09 March, 2022 | Posted by Rachel Dunne

Balancing Care With Confidence: Breaking the Bias for International Women's Day 2022

"I do not want other people to decide what I am. I want to decide that for myself," Emma Watson. 

The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. Women across the world have been subjected to bias for as long as I can remember.

There is an unspoken and sometimes spoken expectation, that women should be caring and nurturing by nature rather than assertive and confident.

Tying in with Emma Watson’s powerful statement above, women should not be told nor expected to be one or the other, when we can be both.  

Even when women engage in nurturing and caring roles, they are not effectively acknowledged.

Take for example the early years sector which is made up primarily of women. Early years practitioners are not recognised for the work they do and these roles are more often than not, associated with poor progression opportunities and remuneration that does not reflect the importance of their roles.

Alongside the nurturing and caring aspect of the role, an early years practitioner needs to be an effective communicator and show leadership skills, emphasising the point above, that women can be both.

Gender bias is evident in all walks of life.

According to UN Women, women are under-represented in leading roles and in academia. In contrast here in Portobello Institute, we are breaking the bias as 80% of our senior management team are female which is a reflection of the phenomenal, hard-working women we have working here.

This day is dedicated to all the women breaking down gender bias and working toward equality every day; 

  • Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
  • Reese Witherspoon who developed her own production company as a result of constantly being offered gender-stereotypical acting roles such as the damsel in distress.  
  • Tsai Ing-Wen, the first female leader and the first unmarried president of Taiwan when she was elected.  

This International Women’s Day, I ask and urge all women to not let society's expectations and gender stereotypes impact on you achieving your goals and ambitions. 

About the Author

Rachel Dunne has ten years of experience working in early childhood care and education. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies and an MA in Developmental and Therapeutic Play from Swansea University. Read her full profile here.

If you are interested in following your passion to fulfil your potential in early childhood care and education visit our department page here.

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