Jessica Gorton

Public Relations Manager in our Communications team tells us about what Break the Bias means to tells us about what Break the Bias means to her and her advice on challenging it

What does Break the Bias mean to you?

Breaking the Bias means looking beyond any preconceptions that you may have about a person, for any reason. In relation to International Women’s Day, breaking the bias is a critically important step towards greater equality, with no assumptions about an individual’s aims or aspirations.

Are there, for example, any specific forms of bias that you have worked/are working to break or in respect of which you think further work needs to be done to break them?

Assumptions are still made about women’s career ambitions – particularly in relation to having a family – every day. Women are asked questions that would be considered intrusive and unnecessary to ask a man. It’s great that steps have been taken to offer shared parental leave for example, but men taking this (particularly men in executive positions) are still the exception and not the rule.

How can allies help to break the bias (or any specific form of bias)?

Question why we hold a specific view about an individual and challenge that. Understanding and challenging our own prejudices is key to change, but so is endeavouring to not live in an echo chamber and listening to what others have to say before making a judgement. 

What one piece of advice would you give a woman entering the legal sector?

There aren’t as many women at the top as there should be, but the women I’ve encountered in senior positions are inspiring, determined and will be willing to listen and help you develop and further your career. Listen to them, learn from them and ask for their help and advice.

What do you think has been the most positive step forward for gender equality over the last few years?

Seeing more women at executive level within organisations, and more companies having honest conversations about the shortfall.