Ep. 63: Global HR Executive Kristen Pressner Exposes Gender Bias With Her Flip It To Test It Challenge
"The vast majority of us would truly be beside ourselves to imagine that we would ever behave in this way."
Kristen Pressner is the Global Head of Human Resources for Roche Diagnostics, based in Basel, Switzerland. Kristen gave a TEDx talk entitled, "Are You Biased? I Am," telling of her surprising discovery of her own gender bias. In the talk, she proposes the Flip It To Test it challenge as a way for us all to become aware of our own biases. On this episode, Kristen also shares her path to taking on a high level international job while parenting four children.
"In terms of releasing latent potential, women are a great investment because it really takes very little to light a woman on fire. I think we can undo this unconscious stuff that's happening in her brain that's holding her back, keeping something from really being released, and it really takes such a small intervention."
We discuss how Kristen discovered that she was (unconsciously) biased and how she worked to fix it, her Flip It To Test It challenge to call out gender bias in yourself and others, how we perpetuate patriarchal gender roles, how she had to let go of her ideas of what a "good mom" is and isn't, taking the leap in her career and personal life to move to Basel, how she went for a huge new job opportunity simply because one trusted colleague encouraged her, her mission since then to just go for it, why diversity is good for companies, how she found exactly where she fits, and more.
"We see men as taking charge, and women as taking care...we internalize these things and have ideas of how women should be...we, even as women, are subject to these same biases. None of us is immune."