“I’m fortunate my boss, Vice President of Human Resources Mike Clementi, is one of my male mentors and champions. Last year, Mike was looking for a person to lead the North American diversity and inclusion agenda. He had a list of external candidates with D&I experience, but we had met in various settings and he knew of my background from my other champions within the organization. He took a chance on me, someone from the business who had a passion for the job, but never worked in HR. Mike knew that his mentoring, and my drive, would help me be successful in the role.
Mike challenges me to think about what is standing in the way of my success and helps me elevate my game. ‘Feedback is a gift,’ he says. ‘You can keep it or toss it.’ In a recent conversation, I said my development area was rebuilding my team and ensuring I had the right people in the right roles. ‘I know you can accomplish that,’ he said. ‘What do you think your real development area is?’
He pushes me to dream big and allows me to envision a career full of possibilities that I had never really considered. His candor and ‘always on’ style of feedback have been two unexpected gifts in our mentor/mentee relationship.
Male champions like Mike are critical to achieving gender parity in the workplace. We need more men to coach and champion the next generation of female leaders if we want to see meaningful change in our lifetime.”