Business Book Blog | Beat Gender Bias
Beat Gender Bias does ‘what it says on the tin’! It promises and delivers insightful, pragmatic guidance for everyone and especially leaders to play their part in overcoming bias and creating inclusive workplace cultures so people can thrive.
Dr Morley is refreshing in her approach to tackling some of the ‘sacred cows’ around gender bias and backs up her chapter by chapter ‘Bias Busters’ and tools with extensive research and experience. All the while, she manages to do this in a way which is relatable to the reader, acknowledging we all have our own identities, biases and needs which may get in the way of achieving the aspirational state of inclusive workplaces and society. Motivating personal reflection and change is championed in place of fear-based culture change campaigns.
Credit is due for the time spent exploring the 'why' for leadership and culture change and the imperative for inclusion to exist to enable a 'diversity dividend' of value to people and businesses. Dr Morley states a compelling case for stamping out bias to create a competitive commercial advantage. It is reasoned that inclusion unleashes talent potential by letting everyone be their best self so organisations can benefit from collective intelligence.
There is credibility to the premise that typical ways of defining leadership are antiquated and unavoidably founded on gender biased assumptions about what good looks like. The book pulls apart different types of bias so it is easier to recognise and talk about, and compels organisations and leaders to recognise the value of change, then commit and act.
Most importantly, there is a deep dive into the 'how' of change. Imperatives around vision, values, purpose and leadership are explained to enable mindsets and behaviours to shift and create a more gender balanced version of reality. The premise above all is that strategy around people must be about creating a safe space at work where everyone feels cared for and valued. People strategy must be well and truly integrated into the overall business strategy - it is not a 'nice to have'.
Leaders cannot escape the criticality of their role in change when taking on board Dr Morley's guidance. Leaders shape culture and must consistently walk the talk, being visible role models who are deliberate about making emotional connections with people through storytelling and using data to continuously measure, improve and celebrate progress. Consistency supports sustainability.
There are no bones about it, beating bias and achieving inclusion for all is a continuous work in progress but this book leaves you in no doubt that inclusion has never been more important. Even more so when reading in the midst of a global pandemic where unprecedented change and turmoil is something all can empathise with.
Beat Gender Bias provides practical direction and hope, fuelled by the reality that inclusion is better for everyone; humans and business. The world is rapidly changing so we must all change too and this is the handbook to make it happen. Do yourself a favour and order a copy!
Louise Gibson, Blogger
22 May 2020