Men: Are you still asking 'What's in it for me?'
Friday, October 30, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
worked in the diversity and inclusion field for more than 20 years, I'm amazed
at how little has changed with respect to the advancement of women in business.
Men still make or break the careers of women. Women still need male champions
changed is there are more male champions today than 20 years ago and their
level of cultural competence has improved. There are even a few more women with
enough clout as CEO and senior executives to enact change for women as well.
Finally, the volume of talented women who want to advance their careers to the
highest levels has increased dramatically.
Related: Are your male leaders "too masculine?"
primary challenge of the male champion is not finding talented women, but
fostering organizational culture change so that women can strive and thrive in
corporations. To address this challenge, I've worked with men to develop
individual and group action plans. During the for-men-only NEW Male Champion
workshop at the NEW Leadership Summit 2015, for example, participants used the NEW Career Accelerator model outlining leadership competencies
and career derailers to create individual action plans. Executives from companies such as GlaxoSmithKline
and Nielsen, that recognize the value of women's leadership, will be
incorporating goals they outlined in the workshop into their individual
personal development plans and working as change agents within their
obstacle to gender equity in the workplace has been the feeling among many men
that efforts to advance women are purely altruistic and have no business
impact. To change the
culture, men must recognize that championing women means a win for themselves
and for their organizations. I urge men to consider these three benefits:
- Greater customer
affinity: Understanding women better means understanding markets better.
- More co-worker
engagement: Understanding women better means accelerating their performance and
- A stronger personal
brand: Understanding women better means fine-tuning and improving your personal
A NEW approach
champion has the mindset, skillset and toolset to identify, support and
advocate cultural change that benefit women. The mindset is one of high
self-awareness and knowledge of others, particularly women. The skillset can
generally be described as being a good listener, observer and communicator. And
the toolset is having the ability to align strategies that advance women with
achieving business objectives.
During the NEW
Male Champion workshop, men challenged each other with these questions:
well could others articulate why gender advancement matters to me?
are my female role models?
do I foster gender knowledge?
is my aspiration regarding the advancement of women?
much time do I spend mentoring and being mentored by women?
to these questions will lead to a clear and poignant list of behaviors men must
model, obstacles they must overcome and personal actions they have to take to
become male champions.
Kevin Carter is founder and president
of Inclusion Innovates. He has nearly 20 years of
experience as a diversity leader working for U.S. and international companies.
His expertise includes conducting organizational diversity and inclusion assessments;
developing and implementing diversity and inclusion strategic plans; embedding
and monitoring procedures, practices and metrics that foster workplace
inclusion; leading and managing female progression efforts; and developing and
facilitating D&I and employee engagement education.
Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those
of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of
Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.
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