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Photo courtesy of Flick user John LeMasney on Gender Bias

Gender inequality continues to be an issue in Britain and across the world. It’s visible in the persistent gender pay gap, continued occupational segregation, gender stereotyping and the perception that women are carers first and earners second. There are many causes of this inequality that I could write about but I want to focus on 1 – unconscious bias. This is widely considered to be a fundamental cause of not just gender inequality, but inequality more widely.

Unconscious bias can be defined as “attitudinal biases about gender, age, race etc. that we are unaware we have and are unaware we act upon” (Naureen Young, CEO of the Diversity Council of Australia). It is shaped by our society, family and experiences and is a reflection of cultural norms.

In recent months unconscious bias has been the topic of a number of studies being carried out in the USA. What seems clear is that this kind of bias is something that everyone is likely to have but by identifying and challenging this bias we can enable ourselves to take off the blinkers it can otherwise create.

In terms of gender, unconscious bias can present itself in many ways. It can affect who we are likely to recruit, it can shape ideas about what a leader should look like and cause women to feel they must “out lad the lads” in order to succeed at a senior level. It can also shape ideas about family and caring responsibilities which continues to be a significant factor in women’s career decisions and options.

So how do we tackle this bias? There are many options. It can be as simple as encouraging people to take an online test to identify what bias they may have. This could be particularly effective for people that are involved in recruitment. Gender awareness training is another important tool. Learning to look at things through a “gender lens” allows us to see clearly the role that gender plays in shaping our male and female lives, work, experiences and choices.

It’s important to remember that unconscious bias is held by both men and women. For example research has shown that female recruiters are just as likely to follow traditional stereotypes as men and often women themselves have ideas about what roles are suited to different genders. Therefore it’s important that everyone is encouraged to identify and challenge their own bias. This will in turn challenge cultural norms and help to make gender inequality a thing of the past.

Why not challenge your own bias and take the test? You might be surprised https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Byddwch yn ymwybodol o ragfarn ddiarwybod

Mae anghydraddoldeb rhywiol yn parhau i fod yn broblem ym Mhrydain a gweddill y byd. Gallwn weld tystiolaeth ohono yn y bwlch cyflog parhaus rhwng y ddau ryw, y ffaith fod gwahanu galwedigaethol a stereoteipio ar sail rhyw yn dal i fodoli a’r canfyddiad mai eilbeth yw ennill cyflog i fenyw, mai cynhalwyr ydynt yn anad dim. Gallaf sôn am lawer o bethau sy’n achosi’r anghydraddoldeb hwn ond rwyf am ganolbwyntio ar un ohonynt – rhagfarn ddiarwybod. Ystyrir bod hyn yn achosi anghydraddoldeb yn gyffredinol, nid anghydraddoldeb rhywiol yn unig.

Gellir diffinio rhagfarn ddiarwybod fel rhagfarnau agwedd sydd gennym tuag at ryw, oedran, hil ac ati nad ydym yn ymwybodol ohonynt ac nad ydym yn gwybod ein bod yn gweithredu ar eu sail  (Naureen Young, Prif Swyddog Gweithredol Cyngor Amrywiaeth Awstralia). Cymdeithas, teulu a phrofiadau sy’n llywio’r rhagfarn hon ac mae’n adlewyrchu agweddau diwylliannol arferol.

Yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf mae rhagfarn ddiarwybod wedi bod yn destun nifer o astudiaethau yn UDA. Mae’r astudiaethau wedi dangos bod pawb yn debygol o feddu ar y math hwn o ragfarn ond drwy nodi a herio’r rhagfarn hon gallwn dynnu’r masgiau a all ddeillio o’r rhagfarn.

O ran rhywedd, gall rhagfarn ddiarwybod amlygu’i hun mewn sawl ffordd. Gall effeithio ar bwy rydym yn debygol o’u recriwtio, gall lywio syniadau am bwy ddylai fod yn arweinydd a gwneud i fenywod deimlo bod yn rhaid iddynt “guro’r hogie” er mwyn llwyddo ar lefel uwch. Gall lywio syniadau am deulu a chyfrifoldebau gofalu hefyd sy’n parhau i fod yn ffactor sylweddol ym mhenderfyniadau a dewisiadau gyrfa menywod.

Felly sut mae mynd i’r afael â’r rhagfarn hon? Mae sawl dewis. Efallai mai dim ond annog pobl i wneud prawf ar-lein i nodi eu rhagfarn sydd angen. Gall hyn fod yn arbennig o effeithiol i bobl sy’n gyfrifol am recriwtio. Mae hyfforddiant ymwybyddiaeth o rywedd yn ddull pwysig arall. Mae dysgu sut i edrych ar bethau drwy ddull sy’n ystyried y ddau ryw yn ein galluogi i weld yn glir sut mae rhywedd yn dylanwadu ar ein bywydau, gwaith, profiadau a dewisiadau fel dynion a menywod.

