BY MEGAN CATTEL
NüVoices held its Shanghai launch on June 16th at Bitter on Wu Yuan Lu. Attendees were encouraged to discuss their firsthand experiences with sexism in small groups. As Alice Xin Liu wrote in our Facebook group, “Some talked about editors at newspapers and magazines assigning “masculine” stories to male reporters — such as about mining. Others talked about being uncomfortable in the same room when their colleague made a sexist joke but was unable to do anything about it.”
Afterwards, guests congregated to discuss everyday actions to combat sexism in our workplaces and daily lives. Albie Z. suggested training managers in unconscious bias and empowering women to enact change faster. She also encouraged women to take more initiative in the workplace, instead of waiting to be given power by a male superior.
Another guest raised the issue that the vast majority of education systems worldwide do not teach students the history of feminist movements in their own countries, which leads to a lack of awareness about sexism that still exists today. Women oftentimes face double standards that men do not in terms of perception and likability—the challenge of wanting to exude confidence and ambitious but without seeming ruthless, aggressive, or bossy. Education on feminism and gender inequality could help alleviate these negative labels often attached to women in top positions.
Other key points included establishing crucial professional development, mentoring, and family planning programs at workplaces, paying homage to female pioneers in one’s career field to continue the inclusion of women at work, make sure women’s ideas are given proper credit during discussions or brainstorming meetings, and doubling the number of women on expert panels to create a more dynamic event with diverse perspectives.
NüVoices will continue its presence in Shanghai with future networking events, gender-equality discussions, and more!
About the author
Megan Cattel is a Shanghai based writer and artist. Her work can be found at: https://megancattel.contently.com/