Webinar: International Women's Day 2022 'Break The Bias'

Recognising International Women's Day, Robert Gordon’s College broadcast a live webinar to explore the 2022 theme, ‘Break The Bias’. The event was hosted by Jeff Corray, Head of Energy Private Equity at Piper Sandler and former member of the RGC Development Committee, who was joined by a panel comprising:

  • Katharine Descamps (nee O’Connor), Class of ‘95, Transformation Manager, EMEA, People & Culture at BP

  • Bob Ruddiman, Class of ‘83, Partner and Head of Energy at Burness Paull

  • Colette Cohen OBE, Chief Executive Officer for The Net Zero Technology Centre

  • Kerrie Murray, Chief Executive Officer at Pryme Group

The panel discussed gender and bias in general, as well as the challenges they have faced, how they overcame them, and offered advice to the live audience.  

Katharine Descamps said: “Be inclusive and speak up when it feels wrong. Doesn't have to be radical activism, there are small steps you can take to break the bias. It's not just about the negative but celebrating progress too.”

Kerrie Murray shared: “All my appointments will be the best appointment for the role. Challenge your team around your core values. It’s about treating people fairly and with respect. I lead how I'd like to be led regardless of being female. Unconscious bias absolutely exists and there is a level of education required there.  But, you have to call the actual bias out in the room.”

Bob Ruddiman added: “Research shows that diverse teams are more successful. My own experience is that they are not just more successful but more enjoyable to be in too. My approach to this is enabling each and every one of us to bring our whole self to every situation in life. Not just the workplace but every aspect of life.” 

Bob further challenged the audience, who may believe that they do not have any unconscious bias within them to visit the Harvard University unconscious bias test.

Wrapping up the session, Jeff shared his view, “Just treat people the way you want to be treated, because that goes a long way towards dealing with bias.”

Watch the full webinar below. You can also read our guest blog series featuring former pupils working in Finance, Law, Energy and Pharmaceuticals. Look out for the blogs from Abby Glennie, Class of ‘03, Anna Crosby, Class of ‘04, Alan Main, Class of ‘81, Katharine Descamps (nee O’Connor), Class of ‘93 and this year’s visiting MIT students.