#BreaktheBias: Leading with Empathy and Understanding

Women’s history month is a time to reflect on how far we have come, and how far we still must go. Today, we’re proud to have a diverse and inclusive team, a team with incredible women leadership, yet we understand that there are always actions that can be taken to further level the playing field. At Carat, our priority is to take care of our greatest asset – our people, and develop an empathy-based understanding of consumers and their needs. Breaking the bias means amplifying voices and leading the next generation to see their true potential in the workplace. A workplace that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. An environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

To celebrate women’s history month, we asked our leaders to give examples of how they #BreakTheBias, encourage leadership and allyship, and help forge a more equitable future.

How do you build support structures for women who are aspiring executives/agents of change? 

“I want women in my team to feel that they can start, build, and grow their long-term career at Carat and that means encouraging them to meet their personal goals alongside their professional ones. That might be allowing for flexibility in their schedule for a side hustle, activism, perform arts or the desire to start a family.”  

  • Shana Kohen EVP, Managing director, Planning

“I’m far from perfect. However, I learned to embrace my imperfections, which makes me a better mom, employee, and relatable leader. I cannot say that I made it to every “muffins and mom” day but am 100% present when I am there. I teach my kids that it is okay not to be perfect, that being a good human and having good intentions is what we all need to strive for. My daily approach to life has resulted in raising two kids that reach for the stars every day and a pretty amazing career. Being a working mom taught me to embrace empathy, making me a better mom and a stronger leader of future successful moms. I believe in leaving the world in a better place than we found it, and I believe I am doing just that. First and foremost, I am a proud working mom.”

  • Kerry Ann Doyle, EVP, Carat Content

How can you #BreakTheBias to help forge an inclusive workplace?

“People leaders play a very important role in forging an inclusive workplace. We need to continue educating ourselves about implicit and explicit bias as we continue to challenge existing biases in the workplace and create a more equitable workplace. We also need to leverage data more strategically to identify patterns tied to gender/race/ethnicity/age/disability status/etc. to generate more effective solutions. As a people leader, I am committed to raising awareness, coaching leaders and employees, and speaking up when I see patterns or decisions that seem biased or unfair. We need to remind ourselves gender equality is not a women’s issue; it’s a human issue. As leaders, we all need to have the courage and commitment to continuously assess and evaluate our perceptions, actions, and behaviors while creating a safe space for team members to raise concerns and challenge business decisions with a fairness and equity lens.”

  • Negin Karami, HR Business Partner

“In a past role the organization I worked in did some very thoughtful quantitative research around unconscious bias and the results were enlightening regarding how much of our bias is something we are not mindful of. This included women having a small but measurable amount of unconscious bias against women in leadership (we always assume the bias comes from the male gender: it doesn’t).  Being aware that unconscious bias exists on many levels is a great tool to then help #BreaktheBias and continue to look inward. As a very analytical person, I have to call out a super valuable tool that was shared with me, and I will pass along here; a Harvard project (“Project Implicit”) self-administered survey across a variety of areas (you can choose the subject matter) available to identify if you have implicit/unconscious biases.”

  •  Stephanie Russell, Chief Client Officer

“Having female leadership across Carat and all of our accounts ensures we are delivering an inclusive mindset and environment. Furthermore, we are ensuring a future of strong female leadership who don’t see any barriers. I want to continue to celebrate the amazing female leadership across Carat for all of their success and being strong voices and role models, leading us into the future of our industry.” 

  •  Michael Law, CEO, Carat US

Listen in to this special episode of our Podcast where we celebrate Women's History Month and dive deeper into how women leaders across dentsu #BreaktheBias within the industry. We cover topics that span from leadership styles to personal inspirations as well as opinions on brands that are leading the way and creating for female audiences well.

Listen On: SpotifyAppleSoundCloudiHeartRadioStitcherTuneIn and Google Podcasts.

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