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gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

WIIFM: What’s in it for Men that Support Women Leaders

By | Communication, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

Gender diversity drives business performance.  This is something both genders benefit from equally. When opportunities, pay, and promotions are based on performance instead of gender biases, organizations thrive.  This is a competitive advantage for organizations that get it.  When there is gender equality in organizations, teams perform at a higher level and profits are higher.

It’s not a zero sum game, we all stand to benefit when we partner together.  And, we need male allies to support women leaders to make this happen.

Some key statistics to support increasing gender equality in your organization:

  • There is a 16% higher profitability rate with gender equality and $12 trillion could be added to the U.S. economy by 2025 if companies advance gender equality.
  • 91% of Americans choosing “agree” to the statement: “It is very important women have the same rights as men in our country.”
  • Women currently hold 5.6% of CEO positions in the U.S. and 19.5% of Board seats, and earn 83% of the salary of men in similar roles doing similar work.

At Pivot Point, we recommend women leaders share their stories with male allies.  We need to start the discussion with the WIIFM with our male allies.  This is why we have a section in our new book ONE:  How Male Allies Support Women for Gender Equality (get your copy here) dedicated to starting the dialogue with the WIIFM: What’s In It For Men (that support women leaders).

For women looking to engage male allies in the conversation and gain their support, we recommend the following blueprint.  Think of these as talking points to have in your back pocket as you prepare to start the dialogue with male allies:

  • I know you are busy, and I wanted to talk with you about my career path and gender equality at our organization. I see you as a great male ally for women because you have done X, said Y, or believe Z.
  • As a woman, I realize there can be unconscious biases impacting our career paths and the pay decisions made at organizations. Gender equality is important to me because when both genders partner together and have inclusive conversations like this, research shows businesses profits are 16% higher.
  • Currently, women continue to be paid 83% of what men in similar positions are paid, and only account for 5% of CEOs and 80% of board positions. I have noticed our organization has A% women in leadership and/or B% pay gap. What do you think?
  • Supporting gender equality is important to positively driving business performance. We can do this better together than separately.  Research supports men as mentors, sponsors, managers, coaches, advocates, and advisors have a big impact on women’s success. How do you think you can help women?

Even the male allies we interviewed indicated a low awareness of the gender inequities facing women in the workplace.  They see the world through their lens, which often has gender privilege.  They don’t know what they don’t know.  We need to involve them in the discussion so they know how to help.

How will you start the dialogue with your male allies?

We believe strongly in our message to spread male allyship and develop women leaders.  If you do too, share our mantra below or post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Work-Life Management: Practice Self-Care

By | Communication, Delegation, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Gender Equality, Leadership, Positive Thinking, Self-Care | No Comments

Work-life balance is impossible.  While women leaders and male allies want to achieve perfect balance between work and life, our research has found that this is not a realistic expectation for working families.  The two spheres live in conflict, where work may dominate one week, and life (family, caretaking, and self-care) may dominate the next.  It’s more like a teeter totter than a perfect balance beam.

In our work with women’s leadership groups, our survey data revealed the top challenge for the overwhelming majority of members is balancing work and life.  Digging into the facts, it is understandable that this challenge largely falls on women.

  • Women still spend more time on household labor averaging 2 hours and 15 minutes per day, while men average 1 hour and 25 minutes per day (a ratio of 62/38 women to men).
  • From 1997-2015, the number of businesses increased by 51%. Of that increase, 74% of the companies are women owned.
  • 24 million females in the U.S. care for others 25+ hours/week. In fact, they leave the workforce on average 12 years to care for children and relatives.

This illuminates the need for work-life integration for women leaders and families with dual careers.  When women feel trapped in jobs without flexibility, they self-select out of rigid corporate America.  If your organization is not engaging these women leaders, they are likely losing them.  These are smart, talented people who could bring tremendous value to our economy and to organizations, yet we accept – and even encourage – opting-out of their careers.  We make assumptions about the preference to be at home or need to be with the children, whereas the same assumptions are not often applied to working men.

