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Carolyn Lawrence on: Addressing Unconscious Gender Bias

The unconscious gender bias is a trending topic in the gender diversity world—the concept of how we make decisions based on the unconscious learning of being exposed to something without realizing it. The impact of this gender bias has been explored broadly. We’ve discussed how the over-sexualization of women in the media negatively impacts girls’ self esteem and and career potential. Yale recently did a study showing how resumes from male candidates were judged more favourably than an identical version with a female name. My personal favourite is this recent application by Geena Davis, where she examines the representation of women in children’s media as the start of the problem. The numbers are, predictably, staggering.

I couldn’t agree more.

As a working mother of a 3 year old boy I have watched more than a few movies with my son and I was sad to find that there are a breadth of heroic dad’s portrayed in the media and the moms are either dead, or not even mentioned?! Kunfu Panda, Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Hero 6 (ok, there is an entrepreneurial Aunt)… but I beg the question, where are the super moms?! I know they exist in reality, because I know many of them.

Here’s to hoping that Disney gets the message that Geena’s putting out there. In the meantime, we will continue to help foster future female leaders with our Charity of Choice, G(irls)20.

Update: Google Chairman gets called out for interrupting powerful female official during a panel discussion in Texas.


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