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International Women’s Day 2022: What Can Business Leaders Do To Break the Bias?

By Wisconsin School of Business

March 7, 2022

a graphic depicts two women and a man making the break the bias gesture for international women's day

Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. In keeping with this year’s theme, we asked members of the Wisconsin School of Business community what current and future business leaders can do to #BreakTheBias and create a world with greater gender parity. Here’s what they said:

“I believe that much of the gender bias out there against women is based on outdated views of what leadership looks like. More and more research shows that emotional intelligence, empathy, and relationship building are top skills needed by leaders to support the modern day workforce. These are skills that women are often socialized to learn; if business leaders recognized that value and promoted women with those skills, that would help to #BreakTheBias.”

Julie Duffstein, director of student life, undergraduate program

“To break bias, you need to measure it, then acknowledge its size, depth, and association with outcomes businesses care about like productivity and value creation. Like a doctor detecting a tumor, quantifying it, and telling you how it can hurt you.

“I have been recently working on a project looking at how signaling gender and race identity by small business owners impacts their subsequent custom. I want to know as digital platforms let people signal who they are and what their businesses represent, do they generate long-term measurable benefits or attract more bias?”

Yash Babar, assistant professor, operations and information management

“I believe that women must actively contribute to the conversation of ideas and not wait to be asked.  We can show others that our compassion, support, and nurturing are valuable assets to emulate, and not ones to be encouraged to change. We can show that diversity of thought and approach brings new perspectives that enhance the workplace culture and productivity. We want to be ourselves; to be respected and valued as people, role models, and thought leaders.”

Margie Rosenberg, professor, risk and insurance

Julie Duffstein is the director of student life and the undergraduate program office at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Yash Babar is an assistant professor of operations and information management at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Margie Rosenberg is the Assurant Health Professor in Actuarial Science and a professor of risk and insurance at the Wisconsin School of Business.