Workforce Reformation for Women: Breaking the Bias

“We as women always have something to prove,” says female high school teacher.


Keila Rodriguez

AVID teacher, Cassandra Torres, grading Common App personal essays

Happy International Women’s Day! 

People of all genders, races, and nationalities around the globe celebrate the cultural, social, political, and economic achievements of women. 

This global day is celebrated annually on March 8 to draw on four main points to empower women: to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charity. 

The IWD campaign theme this year is #BreakTheBias. 

The barriers that women face in their professional lives may sometimes fly over our heads. It is critical, now more than ever, to emphasize the necessary development of equality in the work environment. 

The education field has shifted its strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers transitioned their lectures online, integrating their traditional techniques into an unconventional system. Despite this revolutionary adjustment, teachers have noticed the remanence of gender bias treatment and discriminant professional opportunities available to women.  

Cassandra Torres, 32, is an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher and coordinator at C. E. King High School in Houston, Texas at Sheldon ISD. Her job calls for creating a college preparatory curriculum for this elective program, conducting professional development, and overseeing the AVID program for the Early College High School sector at C. E. King. As coordinator, one of her most notable practices is setting an example for other AVID teachers.

Torres has been teaching for 10 years and just recently seized this momentous job. She shared some insight into her career and the moments she confronted gender bias. “Women are being treated like a piece of meat to get the job,” Torres explained, “I earned my position based on my work ethic. We as women always have something to prove.” 

Unfortunately, the case for gender bias does not lie on how qualified or disqualified a woman is for the job. “There were a few times that I was a better candidate but was not given the job because they knew somebody,” Torres said. She recalled an interview for a teaching position, learning short after how her competitor was hired for the position already. “I was still interviewed, and they wasted my time,” she explained. She discovered her male competitor was friends with the interviewer. Many times, “It’s not a matter of what you know, it’s who you know,” she said.  

Although the current Sheldon ISD Deputy Superintendent of Administration is a woman, other prominent administrative roles are primarily oriented to men. If working in the education field connotes to a notorious stereotype of being a “feminine” career, then why is it that administrators for this same field are mostly men? “It’s not a coincidence,” Torres exclaimed. However, she emphasized how challenging work eventually pays off “regardless of how long it may take.” 

The gender bias issue is limitless. It is only recent that women empowerment has been prevalently exposed in the media and properly executed in work forces traditionally reserved for men, especially in sports. In 2021, Sarah Thomas became the first female NFL referee to officiate a Super Bowl. The national coverage of these gender equality breakthroughs is crucial to progressing diversity. “It shows girls that they can break barriers into men organizations,” said Torres, “Until we cross barriers, nothing will change.” As women, the significance of “breaking the bias” shapes the way other women perceive and tackle the issue. “It is important for young women to have figures and examples of strong women in their lives,” according to Torres, as it “builds a sense of courage.” 

This movement not only needs the fervent support from women, but also from men. Creating a positive, progressive environment for women demands an inclusive support system to uplift collaboration, philanthropy, and guidance for women. Torres highlighted the fundamental need to be transparent and true to yourself especially for women partaking in a male-dominated industry. “Do not stay quiet just because you are afraid of the outcome,” she declared, “Speak your truth to find your peace. You can do it all and more. Do not let anybody tell you otherwise.” 

As for my International Women’s Day message to all the women pushing to create a world free of bias and building a network so diverse and inclusive it becomes daunting: 

Remain bold and fearless! Remain unapologetically you!