Now is the time that we look beyond our differences, and look at how we can support one another as allies. This means that members of diverse groups need to support one another and enlist the support of allies outside of our diverse groups. Diverse groups are usually defined by gender, LGBTQ, race, or disability, in addition to many more variables. At Pivot Point, we choose to focus on gender equality because it is often the springboard for other diversity variables. Because most humans can relate to gender, it starts the conversation from a common place. Once we address gender challenges, we can then layer in the other diversity variables. And, we need allies because…
We are stronger together. We are ONE.
In our research, we found that organizations are wanting to build cultures of allies, where diversity and inclusion is not only appreciated, it is expected. Allies provide a variety of support – they may play a role as a mentor, advocate, coach, sponsor, or support women as managers. They play the role she wants and needs them to play. As women, it is important that we get older white men involved the discussion, also known as the “good old boys club.” We are not going to solve the gender equality challenge alone, by only talking to other women. Men are decision makers and need to be included in the process. And, most men want to help.
Based on our interviews for ONE (review and buy here), we confirmed common traits associated with successful women: they engage men in their career development as mentors and sponsors, speak up for what they want, and draw clear boundaries between their personal and professional lives. According to Harvard Business Review, women are 54% less likely than men to have a sponsor. That’s because men in leadership roles seek to promote those resembling themselves. As humans, we naturally gravitate towards those that look, behave, and think like us.