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Wanted: A few good men to support women leaders

“Women aren’t always in a position to step up for women’s advancement — and when they do, they get pushed down. We need male champions,” diversity expert Kevin Carter told online attendees during the sixth NEW Summit Speaker series webinar, July 13, 2016.

carterkevin[12].jpgCarter, principal consultant for The Winters Group, led the one-hour session “Engaging Men Who Get It.” Carter shared practical advice for men and women who want to engage men in the movement to advance women leaders and support women’s success at every level.

“The acceleration of women’s advancement takes the right mindset, skillset and toolset,” Carter advised.

Bridging differences between male and female thinking styles is essential to intercultural competence, he noted. "Men separate information into different compartments, while women look at the big picture and link information together," he said, urging professionals to work collaboratively with these differences, while minding the gap.

Men's general communication style is often direct, factual and status-oriented, while women's communication is often interactive, thoughtful and relationship-oriented. Consequently, "a man, not hearing a woman 'take credit,' may assume she doesn't deserve it."

"Practicing the three levels of response — reinterpreting the intent, flexing your style and talking over the problem — can help us better communicate across gender boundaries, Carter said. "Stereotypes about both men and women exist and need to be overcome."

"There are male champions out there to support women's advancement," Carter emphasized. "The convictions are real."

Male champions make an effort to listen, learn and behave in a way that supports women's advancement, Carter said, noting that NEW's network of men and women joined by common goals is particularly effective. "It's great to share that model with other organizations."

The NEW Summit Speaker Series shares skills and insights from NEW's most popular career experts.