With the challenge of managing work and life, women leaders tend to put themselves last.  This is why we have a section in our new book ONE:  How Men and Women Partner for Gender Equality (get your copy here) dedicated to practicing self-care.

Saying “Yes” to yourself is hard.  Rather than saying “Yes” to everyone else, choose to say “Yes” to the right things.  Remind yourself that you are saying “No” to a lot of things when you say “Yes” to the wrong things.  For women looking to practice self-care, we share these strategies from ONE:

  • Outsource activities you do not have the skill or will to do. For example, we hired a housekeeper to clean our house once a month, and have enjoyed the ROI of having more time with my family, and more energy and time to do the really important things professionally and personally.
  • Say no to FOMO (fear of missing out). Prioritize what is important for you to be happy, overcoming the fear of missing out on the wrong things.  Social media is a big influence here. Before you say “Yes,” remember it means “No” for something else that may be important.  Do say “No” if something does not drive your happiness.
  • Get more sleep. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night.  Unless you have a genetic mutation, this means you.  Very few women we coach get the required seven hours of sleep per night, which is dangerous for their health.
  • Implement the 80/20 rule. Make sure 80% of your energy is aligned with your “why”.  Twenty percent is for the other stuff (routine tasks, things only you can do, etc.).
  • Show compassion for others. Find everyday-ways to genuinely, meaningfully help others.  Giving fuels our energy.
  • Practice gratitude. Journal what you are grateful for each day.  Intentionally choose to focus on what is good in your life.
  • Have a plan. If you do not know what you want and where you’re going, you will fall victim to others deciding for you.

Remember that women leaders that practice self-care, manage their work and life more successfully.  They have more energy to give to others, and are more likely to achieve career success and be happy personally as well.

We believe strongly in our message to spread male allyship and develop women leaders.  If you do too, share our mantra below or post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Negotiation: Ask for What You Want

By | Communication, Confidence, Conflict Resolution, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Positive Thinking | No Comments

Research shows that men are four times more likely to negotiate than a woman.  Women leaders do not speak up and ask for what they want, especially if it feels selfish.  Yet, women are more successful negotiators than men when negotiating on someone else’s behalf.  We have the skill, just lack the will.  This is why we have a section in our new book ONE:  How Men and Women Partner for Gender Equality (get your copy here) dedicated to speaking up.

For women looking to strengthen your negotiation skills, practice:

  • Channeling your purpose and passion
  • Opening the discussion from a place of positive intent and common ground
  • Aligning your ask with your audience’s wants to find win-win solutions

Channeling your purpose and passion

Humans are wired emotionally.  We are far more likely to take action based on a strong purpose or “why” than the tactical “what” or “how.”  Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, articulates this beautifully with proven research.  That means that when we decide to negotiate, knowing why we want what we want is pivotal.  And, when we share our ask with conviction, passion, and confidence, our audience is more likely to respond positively.

Preparation pays off.  Thinking about what you want, why you want it, and how it will work is key.  We encourage women leaders to document their negotiation plan.  Outline the what, why, and how, focusing on your unique purpose and passions.

Choose your battles.  Ask for what you want that align most with your purpose and passion areas.  We may get finite chances to ask for it, so it is important to be strategic and focus on what you truly want vs. nice to haves.  Reflect on this question, what is one thing that will have the greatest impact on me (personally, professionally, etc.)?  That’s your winner.

Opening the discussion from a place of positive intent and common ground

Establishing common ground early in a discussion is important.  With our plan in hand outlining our what, why, and how, we’re armed and ready to initiate a dialogue.  Once we have stated our ask, pause and take a breath, and ask our audience, “what do you think?”  Such a simple, yet powerful question.  When we ask the question early, we involve the audience in the discussion and facilitate a brainstorm collaboration vs. the oppositional “what I want” vs. “what you want” unproductive conversation ping-pong.  This establishes common ground based on both parties’ interests.

