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​IWD: #BreakTheBias with Kerry Dettmar, Senior Director/Head of Group Accounting at Permira Advisers LLP

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 years ago
  • Author:by Glen Roberts

This International Women's Day, I interviewed Kerry Dettmar, Senior Director/Head of Group Accounting at Permira Advisers LLP and she shared her thoughts on how we can #BreakTheBias.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. 

1. Which bias would you like to break about women at work in 2022?

How a strong, direct woman can be perceived in a much more negative light than a strong, direct male.   

2. Within your market / industry, what progress have you seen businesses take to progress gender equality?

I am new to Private Equity, but I am pleased with the direction I see, pushing for female representation on the boards of companies acquired for example. 

3. What is one action companies can take to further balance their talent attraction strategies?

Ensure they are using the right recruitment consultants who value the abilities of candidates. 

4. What is your top advice for making job descriptions more inclusive?

Keep the role factual and competency-based.   

5. Do you think that more companies adopting a hybrid working pattern has helped to shift pre-conceived conceptions about flexible working for women and why?

Not specifically for women, for both genders. Post-Covid, it is clear that flexibility is needed by both males and females.   

6. How can organisations support their employees in raising awareness against bias? 

It needs to just become part of the culture in an organisation, not just for gender, but for all potential conscious and unconscious bias.  The more we talk about it, the less unconscious it should become. 

7. What advice would you give aspiring women in the industry you work in? 

Be strong, independent but collaborative and believe in yourself. 

8. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating women and their achievements. Who inspires you? 

Personally, I would have to say my Mum. She brought me up believing I could be anything I wanted and that there were no barriers. That is exactly what I am teaching my daughter too. From a professional standpoint, I am lucky to have had a number of women in the organisations where I have worked in senior roles who helped me realise the kind of leader I wanted to be. 

9. Are there any companies you admire for the ways in which they celebrate women's achievements?

I am keen to celebrate all achievements, not just those of women.