Mae’n bwysig cofio bod dynion a menywod yn gallu cael rhagfarn ddiarwybod. Er enghraifft, mae ymchwil wedi dangos bod menywod sy’n recriwtio yr un mor debygol o ddilyn stereoteipiau traddodiadol â dynion ac yn aml mae gan fenywod syniadau am ba swyddi sy’n addas i ddynion a merched. Felly, mae’n bwysig bod pawb yn cael eu hannog i nodi a herio eu rhagfarn eu hunain. Bydd hyn yn ei dro yn herio agweddau diwylliannol arferol i gael gwared ar anghydraddoldeb rhywiol.

Beth am herio eich rhagfarn eich hun a sefyll y prawf? Efallai y cewch eich synnu https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

20140903_083442.jpgEarlier this month I attended the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education in Vienna. The timing was perfect as it fell a week before Chwarae Teg launched “A Woman’s Place in Academia”, a benchmarking report that analysed the position of women in leadership within higher education.

The Conference in Vienna reaffirmed that many of the issues we see in Wales and the UK in relation to women in higher education, i.e. being under-represented in senior positions and in STEM subjects, are issues that many countries across Europe and beyond share with us. I was also able to hear about the many different approaches being taken to address the inequalities.

Some focus on supporting women. The New Zealand Women in Leadership programme is a great example of such an approach. Working with both academic and professional/ administrative staff, the programme sees women attend a week long residential course that aims to provide them with the skills and confidence to take the steps into leadership positions.

Other initiatives look to the institutions themselves. Genovate is an example of this. Working with Higher Education Institutions across Europe, the Genovate project supports them to implement Gender Equality Action Plans and encourages gender competent management. Within this project institutions consider gender equality in recruitment, progression and research, the benefits of a work/life responsive workplace and the role of equality and diversity in ensuring excellence in research and innovation.

Some projects have gone even further and brought about structural change within an institution to truly embed gender awareness across all departments. Such an approach has been taken at the University of Cologne in Germany. Here gender equality has prominence at the very top through a Pro-Rectorate for Planning, Finances and Gender who is supported by a Commission for Gender and a Gender Board, which is made up of representatives from across the institution. At an operational level gender equality is also embedded in the University’s structures through a Centre for Gender Quality Management, a dual career and family support scheme and the Centre for Gender Studies. This allows the work of gender equality officers to benefit directly from the research of staff and students within the academic school and by embedding gender equality policies and programmes into the University’s structures it is hoped that they will be more resilient to personnel change.

These projects are just 3 examples of the many programmes and approaches being trialled across Europe and the wider world to tackle a common challenge, that being how we ensure that women have equal opportunities and representation within higher education. We have the levers here in Wales to take innovative and radical steps to achieve this and it’s important that we look to colleagues in other countries to learn from their experiences to ensure that a woman’s place in academia equals that of men.

You can download the findings from our research “A Woman’s Place in Academia” here.

Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd – unioni’r fantol

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Technische Universität Wien Vienna University of Technology

Yn gynharach yn y mis, es i’r 8fed Cynhadledd Ewropeaidd ar Gydraddoldeb Rhywiol mewn Addysg Uwch yn Fienna. Roedd yr amseru’n berffaith gan fod hyn wythnos cyn i Chwarae Teg lansio “Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd”, adroddiad meincnodi sy’n dadansoddi sefyllfa menywod o ran arweinyddiaeth ym maes addysg uwch.

Cadarnhaodd y Gynhadledd yn Fienna bod llawer o’r materion a welwn yng Nghymru a’r DU mewn perthynas â menywod ym maes addysg uwch, h.y. tangynrychiolaeth mewn swyddi uwch ac mewn pynciau STEM, yn faterion sy’n gyffredin i lawer o wledydd ledled Ewrop a thu hwnt. Cefais glywed hefyd am y gwahanol ddulliau sy’n cael eu defnyddio i fynd i’r afael ag anghydraddoldebau.

Mae rhai’n canolbwyntio ar gefnogi menywod. Mae rhaglen Menywod Seland Newydd mewn Arweinyddiaeth yn enghraifft ragorol o ddull o’r fath. Gan weithio gyda staff academaidd a phroffesiynol/gweinyddol, mae menywod yn mynychu cwrs preswyl am wythnos i ddysgu’r sgiliau a magu’r hyder i gamu i swyddi arweinyddiaeth.

