Despite decades of diversity training inside organizations of all types and sizes, it’s clear that more still needs to be done to ensure true equality in the workplace. The recent #MeToo movement started millions of conversations and shed light on the unpleasant reality that a gender gap still exists in many workplaces and that it has a real impact on business success and employees’ lives.
In our June 2018 Pearson Partners HR Roundtable—a bimonthly series for senior-level corporate human resources executives in the North Texas area—Debjani Biswas, author, speaker, executive coach and “exclusion exterminator,” addressed the topic of gender inequality by sharing insight from her mini-book, #UsToo: Bridging the Global Gender Gap.
As an NAPW Woman of the Year and the 2017 GDAACC Journalism award winner for diversity beyond boundaries, Biswas applies her background in engineering, diversity and strategy to ask, “What is the business impact of inclusion at work?” An internationally bestselling and No. 1 Amazon author, she is chief executive officer of Coachieve, LLC, which specializes in gender, culture, generation and style diversity, as well as executive coaching.
The “#UsToo” book is part of Biswas’s “Power” series, which also includes “Unleash the Power of Diversity (2013)” and “Miserably Successful No More (2017).” It teases the upcoming third installment in the series, “Gender: The Ultimate Power Paradox (2019).” #UsToo explores global gender bias; the values, beliefs and stereotypes behind it; and how honorable women and men can change broken work systems and take individual steps to bridge the global gender gap.
In her HR Roundtable presentation, Biswas presented a series of exercises in which she walked the audience through a process of uncovering unconscious gender bias and asked participants to examine where theirs might have originated.
“When we examine our inherent gender and cultural biases—and we all have them—we can often peel back the layers to discover the origin of these biases,” said Biswas. “This self-awareness is the first step to removing these barriers to progress.”
She next explained the logic behind her #UsToo initiative.
“The #MeToo movement has uncovered broken power systems,” said Biswas. “#UsToo seeks to bridge these gaps, leveraging the partnership of both men and women to shatter tired stereotypes and work together towards business success.”
Biswas also shared with the group a practical tool she has developed for HR and functional leaders: “A Diversity Foray
—Ask Accept Adapt Appreciate,” to help with self-awareness, emotional intelligence and action planning. She left the group with a thought-provoking challenge: “What is one action you can take to reduce biases using #UsToo at work and at home?”
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