Positive intent is a game changer.  Assume your audience has positive intentions, just as you do.  Most people are good people.  That means they want to help us.  By putting yourself out there with your ask, you have demonstrated vulnerability, and most people respond by mirroring that vulnerability.  If you are communicating with the decision maker, assume that they are aligned.  They just need to understand the what, why, and how of your ask to get there.

Aligning your ask with your audience’s wants to find win-win solutions

Remember that you have likely been thinking about your ask much longer than the party you are speaking with.  This may be the first time they have thought about it.  To facilitate their thinking, ask lots of open-ended questions.  Powerful questions start with “what” and “how,” or my personal favorite “tell me more.”  Good negotiators listen more than they speak.  They take copious notes and have already anticipated what their audience may want too, or what their questions will be.

In your preparation plan, make sure to brainstorm areas of alignment.  Where are the places you both win.  Offering up something that helps your audience early encourages them to engage and support you.  Emphasizing commonality vs. differences bridges the gap in perceptions.  Be sure to give your audience space and time to think too.  Once you have articulated the what, why, and how, and asked at least three questions, it’s okay to back off.  Do be sure to schedule a follow up time to talk, or ask for the expectation of decision making time frame.  There is nothing worse than having the tough talk, and then nothing happening.  It’s your job to follow up.

My women’s leadership crush

I had the thrill of meeting one of women’s leadership crushes last month at a conference.  I actually spoke after her, which was surreal.

Linda Babcock, author of Ask for It, taught us a simple four step process to practice to be better negotiators.  It reinforces this approach.  Above all, practicing the negotiation conversation is critical for success.  When we practice, we have a vision of success during the real discussion.  We’re far more likely to be confident when prepared.

Her steps include these phases:

  1. Identify what you want
  2. Make a plan
  3. Get ready strategically
  4. Get ready psychologically

We believe strongly in our message to spread male allyship and develop women leaders.  If you do too, share our mantra below or post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

 

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Five Questions to Ask to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization

By | Communication, Diversity, Employee Engagement, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

Organizations that believe and achieve gender equality outperform those that do not.  Yet, this is often a delicate conversation to begin within organizations.  Even for those that deeply believe in it.  Leaders just do not know how best to achieve it.  Men want to be male allies, yet sometimes do not know how or what to do.  The fear of saying the wrong thing, or being labelled a feminist still holds men back.  And, women leaders do not speak up and ask for what they want, especially if it feels selfish.

That’s why we wrote ONE:  How Men and Women Partner for Gender Equality (get your copy here).  Think of it as a guide packed with strategies, ideas, and stories for male allies and women leaders to partner together.

We are lucky that our readers have given us feedback already.  They really want a discussion guide to get the dialogue started in a healthy, productive way.

You asked, we listened…

Five Questions to Ask to Get the Gender Equality Conversation Started in Your Organization

  1. What would our organization look like if our gender equality goals were met…
  2. What are we missing out on by not maximizing the talents of both genders…
  3. What do we see that tells us we have room to improve our gender equality…
  4. What are examples of times we have gotten gender equality right…
  5. What is one thing I can do to make a positive impact on gender equality at our organization…

So let’s start with #1:  What would our organization look like if our gender equality goals were met… Read More

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

ONE Call to Action

By | Communication, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership | No Comments

The day has finally arrived.  ONE:  How Men and Women Partner for Gender Equality, is available!  And, you can be the first to get your copy here.

We’ve touched on the key strategies throughout this series – Heart, Story, Speak, and Work-Life – for male allies to engage with women leaders to support gender equality.  There are great male allies out there that have shown us what good looks like, and we need to multiply our male allies.  Those featured in ONE – and those you know – are not enough.  We need more.

Positive peer pressure works.  Spread the word to other potential male allies on the fringe, who want to help support women (but may not know how).  For organizations looking to encourage male allyship, focus on what you will do to create positive change.  If you do not have a male ally group, form one.  If your organization has a women’s professional development group, invite men to participate.  Men and women, get curious to learn from one another.

