Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Gender bias is not good for anyone

I READ Mary Kenny's article, 'Modern workplaces demand more brain and less brawn' (Comment, July 23) with interest.

I am always concerned about statements that claim to present gender attributes. One of the biggest dangers of gender bias is attributing one gender, or another, with increased (or decreased) ability in certain areas.

Saying women have more people skills, or are more adaptable, is as bad as saying that women are less analytical, or less structured (and reinforcing that men are).

What is the evidence on which gender characterisations are based? Could such evidence – should it exist – be reliable when the testing-ground is a system biased toward men? It's up to ordinary people to challenge stereotypes and bias on a daily basis.

All of us, as human beings, need to incorporate persistent questioning of gender bias into our respective cultures in order to ensure that everyone is respected equally.

JENNIFER KINCAID

San Francisco, USA

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