Get to know Vida Škreb – Managing Consultant – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Shape Talent

What’s your view on the current state of gender equity? 

Joining Shape Talent has been eye-opening as I started to understand the depth of the issue when it comes to gender equity. It’s been clear to me that there are big gaps, but the data showed just how big they are. I still find it shocking how far away we are from reaching true gender equity. The good news is that awareness is raising and effort is being invested to close the gaps. Of course, this creates a backlash, as any meaningful progress does. We see this in the rise of hate groups aimed at putting women down. I do hope that with courage, clever interventions, persistence and collective effort we can overcome these harmful biases and create a more supportive world.  

What have you read recently?  

I’ve read Behave by Robert Sapolsky. It’s fascinating read that helped me understand how our brains are biased and the neurobiological underpinnings of our best and worst behaviors. It helped me have more understanding and compassion but also clarity on what can be done to shift our behaviors to create a more inclusive environment.  

What is your own experience of the Three Barriers and what tips would you give women navigating their own barriers? 

I was the only woman in my research lab during my doctorate. At the time I wasn’t aware of the impact the barriers had on me and I internalized them. The result was feeling like I don’t deserve a seat at the table, it was hard to get a word in on discussions. I’m more reflective as a person, so I didn’t have the confidence to speak up, as it felt like a boys club. The tip would be to lean in and speak up regardless of whether you feel ready. I now understand that a part of the self-doubt was not mine, but a result of the barriers. Boys are socialized to take risks and girls to be perfect, which holds us back. Waiting for the perfect answer won’t come so taking risks would be key.