We must have equality by now? Why unconscious bias in the agency world is holding you back. We still live in a world where your boss is more likely to be called Steve, than to be a woman. In the US, 48% of African American women report being mistaken for administrative or custodial staff, whilst in meetings women are interrupted 33 percent more often than men. Have you ever felt that your opinions and expertise are valued less that your colleagues, that you’re being talked over in meetings, or not invited to give your opinion? Sexism and discrimination has changed from being something blatant and obvious, to more of an undertone of challenge that makes life that little bit harder for certain sectors of the population. Men get more airtime in the boardroom, and women are more likely to get interrupted. It’s not always the unpleasant chauvinist who is being sexist, it can come from other women, or the man that you actually like and respect. This sort of unconscious bias leaves us experiencing self-doubt which negatively affects our performance, our confidence and chances of promotion. Yet often we can’t put our fingers on why we feel this way, because of its very nature being more discreet. Cheryl Luzet became fascinated about unconscious bias having experienced it herself running a marketing agency. From people assuming that her male staff member must be the boss, to having her opinions questioned and challenged by male clients – challenges that mysteriously disappear when a man backs them up. With real examples from agency life, Cheryl highlights the challenges that exist for anyone working in an agency, who doesn’t fit the white, male mould. This talk isn’t just for women, if you’re a man you absolutely need to attend to find out how unconscious bias has perpetuated society that we assume is now ‘equal’. Find out how you can help to support your female colleagues get an equal opportunity.