Kristen Pressner was delighted for GC4W to share both her TED Talk and Forbes article on Women, Leadership and Vision with our community and readers on GC4Women.org. It is her hope that her advice and insights will inspire you and serve as a guide as you move forward in your respective careers.
“The World Economic Forum states it will take 83 years to close the global gender gap. The number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies decreased by more than 12% in 2017. “Confidence gap”, gender pay gap, ‘office housework’, ‘double bind’, ‘imposter syndrome’…it almost feels like we’ll never get to gender balance in top leadership. Malcolm Gladwell says the tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. I think we can each BE the tipping point.” said Kristen Pressner.
Kristen is Global Head of Human Resources for Roche Diagnostics in Basel, Switzerland and supports nearly 35,000 employees across more than 150 countries worldwide. With nearly 90,000 employees globally, Roche is the world’s largest biotech company and the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics. Her work is deeply respected by an international community of both women and men.
Her TEDx talk — Are You Biased? I Am – is not to be missed:
In a recent interview on Forbes led by Kathy Caprino, Kristen Pressner had the following to say…
“I realized that if I honestly shared my experience, it had the potential to move each of us from defensive mode to discovery mode. If I could disarm the situation with my own admission, provide pragmatic advice regarding what to do about it, and spark people’s curiosity, then it would totally be worth it” said Kristen Pressner.
Kristen shares here her open and authentic insights on her biases, and how to address your own:
Kathy Caprino: So Kristen, you’ve recently ‘come out’ shall we say, and very publicly, via your TEDx talk, and shared that you have a bias against women leaders. How did you discover this?
Kristen Pressner: It’s funny Kathy, because most of us have heard about unconscious bias, maybe even had training at work. But I think deep down we all kind of think it’s ‘everybody else’ who is the problem.
I had this pivotal moment when I was approached by two team members asking me to have a look at their compensation. It was a few days later that I connected that I’d had very different reactions to the same request, while I was, ironically, doing some research on unconscious bias. Suddenly, seeing the word “provider” being associated with men, it hit me. Wow…I have a bias here.
Particularly shocking to me was: I’d always thought that you could only have a bias against someone who was different than you. So it really struck me to discover to realize we can have a bias against exactly what we are . I am a woman leader and provider, yet simultaneously, I have a bias against women leaders and don’t see them as providers. It was even more humbling when you factor in that I work in human resources so… it’s my job to be unbiased.
Caprino: Did it worry you that it might be, shall we say, ‘career limiting’ as an HR executive, to share that in such a public format?
Pressner: Yes, it felt very vulnerable; there are a lot of trolls out there! But, it’s easy to go to training and then accuse others of unconscious bias. It’s only when we recognize it in ourselves that we can we change.
Read the entire article on Forbes.com.
Kathy Caprino, M.A. is an international career and personal success coach, writer, speaker and leadership developer dedicated to the advancement of women worldwide. Considered a “brave up” expert for professionals, Kathy is the author of Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Founder of Ellia Communications, Inc. and the Amazing Career Project. Kathy is also a Forbes, Huffington Post and LinkedIn contributor,