When we talk about “gender bias,” we generally assume we’re talking about a bias against women. Not so fast. The issue is less about men and women and more about a preference for the masculine style. This affects men as well.
I say both women and men must “change” – using masculine and feminine strengths as required at work. If women can succeed only by developing their masculine skills, we’ll just bring more of the same to the top. We won’t have diversity. If women have to do all the “changing,” they risk losing themselves, operating without authenticity and exhausting themselves.
I had two opportunities to experience unconscious gender bias this week. A bike mechanic and a chimneysweep each looked through me (the paying customer) to a male companion. This bias I call “presumed vs. earned credibility.”