I want you to close your eyes and imagine a world free from bias. A world without stereotypes or discrimination, where everyone is valued equally and our thoughts, ideas and diversity are celebrated. What does that world look like to you? How does it make you feel? Pretty amazing, right? While that world may seem very far away at the moment, this year, International Women’s Day is challenging all of us to take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions and to choose to work together in our communities and in our organization to Break the Bias.
The first step in doing the hard work of bias breaking is admitting that you have biases. I can admit that I have them, we all do. That does not make us terrible people – much like the devices that carry our products, our brains are hardwired to process information in a fast and efficient manner in order to sort through the avalanche of data we are inundated with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, biases—those unconscious drivers that influence our judgment and decision-making—are based on outdated and unhelpful information we have collected throughout our lives either through past experiences or perceptions and it is time for us to collectively update our operating systems and restart.
As an organization, KIOXIA America is working to help break the bias in our workplaces and spaces through its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. In addition to the Creating a Culture of Inclusion training all of our employees joined in November, the company has brought awareness to and celebration of important cultural and historical events by providing commemoration emails to allow us all to have deeper conversations and greater appreciation for our colleagues, vendors and customers. Additionally, KIOXIA America continues to support our women’s affinity group, Flash LeadHERs, who strives to empower, enrich and educate our KIOXIA America women.
As a group, the Flash LeadHERs are working on initiatives that support IWD’s Break the Bias campaign, including a 2022 IWD Fund through Bright Funds. KIOXIA employees can donate to six female-focused charities whose missions will help drive education, empowerment and support of women around the world. LeadHERs has provided employees with a Break the Bias shirt and we encourage all to wear the shirt today in support of International Women’s Day.
Individually, you can try to step out of the everyday patterns that may perpetuate single-minded thinking and work on heightening your awareness of how your perceptions of people might be shaped by your unconscious biases. Try to replace that old, outdated information stored in your brain with new inputs by focusing on the positive characteristics and actions of people who are outside your everyday circles. Lastly, actively call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping when you see it, whether that be at work or in your community. Are you willing to put in work and stand in solidarity with LeadHERs and the women in your life? Show your support by striking the IWD Break the Bias pose, posting to your social media and tagging @KIOXIAAmerica.
Lastly, be kind and take care of yourself. We are more likely to rely on those unconscious drivers stored in our brain when we are mentally or physically exhausted or highly stressed, because we are less effective at processing new information. I do not know about you, but if there is one thing this pandemic has done, it’s made me exhausted and stressed! While we can all hope that we are nearing the end of this pandemic, I also hope that we can all work together to examine and improve our behavior and together we can Break the Bias.
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The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of KIOXIA America, Inc.