Every day we make decisions, from the basics such as “What am I going to wear today?”, to the most important and transcendent as “What am I going to do to make this world better or to be the best version of myself? “It is in our nature to decide based on our judgments, perceptions and interpretation of reality. We are full of unconscious biases * and conscious that they play a very important role in our day to day life.
The effects of these biases have had serious repercussions on society, that is why today the largest social movement in history is happening … the movement in favor of gender equality and inclusion that involves 51% of the world’s population. For this to be achieved, everyone – men and women – must collaborate. That is why most industries are awakening and forming groups and strategies. This is where I want to emphasize that the media industry, in which I work today, plays a very important role since it has been responsible for influencing the current image of women and their self-perception, as well as highlighting the unconscious biases that replicates today’s society. The good news is that this same industry is the only one that has in its hand the fast forward button and the key of all households in the country to change these unconscious biases, one impact at a time. But how and where do we start? From this question was born the idea of forming an organization of women and men that support women … WICT Women in Media Latin America (@WICTMexico).
This organization seeks the formation and the imposition of women leaders in the media industry who ascend to decision-making positions and top management with the intention of integrating the vision and point of view of women in the contents and advertising messages. In this way together we can help change the image of women in Mexico and Latin America, in less time.
The importance of inclusion
This is particularly relevant because in Mexico, only 23% of the content creators in telecommunications are women. This means that communication is created by homogenous groups and even from the same cultural and socioeconomic background. By encouraging women to ascend to these leadership positions, we also promote greater diversity. If we rely on the premise that a diverse group, having more points of view, contributes more and better ideas and therefore obtains a more innovative, efficient and more profitable product, the inclusion of women is a necessity. However, it is not just about having a group made up of different people, says Maricarmen Bernal, co-founder of Dalia Empower, “Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice”. By having women and men who support women in senior management open to inclusion, diversity is encouraged and this is expected to encourage others to follow the same path. Once an equality of working conditions is achieved, this promotion will be more agile.
One bias at a time
Another way to influence is from within, from the generation and transmission of the contents that are powerfully influential in the creation and perpetuation of unconscious biases. With the right approach we can use this great tool to positively impact our perceptions. By increasing the number of women in leadership positions, your perspective will permeate the content generated by the media, radio, press, digital, etc. As Geena Davis says, “By the time it takes to make a movie, we can change what the future looks like “. The media is the main factor that forges the mindset of young people and society. It is important to analyze the contents to detect these negative biases, eliminate them from our messages and replace them with positive messages for the benefit of all.
“If you can see it, you can be it” is one of my favorite slogans, from the Geena Davis Center for Gender in Media. The contents teach society, children their place in the world, what they should value in life, who they should respect, what vocation or careers they can pursue, who can be a hero, and much more … in us to reflect each group of society in a constructive way.
How to achieve all this? No question this subject involves everyone, women and men. This social change will be achieved faster and more efficiently, to the extent where men can see the benefit it brings, subject of which we will discuss in my next post. This task is enormous and to achieve it, we need to create a dialogue together and materialize this change. The roles in our society changed, it’s time to reflect this new reality and strengthen it by changing unconscious biases … one impact at a time.