We are proud to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and its 2022 campaign theme Break the Bias. The global day – held annually on 8 March celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and raises awareness about women’s equality.

This year’s IWD Break the Bias theme acknowledges that bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

As a global firm, Appleby introduced a women’s leaders network a few years ago, with the aim to bring together women across the jurisdictions in which the firm operates. The network champions workplace diversity and boardroom representation. The network also supports local women’s initiatives, whether by: supporting women’s charities; mentoring and coaching other women (inside and outside the firm); hosting female events (with clients or employees); or attending women’s professional development and networking events, to name a few.

We asked women across our offices, what #IWD and #BreakTheBias means to them. Here’s what they had to say:

“As we breathe compelling feminine narratives into our chosen professions, we recast the corporate identity and enliven others to the reality of what is possible.”

Tammy Richardson-Augustus, Partner, Bermuda

“Breaking the bias means normalizing the female leaders who are reshaping male dominated roles. Let’s break the bias by celebrating our differences, embracing what we have in common and championing change.”

Shana Simmonds, Partner, BVI

“Breaking the bias means accelerating gender parity and equal opportunity across all spheres, including business, politics, culture, education and the arts. This International Women’s Day, let us come together to encourage and support the progression of all women across the globe. ”

Liesl Richter, Partner, Cayman

The quote by Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, echoes my sentiments to the relevance of International Women’s Day and specifically with regards to this year’s theme of Break the Bias: “I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself.”

Leona Maharaj, Associate, Guernsey

“As a leader of our Hong Kong office’s Female Leaders Network and an active member of Women in Law Hong Kong, I am so pleased to be able to contribute to combat gender bias. I have sought to address and tackle corporate stereotypes and unconscious biases that employees in the legal industry may face and I look forward to helping to drive this work forward on both global and regional levels.”

Fiona Chan, Partner, Hong Kong

“We have to work towards a world where there are true equal opportunities for all.  I am passionate about breaking the bias that women face especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors. I encourage us all to challenge stereotypes and discrimination in order to create an inclusive and balanced environment for both now and our future generations.  It is the role of every single one of us to work towards a more gender equal world that is free of discrimination, stereotypes and bias.  We all have a role to play. I heard a quote during a recent online seminar that “no-one succeeds until we all succeed”, and it struck me as an obvious truth but one that needs the work of all of us to realise.”

Claire Milne, Partner, Isle of Man

“For me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating the achievements of women – in the workplace, socially, politically and culturally. It also focuses the mind on how much there is left to do to achieve gender equality in each of these areas. This year’s theme of Breaking the Bias is so important – unconscious or implicit biases impact our ability to be truly inclusive. Diversity and inclusivity are not just buzzwords or hashtags; they are vital to a supportive workplace which attracts and retains the best talent at all levels.”

Gemma Whale, Senior Associate, Jersey

“To break the bias what better knowledge than to look at the pathfinders who had tread when many showed fear and reluctance. And in the words of Maya Angelou: You may trod me in the very dirt but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

Sharmilla Bhima, Partner, Mauritius

Check out our LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram this week to see women across our global firm strike the #BreakTheBias pose.

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