This June, the CWCC is celebrating #ALLYSHIP in all of its forms. If you have ever experienced being the “only” in a room or identified as an “other,” you understand the power of having allies who recognize injustices and oppressive cultures that must be overcome.
Throughout the month, we’re going to share the stories and profiles of people who have stood up to these injustices and spoken up on behalf of colleagues, friends, and family members to help them reach new heights. Today, we interview and give a big shout-out to:
Why is it important to advocate and take action to support the advancement of women in work?
We live in a global economy that is extraordinarily competitive and more so every year. To compete in that economy we need every ounce of every person’s experience and skill to be successful. Women bring their unique perspective and worldview not only to business issues but to many other issues facing our society. I worked in a number of different companies in my past life, in senior management positions up through CEO, some of them in the cosmetic industry and I rubbed shoulders and worked in partnership with so many incredibly talented women. Research has shown that companies with diverse boards and management teams consistently outperform those that are not diverse.
Furthermore the decision making process in corporations is significantly enriched by the perspectives that women bring thus the outcomes of the decision making process tend to be much better. To me this is an open and shut case.
How can other men act as allies for women in business?
Men at all times need to be proactive at all times in supporting and encouraging women in business. Men tend to have a broad and deep network of relationships that has been developed over the decades. Women less so. Proactively offering female colleagues access to that network is an important step that men can take. Mentoring women in business is another important role that men can take. I had mentors at every stage of my corporate career. I would never have achieved the success I did without them. In those meetings where I was not present where personnel decisions were being made and assignments and promotions were being determined they were carrying the flag for me. Male senior managers need to proactively reach out to professional women to determine if they would be interested in a mentoring relationship. Lastly, men need to be inclusive in their relationships with their professional female colleagues. Be sure to include them when the group goes out for a beer or a glass of wine, a round of golf, to the theatre, or a music festival.