Mae mentrau eraill yn edrych ar y sefydliadau eu hunain. Mae Genovate yn enghraifft o hyn. Mae’r prosiect yn gweithio gyda Sefydliadau Addysg Uwch ledled Ewrop i’w helpu i roi Cynlluniau Gweithredu Cydraddoldeb Rhywiol ar waith ac annog rheoli’r rhywiau mewn ffordd gymwys. Yn y prosiect, mae sefydliadau’n ystyried cydraddoldeb rhywiol wrth recriwtio, cynnydd gyrfaol a maes ymchwil, manteision gweithle sy’n ystyried gwaith/bywyd a rôl cydraddoldeb ac amrywiaeth wrth sicrhau rhagoriaeth o ran ymchwil ac arloesedd.

Mae rhai prosiectau wedi mynd gam ymhellach a sicrhau newid strwythurol o fewn sefydliad er mwyn gwreiddio ymwybyddiaeth o rywedd ym mhob adran. Mae Prifysgol Cologne yn yr Almaen wedi mabwysiadu dull fel hyn. Yma, rhoddir amlygrwydd i gydraddoldeb rhywiol ar y lefel uchaf drwy Ddirprwy Reithoriaeth ar gyfer Cynllunio, Cyllid a Rhyw a gefnogir gan Gomisiwn ar gyfer Rhyw a Bwrdd Rhyw, sy’n cynnwys cynrychiolwyr o bob rhan o’r sefydliad. Ar lefel weithredol, mae cydraddoldeb rhywiol wedi’i wreiddio yn strwythurau’r Brifysgol drwy Ganolfan Rheoli Ansawdd Rhyw, cynllun cymorth gyrfa a theulu deublyg a’r Ganolfan ar gyfer Astudiaethau Rhyw. Mae hyn yn galluogi i waith swyddogion cydraddoldeb rhywiol  elwa’n uniongyrchol ar ymchwil staff a myfyrwyr yn yr ysgol academaidd a thrwy wreiddio polisïau a rhaglenni cydraddoldeb rhywiol yn strwythurau’r Brifysgol, gobeithir y byddant yn fwy gwydn yn wyneb newid personél.

Tair enghraifft yn unig yw’r prosiectau hyn o’r rhaglenni a’r dulliau di-ri sy’n cael eu treialu ledled Ewrop a gweddill y byd i fynd i’r afael â her gyffredin, sef sicrhau bod menywod yn cael cyfle cyfartal a chynrychiolaeth ym maes addysg uwch. Mae’r gallu gennym yma yng Nghymru i gymryd camau arloesol a phellgyrhaeddol i gyflawni hyn ac mae’n bwysig ein bod yn dilyn esiampl cydweithwyr mewn gwledydd eraill i ddysgu o’u profiadau i sicrhau bod gan fenywod yr un hawliau â dynion yn y byd academaidd.

Gallwch lawrlwytho canfyddiadau ein hymchwil “Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd” yma.

Jayne Bryant  Grand motherAs part of our work to help commemorate World War One, Chwarae Teg Friend, Jayne Bryant shares with us the story of Bridget Kearney – her great-grandmother. This personal recollection truly helps to show how the War impacted on women and their families.

My great-grandmother, Bridget Kearney, worked in Kynoch’s Explosives Factory in Arklow, County Wicklow during WW1.

Kynoch’s was a private munitions factory and employed several thousand men, women and children during WW1. There were over 400 buildings on site and they produced everything from bullets right up to large missiles.

Bridget told my grandfather that there were periodic explosions at the works. However, at around 3am on September 21st 1917 a massive explosion occurred at Kynoch’s. 27 people died and the explosion was heard up to 8 miles away. If it had happened during the day it is likely that hundreds would have died. An inquiry was set up but there was no definite conclusion about the cause of the explosion. A monument marks the common grave of those who died in the local cemetery.

Bridget was always adamant that my grandfather shouldn’t work down the mines or in any armament factories because of her own experience. She talked of the friends that she had lost during the 1917 explosion and of the poor conditions that she and others experienced in the factory. My grandfather said that she often talked to him about those who were poisoned by toxic fumes causing some to turn yellow in colour (because of the chemical TNT used in the explosives).

Apparently the uniforms that they wore had no pockets in them so that if you smoked you couldn’t keep your cigarettes inside and risk the temptation of lighting one!

Kynoch’s closed their factory in Arklow after the war and moved production to South Africa. This was done because of the increasingly volatile situation in Ireland at the time.

