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International Women's Day

A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year we’re committing to #BreakTheBias

People of all genders can make biased comments or behave in other ways that disadvantage women. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead with McKinsey reporting only 86 women are promoted to managers for every 100 men.

To break the bias women continue to experience, we need to understand what it is and how it shows up in our decisions and actions.

The Harvard Implicit Association Tests (IAT) can help you to recognise your unconscious biases – you can try one for yourself herE.


So how can we all help overcome biases?

  1. Speak up for someone in the moment: for example, remind people of a colleague’s talents or ask to hear from someone who was interrupted. Or when someone says something factually incorrect (e.g., assumes a woman is more junior than she is), matter-of-factly correct them either in the moment or in private later.
  2. Ask questions that can help your colleagues discover bias in their thinking e.g. “what makes you say that?” “What are some examples of that?
  3. When you can, shift the conversation toward concrete, neutral information to minimise bias. For example, if someone makes a subjective or biased comment during the hiring process, refocus attention back to the list of criteria for the role.

At Lamington Group we are committed to challenging the biases that women face, recognising the achievements of the women we work with, and supporting each other to elevate female voices. Over the past couple of days our Managing Director Robert Godwin has visited all of our female employees to say a special thank you in recognition of how vital they are to our business. We’ve also been sharing some of the challenges we’ve faced with each other to show solidarity and encouragement – you can check these out below.

Diana - Interior Design Manager

As a woman working in construction I am pretty much 90% of the time finding myself sitting on a construction site and board room meetings surrounded by men. At the beginning of my career I felt nervous having to head meetings with a group of men, having to question them and push them on construction matters, budgets and hold them accountable for their work. I still remember my first meeting which I had to hold on my own. It was terrifying, however I have learnt that nobody has all the answers to everything and everyone is always engaged in a learning process. My advice for all of the women working in highly male dominated environments is to be confident, always ask when you are unclear about something, always speak up for yourself and always try your best. Please always remember not to put yourself down for any mistake which you may make and always remember that as long as you try your best you have not failed, but learnt.




Tanya - Lettings and Portfolio Manager

As a woman working in a lettings/sales environment from a young age, my seniors have always been male. I was always overlooked and under-considered and despite outperforming the rest of the team quarterly I never got the recognition. I was not invited to SLT events and meetings even though that was my job title – it was tough and belittling but I never gave up and still walked in everyday with my head held high! Over time the negativity pushed me to work harder and prove I am better. After tears, feeling left out and not getting the respect from my peers, I was promoted to area manager for the sector above the SLT who hadn’t treated me equally.




Zoe - Procurement Manager

Before I started my career in procurement I was working as a PA for a female CEO, I was approached internally by the Development team within my company and asked if I would consider joining their team.  This was very daunting as many women in a PA role would always be looked at as “just the PA” by male colleagues, and I was worried that I would be looked down on by others within the construction industry. My CEO was amazingly supportive and although she was reluctant to have to find another PA, she believed in me and without her support I wouldn’t have the career which I enjoy so much today. When I first started the role, I would struggle to keep up in the meetings and was worried I would ask a stupid question, but I soon realised that no question is stupid and everyone has started somewhere in their careers – male or female!




Michelle - Southampton House Manager

As a 45 year old woman I believe I have had many challenges but to go with my most recent. I have spent the last three years in severe pain and very uncomfortable due to female health issues. It’s not a subject that you can freely talk about with the senior team, who are all men. It made me weak and made everyday tasks very difficult to do. Due to this condition, last year I was so anaemic that the only way to manage was to have several blood transfusions and have iron via intravenous drip. To try and improve my situation I was prematurely and medically put through the menopause, which we should all know more about. It made me have mood swings, feel low and physically drained. However, you can’t be off work indefinitely so you have to find a way to manage that in the workplace. Late last year I finally had an operation to fix the issue which involved a full hysterectomy. This took me out of work for nearly two months and I am still living with the after effects of this. This company has actually held my hand through every part of this situation. In my difficult times mentally they gave me access to a life coach on a weekly basis, which without I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was supported through having the time off needed to recover and spent time with the family to recuperate. My team has done more than you can imagine, taking me to appointments, making sure I take medication, eating well, even dropping clothes, food to the hospital after they finish work. Without the company’s support I would have had to leave my job last year to deal with this in private. It’s important we share the mental and physical difficulties women face in life that are not talked about or worse joked about, for example, she’s moody, it’s probably her time of the month.