How we #BreakTheBias at Harley Street Fertility Clinic
8th of March marks International Women’s Day, an event that takes place all around the world to celebrate women’s achievements. It also focuses on the women’s rights movement such as gender equality, reproductive rights etc. International Women’s Day has a theme every year, this year’s being #BreakTheBias.
How do we break the bias at HSFC? We asked a few women from our team to answer this question.
Dr Venkat, Director HSFC
“I founded the clinic more than 10 years ago after working in another hospital. I was frustrated at the time I couldn’t see my patients all the way through their fertility journey. Going through a fertility treatment means not only the treatment itself, it implies a rollercoaster of emotions. I wanted to offer not only clinical expertise, but also care, I wanted to be to be there for my patients when they needed me. We try to treat all the patients who come to us to have a fertility treatment regarless of gender, sexual orientation, BMI or race. As an ethnic minority and as a woman, I am proud of the way we lead and how we break the bias.”
Maria Rossi, Acupuncturist
“I think that the best way to break the bias is to not have biases when working with people. People come to me from all over the world and I don’t think of them in terms of nationality, but people. I like to interact with people and listen to what they have to say, to treat them, no matter if they are from France, Germany or anywhere else.”
Delia Corol, Head of Marketing
“Part of my job is talking to patients about their fertility journey. Every single woman I talk to, who goes through a challenging fertility journey, breaks the bias of women being ‘the weaker sex’. Women are strong, determined. Although sometimes they need to cry, women usually wipe their tears and carry on being strong. I respect all of the single women who break the bias and decide to have a baby on their own, choosing to be single mums. As a mother of a young man, I believe International Women’s Day is a celebration, not only of all women in our lives but of all men who stand and support these wonderful women.”
Our Lead Nurse Rachel opened up about the bias she experienced.
Rachel Dyer, Lead Nurse
“Bias are labels or restrictions that are often entrenched in society’s structures, family or cultural groups. Each day we face many bias. Some are small and easy to conquer or change, others are deeply engrained and may change over time due to consistent chipping away at them.
My first encounter was at nursery school, when asked by my teacher what I would like to be when grown up, I replied I wanted to be an Air hostess and was ridiculed and made to feel that I was deluded (though I didn’t understand that at that time), this occurred again when at secondary school, choosing career pathways. I was again asked what career I wanted in preparation for choosing my studies to enhance that chosen path. I was advised by Tutor that I could work in lower status jobs, whilst other pupils were encouraged to go certain aspirational jobs.
Bias comes from society itself made up of people and though people’s minds are now gradually changing the actual infrastructure is based on these stoical views which are endeared by those who benefit from the status quo and therefore breaking the bias is a slow reluctant process.
Many women have gone before me, brave, resilient, suffered to break some bias, however, the struggle continues today.
I thank many of these women from history, but I also, more importantly, see the determination of women members of my family, friends and colleagues. These women enabled me by raising my self-esteem, reinforcing my entitlement, giving me wisdom, strength, integrity to challenge bias and take opportunities when they arise. They also helped me remove some barriers that I have developed from knockbacks in my life’s journey. This, along with faith and hope, encourages me to keep striving, removes limitations, and being open and welcoming to new opportunities.”