Get to know Priscila Pereira – Director of Research and Innovation, Shape Talent

What have you read recently? 

I have been reading about non-binary genders. What strikes me the most when I compare women with other minority genders is how behind the rights of non-binary people are in evolutionary terms. It feels like they are fighting to exist altogether, never mind fighting for equity. There is a fundamental issue around social exclusion and rejection, not only at work but in all domains of life. It is almost like non-binary genders are still focusing on survival strategies instead of equity. And I can see the importance of trans-affirming language, for example, to accelerate this acceptance process in society.  

What’s been a defining moment for you as a woman in your career? 

I guess it was when I was doing my PhD in binary gender studies and I came across the work from Tina Miller. I realized that all domains in life need to be balanced with feminine and masculine traits in order to be sustainable. For example, at work we have overused traits normally described as masculine like competition, ambition and aggression since the Industrial Revolution. Now, we have an increasing ESG agenda to deliver in order to stop us destroying the planet. These masculine traits are critical for evolution, but they must be balanced with traits usually described as feminine such as collaboration, empathy and nurturing so we can evolve sustainably. At this point, I realised that my contribution was not about enabling women to play the game; it was about enabling women to change the game!  

Which of the Three Barriers to gender equality interests you most and why? 

The organisational barriers. In EDI, we acknowledge that there are several social ecosystems influencing individuals’ ability to succeed. This is translated into systemic barriers that are impossible to be dismantled at the individual level. This leads us to redefine the meaning of merit in the organisational context and how many people will work incredibly hard to survive and not thrive. Thriving is just not accessible to them because of the barriers they face. So organisations have an active role here in fixing the environment.  

Do you face the double burden as a woman with a career, and if so, how do you manage it? 

Chore wars are still very much a reality in my dual career household from time to time, even after putting so many strategies in place. There will always be an element that my husband will compare his contribution to his dad and his male breadwinner friends, making him look very good. So there is a constant need to remind ourselves of our own set-up, manage our frustrations, and for me is about resisting temptation to do more than my share and, most importantly, managing emotions like guilt.