Today marks International Women’s Day and IBEX is proud to take this opportunity to showcase its incredible female team members. The theme of IWD is’ breaking the bias’ so we decided to speak to some of the employees here at IBEX and what breaking the bias means to them…
Maxine Henry – HR Manager
This year the theme for IWD is breaking the bias. But what does that mean for me? 11 years ago, I was the Head of HR, I walked into a meeting, and someone chirped up ‘oh great the totty has arrived, I’ll have a coffee’. 8 years ago I was managing a large scale redundancy programme with over 250 job losses, during a final consultation meeting where I told someone they were losing their job, I asked if there were any questions. The trade union rep asked me if I was wearing a bra. I was outraged in both situations.
For me breaking the bias means calling out unacceptable behaviour and norms when you see it. Not just by the person on the receiving end (because that is hard to do) but if you witness it too. As leaders, regardless of how you identify, it is our responsibility to set the tone, role model positive behaviour and be prepared to have tough conversations about biases (even with ourselves).
I’m pleased to say that times have changed. I now work at a progressive company where not only is that type of behaviour not accepted but also I believe it would be called out if it happens, not that I’ve witnessed it. I now feel accepted at work for my capability, not my coffee-making skills.
Thank you to the women who have gone before me for breaking the biases and to the men who have supported, encouraged, and enabled the bias to be broken.
Marija Vella – AI Research Scientist
For me, breaking the bias means that everyone is treated the same. If two persons have the same qualifications or equally valuable opinions, why aren’t they equally valued? In the past few years, significant progress has been made in terms of reducing biases against women but unfortunately, statistics show that there is much more to be done.
I am grateful that I work at a progressive company where my opinions and ideas are valued and my capabilities are appreciated. This is certainly a mindset that every workplace should adopt!
Chloe Briggs – Applications Engineer
I guess I’ve always ‘broken the bias’ without ever really considering it. I played football and rugby at school and practiced karate for many years – all typically male-dominated. I went on to study physics at university with only about 10% of my class being girls.
Whilst I have experienced sexism it’s never been enough to stop me, if anything it has spurred me on to prove people wrong. Thankfully I now work for a fantastic company where I have always been treated like an equal. I owe a lot to the women who came before me that have made it possible for me to be where I am today. I hope we will eventually see a world completely free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
Lisa March – Quality & Office Manager
‘Breaking the bias’… stereotyping women of a certain age, who are reaching the menopause and are past their best…
I am that women ‘of a certain age’ and often get asked should you really be doing that, because I am very active, in fact, I’ve started kickboxing! I am studying for a Masters degree and I have a decent social life. My response is.. age is just a number, you can do and achieve anything at whatever age. It’s about making that change and breaking down the stereotypes.
Women, let’s celebrate the beauty of our individuality and continue to break the bias!
Dr. Emma Metcalfe-Smith – Senior Applications Scientist
Dr. Emma Metcalfe-Smith (IBEX’s Senior Applications Scientist), wrote up a longer, more in-depth article on International Women’s Day, the meaning of breaking the bias, and what it’s like to work at IBEX, read it by clicking below: