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Make the invisible visible this International Women’s Day

Women’s workplace initiative Catalyst is observing International Women’s Day 2021 by challenging companies to join its #BiasCorrect “Make the Invisible Visible” global campaign, providing virtual backgrounds that encourage courageous conversations about unconscious bias in meetings.

Catalyst research shows that invisible barriers for women in the workplace, particularly women of colour, have proliferated in remote working during the pandemic:

  • 1 in 5 women has felt ignored and overlooked by co-workers during virtual meetings;
  • 45% of women business leaders say it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings; and
  • 1 in 5 working people has witnessed more discrimination at work since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Catalyst’s Make the Invisible Visible campaign, created in collaboration with the Burns Group, allows individuals to select and download virtual backgrounds that ask challenging questions to spark important conversations on how to address these experiences of unconscious bias in the workplace:

  • Have you ever felt judged when your child interrupted a meeting?
  • Have you ever been talked over in a meeting?
  • Have you ever been the “only” in the room?
  • Have you ever been asked, “Where are you really from?”
  • Have you ever had to check your authentic self at the door?

The virtual backgrounds are available in English, French, German, and Spanish.

This year’s campaign builds on Catalyst’s 2019 and 2020 IWD #BiasCorrect campaign, which focused on the biased words used to describe women in the workplace, demonstrating that women and men with the same talents and skills often are described in very different ways, creating barriers that can adversely impact women’s advancement.

“Make the Invisible Visible really showcases the experiences of bias women have in remote work during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Lorraine Hariton, Catalyst President and CEO. “Unconscious bias is persistent, so we want to engage companies and their employees—including men as gender partners—to #BiasCorrect and create more inclusive workplace cultures.”

Catalyst invites individuals and companies to visit the  #BiasCorrect webpage, which provides resources for everyone to help understand, interrupt, and correct unconscious bias.