Sam’s ‘break the bias’ speech at M&C Saachi
What does “break the bias” mean to me
An ambitious man is attractive by societies standards, while a woman willing to prioritise career ahead of family is not. To avoid becoming less feminine by offending stereotypical norms, we end up moderating our personal ambition because we are expected to make our lives relationally to others and we are generally more comfortable conforming than rebelling.
But what if:
organisations, businesses, decided that the long-term loyalty and collaboration of staff was more important than short term performance? What if talent retention became more influential than dividend cycles? What if the reputational damage of highly competitive practices, eventually exposed as exploitation of consumers, were directly linked to testosterone driven decision making and behaviours? Then wouldn’t companies be driven to rethink the masculine value structure on which they are built? Oh wait!……. Seems we do actually already know all this stuff right? So why are so many organisations still so very male gendered?
The financial services sector is shamefully male dominated and progress to move the equality dial embarrassingly slow. Women’s Wealth exists because only 16% of financial advisers in the UK are women. Shocking!
Our research into why women who are qualified to be advisers were not actually advising clients, taught us those women are not willing to become more like men in order to compete with them for roles– they want to be able to be women and be respected for the qualities they bring to a role. However, characteristics such as relationship building, collaboration, loyalty, manageability, and moderation are not revered by many organisations who continue to measure short term profit, extreme competition and aggressive progress as superior.
I would like to think things are changing, but I have lost patience with financial services and so I have founded Women’s Wealth with the intention of being obviously attractive to women both as advisers and as clients. We value all things feminine, and we love a feminist no matter what gender they are, but it is almost a shame that the only way to break systemic bias is become biased in the other direction.