Organizations embracing male allies outperform those that do not.  You are leaving money on the table if you are not facilitating male allyship.  Becoming an ally is a journey.  From our research, we found organizations with gender equality offer these best practices:

  • A culture setting gender equality, inclusion, and diversity as a nonnegotiable belief, and acts as a basis for “fit” with the organization
  • Goals to improve gender equality as a part of their strategic plan, with full transparency of statistics by gender for leadership roles and pay
  • Women’s professional development groups that include male allies (and have a budget)
  • Accountability for behaviors to support gender equality: heart, story, speak, and work-life

Call to Action

Our goal in writing ONE was to create a call to action for more male allies to engage with women for gender equality, and for more women to engage with male allies for support (personally and professionally).  Men, if you believe in equal rights, it is time to step up.  Channel the women you empathize, learn HERstories, speak up with them, and do the fair share.  Be their mentor, sponsor, advocate, coach, advisor… whatever role that benefits them and is aligned with your strengths.  Women, start the dialogue, share your story, speak up with men, and practice self-care.  We’ll leave you with this Male Ally Challenge: share our mantra below on social media using hashtags #maleallies, #genderequality, #femaleadvocacy, #ONE, and #heforshe.

Our Mantra

I believe in gender equality.  I believe women and men, partnering together for gender equality, is what is best for all humans.  By collaborating together, we will improve the lives of future women leaders and girls who will grow up in a world where anything is possible.  My voice matters.  I make choices every day supporting gender equality.  We are all in this together.  I commit to supporting male allyship.  We are stronger together.  We are ONE.

To spread the word on the importance of male allies, post your stories and thoughts with these hashtags:  #genderequality #ONE #heforshe #maleallies #femaleadvocacy.

Order your copy here and we will include a commemorative bookmark with our mantra for a limited time.

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…PART TWO: How Women Partner with Male Allies for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments
Only one more week until our new book, ONE:  How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality, is available!  And, yes you can pre-order on our website here.
This blog features a sneak peak of the women’s strategies part of the 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 women engage men.
The four key areas where women partner with male allies partner for gender equality are by:
  • Starting with the WIIFM (what’s in it for men)
  • Sharing their story with men
  • Speaking up WITH him
  • Practicing self-care
Start the Dialogue with the WIIFM
WIIFM:  What’s In It For Men.  Catalyst, the Pew Research Center, and many other credible sources spell out the clear competitive advantage gender diverse leadership teams have – business performance.  When there is gender equality in organizations, teams thrive and profits are on average 16% higher.  While men care about women, we all can get behind actual proven statistics to support a partnership across men and women to make this happen.  When women start with the why for the organization and for the male ally, men listen.

Read More

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…PART ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

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.

Read More

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Sneak Peak…ONE: How Male Allies Partner with Women for Gender Equality

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Diversity, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention | No Comments

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

Read More

gender equality in the workplace, training leaders, male allies, leadership training

Retaining Women Leaders

By | Career Game Plan, Coaching, Gender Equality, Leadership, Talent Retention, Training | No Comments

We’ve been writing and sharing data that continuously supports that when organizations have more women in senior leadership positions and on corporate boards, performance increases.  Yet, as organizations are initiating women’s groups, diversity officers, and inclusion initiatives, the numbers of women at the top continue to stagnate.  In my research for our new book, ONE:  How Men Partner with Women for Gender Equality, I found that strong women leaders often have access to sponsors and mentors, and many of them are men.  These women leaders believe strongly in the purpose of their work, and the positive impact it has.  We also found another pillar focused on coaching.  Managers of strong women leaders coach them, provide real-time feedback and help her be her best possible self.  They do not solve her problem for her, they help her self-discover her own plan forward.

To increase gender equality at the highest levels of organizations, we must engage women in other ways.  In this post, you will learn proven strategies from our research that outlines these three pillars.  To retain top female talent, leaders focus on:

  • Improving access to sponsors and mentors
  • Aligning their value and purpose with their work
  • Coaching women to success

Read More

Diversity is a candid conversation.

Start the Dialogue.

  • Get our guide, The 5 Questions to Start the Gender Equality Conversation.