- Starting with the WIIFM (what’s in it for men)
- Sharing their story with men
- Speaking up WITH him
- Practicing self-care
As we shared in our last post, we are thrilled that our new book, ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, will be available early October! Our next three blogs will feature sneak peaks of the new book, with exclusive content from our research and interviews with successful women and male allies. For the next wave of gender equality, it is critical that men are involved in the movement.
This post will unpack the four key areas where male allies partner with women for gender equality are by:
- Channeling the women they empathize
- Asking for her HERstory
- Speaking up with her
- Doing the fair share
Channel the Women You Empathize
Think About What You Want for Your Daughter, Mother, or Spouse. Male allies shared incredible insights into the strong women in their lives that they cared about, and acted as a source of inspiration to transfer that care and compassion to other women. These men often were selfless in their gives of mentorship, sponsorship, or in how they managed women. They saw them as humans just like them, and did what anyone would do. They downplay their extraordinary efforts as ordinary, yet as I shared this with women, they responded that they wished there were more men like this. Male allies, although all around us, are more of a rare breed than they realize. Our belief is that these men see themselves as “normal” because they have channeled the strong women in their lives subconsciously, seeing the women they work with as extensions of their “normal” reality.
We are so excited to announce that our new book, ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, will be available early October! Our next four posts will feature sneak peaks of the new book, with exclusive content from our research and interviews with successful women and male allies.
In working with successful men and women leaders throughout my career, and in my research, there is a clear and integral role for women helping one another, as well as the importance of men supporting women. We rarely recognize the “male allies” behind successful women, and this book is intended to help men and women understand the importance of “male allies,” and also to provide strategies, tools, and ideas for women and men to partner together for gender equality.
From our research, we believe that feminism failed to produce results because it was negatively perceived as “man haters” and left out 50% of the population in its cause. Now is the time to showcase examples of what good looks like, and the man’s role in creating positive change. As many of the male allies we interviewed said, it’s the small things that make a big difference. From everyday men in business, to men in academia, to executive women leaders, to bestselling authors, to Ted Talk speakers, we interviewed dozens of extraordinary men that have done ordinary, and extraordinary things to support women.
This is not a tug of war; it’s not a zero sum game. We all stand to benefit when we welcome men into the conversation about gender equality. We’re not going to solve this problem as women alone. We need the support of male allies to win together. And, as we found in our research, there are benefits for both women and men. It’s a win-win.
There are four key areas that we believe holistically represent what male allies do to support women and what women do to engage male allies. It truly is a collaboration across genders.
- Heart: How Men Channel the Women They Empathize, and How Women Start the Dialogue with the WIIFM
- Story: How Men Ask for HERStory, and How Women Share Their Story
- Speaking: How Men Speak up with Her, and How Women Speak Up with Him
- Work-Life: How Men Do the Fair Share, and How Women Practice Self-Care
Research indicates that Millennials will be 75% of our workforce by 2025, and with this, organizations are struggling to engage top talent across generations. Often, with leaders I coach, they ask, “how can we change the millennials to be more motivated, and less entitled?” to which I respond, “they are far less likely to change for us; they are far more likely to change us.” There are so many wonderful traits this next generation brings to the workforce: a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the world, a desire to work to live rather than live to work, and an uncanny ability to find solutions to complex problems. Yet, there are some distinct behaviors and expectations that do not always align with organizational values and processes.
The Pew Research Center outlines generations by birth year range as follows:
- Millennials: 1981-1997
- Generation X: 1965 to 1980
- Baby Boomers: 1946 to 1964
Much attention has been placed on Baby Boomer and Millennial alignment, as they represent two ends of the spectrum, and have the most differences between them. However, Generation X is the next generation of leaders, and represents the majority of small business owners. They are a force to be reckoned with as well, yet often blend in with the Baby Boomers or identify with the Millennials as the pendulum swings. Humorously, at a conference I was at recently, the speaker talked about Generation X being overwhelmed by the Baby Boomers. Due to their sheer size, Baby Boomers made Generation X into mini Baby Boomers. Partially true, Generation X seems to be amicable and the most flexible to each of the other larger generations.
In order to effectively lead an organization today, leaders must inspire and engage across all generations. In this post, you will learn:
- Understanding how “coming of age” experiences shape generations
- Learning how to “flex” your leadership style to meet the needs of each generation
- Aligning cultural values consistent with generational expectations
So, I had this epiphany when I was a young adult. I was in college and it was freshman year, and it was my first time living away from home. My roommate, also one of my best friends from high school, and I were getting into our first argument. She informed me that, to my shock, “not everyone was like me.” I thank Amy for this assertive statement, and recall that memory fondly as a great moment of self-awareness.
My roommate, Amy, and I had completely different personalities. While we had so much in common in our passions and interests, we could not have been further apart on our communication styles. As a results-oriented, direct communicator, I could not believe Amy would need time process her thoughts before sharing, and often thought of the impact on others before thinking of herself. She’s the steady one; I am the bold one. Still to this day, our differences are felt, and I am thankful to have someone to balance me out that knows me so well, and accepts me for who I am, even if our priorities are completely different.