Growing up in a rural area in the 70s, there were not many professional women role models that I could see around me. Television was my window into what could be. Sure, I saw Mary Tyler Moore, Alice, Police Woman and That Girl. But the real powerhouses were The Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman.
While each of these female TV characters faced bias, Wonder Woman always stood out to me as an underestimated superhero. As soon as the bad guys saw she was a woman, they dropped their guard—and she caught them every time.
Whether you know Wonder Woman as Lynda Carter or Gal Gadot, her classic pose with crossed cuffs reminds me of the #BreaktheBias pose—the theme for International Women’s Day this year.
Let’s focus on what “breaking the bias” means to women today. Everyone has biases—we are human judging machines. We need to recognize our own bias and be intentional about overcoming it. We ask others—those in leadership roles, hiring managers and all executives—to consider bias when making decisions that involve women, and to create workplaces, classrooms and environments that allow us to grow and don’t underestimate our abilities.
We are the stewards of our own journey. Do not judge us on gender. Do not judge us on the past roles of women. Let us stand as we are—equal in talent, intelligence and leadership capabilities. On March 8, International Women’s Day, we cross our arms in solidarity.
Will you help us #BreaktheBias now? It is certainly way past time. Actions, not words, make change.
P.S. Be sure to take a moment to recognize women who inspire you
in celebration of International Women's Day, and share your own picture in the #BreaktheBias pose on social media—and don't forget to tag CREW Network!
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Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.