Bridget was born in 1889 in Arklow and came to Glyncorrwg, South Wales in 1922. She had 4 children with her husband William who was a stoker on a ship: Michael (who died as a baby) and Maggie were both born in Ireland and Will (my grandfather) and Ernie who were born in Glyncorrwg.

Bridget died aged 53 in 1942 at home in Glyncorrwg. She had been ironing a shirt for my grandfather to go out after work. Her last words to my grandfather were about her sadness that more men had died that day in WW2 and her deepest sympathies with their mothers.

I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Bridget. My grandfather talked about her often. I wonder what it must have been like and how she felt about being part of a major change in society where women were called to work.

Menywod yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf – Jayne yn rhannu stori ei hen fam-gu.

Fel rhan o’n gwaith i helpu i gofio’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf mae Jane Bryant, un o gyfeillion Chwarae Teg, yn rhannu stori Bridget Kearney â ni, sef ei hen fam-gu. Mae’r atgof personol hwn yn helpu i ddangos sut y bu i’r Rhyfel effeithio ar fenywod a’u teuluoedd.

Yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, roedd Bridget Kearney, fy hen fam-gu, yn gweithio yn Ffatri Ffrwydron Kynoch yn Arklow, Swydd Wicklow.

Roedd Kynoch yn ffatri breifat ar gyfer arfau rhyfel ac roedd yn cyflogi miloedd o ddynion, menywod a phlant yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Roedd dros 400 o adeiladau ar y safle ac roedden nhw’n cynhyrchu popeth o fwledi i daflegrau enfawr.

Dywedodd Bridget wrth fy nhaid bod ffrwydradau o dro i dro yn y gweithfeydd. Fodd bynnag, tua 3am ar 1 Medi 1917 bu ffrwydrad anferth yn ffatri Kynoch. Bu farw 27 o bobl ac roedd y ffrwydrad i’w glywed hyd at 8 milltir i ffwrdd. Petai wedi digwydd yn ystod y dydd, mae’n debygol y byddai cannoedd wedi marw. Sefydlwyd ymchwiliad ond ni ddaethpwyd i unrhyw gasgliad pendant ynglŷn ag achos y ffrwydrad. Mae cofeb yn y fynwent leol yn nodi bedd cyffredin y rhai a fu farw.

Roedd Bridget bob amser yn mynnu na ddylai fy nhaid weithio i lawr yn y mwynfeydd neu mewn unrhyw ffatri arfau oherwydd ei phrofiad personol. Byddai’n sôn am y ffrindiau a gollodd yn ystod ffrwydrad 1917 ac am yr amodau gwael yr oedd hi ac eraill wedi’u dioddef yn y ffatri. Byddai fy nhad-cu yn dweud ei bod yn sôn llawer wrtho am y rhai a gafodd eu gwenwyno gan fygdarth gwenwynig gan beri i liw croen rhai ohonyn nhw droi’n felyn (oherwydd y cemegyn TNT a ddefnyddiwyd yn y ffrwydron).

Mae’n debyg nad oedd pocedi yn yr iwnifform yr oedden nhw’n ei wisgo fel nad oedd modd cadw sigaréts a fyddai’n berygl o greu temtasiwn i’w cynnau!

Cafodd ffatri Kynoch yn Arklow ei chau ar ôl y rhyfel a symudwyd y gwaith cynhyrchu i Dde Affrica. Penderfynwyd ar y cam hwn oherwydd y sefyllfa ymfflamychol gynyddol yn Iwerddon ar y pryd.

Ganed Bridget ym 1889 yn Arklow a daeth i Glyncorrwg, yn y De ym 1922. Roedd ganddi hi a’i gŵr William, a oedd yn gweithio ar y llongau fel taniwr, 4 o blant: ganed Michael (a fu farw’n faban) a Maggie yn Iwerddon a ganed Will (fy nhad-cu) ac Ernie yng Nglyncorrwg.

Bu farw Bridget yn ei chartref yng Nglyncorrwg ym 1942 yn 53 oed. Roedd wedi bod yn smwddio crys i’m tad-cu i’w wisgo i fynd allan ar ôl ei waith. Ei geiriau olaf i’m tad-cu oedd ei thristwch bod mwy o ddynion wedi marw’r diwrnod hwnnw yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd a’i bod yn cydymdeimlo’n ddwys â’u mamau.

Byddwn wedi hoffi cael y cyfle i gyfarfod â Bridget. Roedd fy nhad-cu yn sôn amdani’n aml. Rwy’n ceisio dychmygu sut brofiad oedd e a sut roedd hi’n teimlo am fod yn rhan o newid mor sylweddol mewn cymdeithas lle’r oedd menywod yn cael eu galw i fynd i weithio.

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