International Women’s Day 2022: Break the Bias
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (March 8) is Break the Bias. International Women’s Day has been held every year since 1911, where it was supported by over a million people across Europe. It is now a truly global event, with women and advocates across the world joining together to advocate for women’s rights, gender equality, and equal representation.
Women occupy positions throughout our company here at 5ire. From our co-founder, CBO, and tech visionary Vilma Mattila, to our department head of Human Resources; from quality assurance specialists on our tech team to Twitter aficionados in our marketing department, we are proud to have a strong representation of women’s voices and talents in our growing company.
But representation isn’t all that matters when we look to promote women’s equality. Bias, both conscious and unconscious, spoken and unsaid, impact our actions and experience.
Gender bias can make a significant difference for women in the workplace. Perhaps it’s an assumption that a woman doesn’t have deep technical skills, or perhaps it’s the feeling that contributions from someone with a soft voice are less meaningful than those from someone who speaks loudly. Workplace gender bias can show up in passing over a candidate for a position, or in giving less-than-helpful feedback on performance reviews. It can result in going behind a coworkers’ back to resolve an issue instead of speaking to her directly. All of these actions and more degrade women’s equality in the workplace.
The bad news? We all hold biases. The good news? The trick isn’t to suppress them, but to call them out into the open. As our CBO, Vilma Mattila says, “When someone looks at me they have formed biases about a blond, 20-something woman. I come across it every day. But I continue to operate and dispel those biases with my work, my contributions, and my attitude. It is very important that we highlight gender biases, both of those around us and our own.”
Ideally, we build systems in our workplace that allow us to recognize and address bias as it happens. Perhaps we create shared language around gender biases so that when someone sees a gender bias being played out, she can call it out without fear of being misunderstood. Or we could design our performance reviews to weigh job performance on quality as well as quantity (oops — see my bias there?) with specific points for feedback that all coworkers are reviewed upon.
Can we build systems in other areas that address gender bias? 5ire points a way forward here. 5ire’s sustainable proof of stake (SPoS) addresses stakeholder bias, which favors validators who hold more stakes, by including a random element in its weighing mechanism. This random element disrupts the value held by members in the pool of validators, enough so that underrepresented competitors have a stronger chance of winning the right to validate a block. The amount of stake a validator holds will still count, as will their sustainability, or ESG, scores. These ESG scores, by the way, can also reflect a validator’s commitment to gender equality.
By systematizing methods to catch and address biases, we support the important work of recognizing and calling out gender bias when we see it. Once seen and addressed, together, we can break the bias.
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White paper: https://bit.ly/5ireWP