Foreword in Lead Like an Ally from Authors of Athena Rising

Brad Johnson & David Smith, Authors of Authors of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women share their thoughts on Lead Like an Ally…

We are raving fans of leading organizational consultant, Julie Kratz! For years, we have admired her innovative strategies for developing allies in the workplace. Her first book on allyship, One, is a pivotal manual for the applied practice of male allyship and it has been critically important to our own work focusing on inclusive cross-gender mentoring. One serves as a one-stop guide for everyday men who genuinely want to lean in to advocacy, accomplice, and ally roles with women to make the workplace more equitable and effective for everyone. As important as it is for grassroots, everyday dudes to be more aware and intentional about allyship for their female colleagues, it is just as crucial that leaders develop a clear understanding of gendered obstacles in the workplace and how they can leverage their leadership roles to crush them.

Enter, Lead Like an Ally! This new book by Julie Kratz is a profound gift to leaders of all stripes. Like One before it, Lead Like an Ally is a terse, pithy, extraordinarily practical guide to both understanding and overcoming gender bias and systemic sexism in the workplace. But this time, Kratz tailors her evidence-based consulting wisdom for managers and executives. After all, gender inequity and lack of full inclusion is ultimately a leadership problem—not a women’s issue.

In a stroke of creative brilliance, Kratz frames Lead Like an Ally as a riveting fable grounded in the all-too real traditional workplace. Each of the six short chapters, begins with a first-person account of the many real-world gendered hurdles, pitfalls, and insults ubiquitous for women in the modern workplace through the eyes of Jane. Smart, analytical, and emotionally intelligent, Jane is an archetype for what we call a Rising Athena—a bright, talented young woman in a work landscape created by and for men. Jane is simultaneously the name of Julie’s young daughter. This truth makes Lead Like an Ally all the more compelling. Here is a luminary in the field of inclusion and allyship offering a guide for leaders on how to create a workplace that will one day be more hopeful, equitable, and inclusive when Julie’s own Jane arrives at work. Of course, this inclusive workplace will be a better place for everyone to work and thrive as their authentic selves.

Lead Like an Ally deftly covers all the ally bases. Readers will lean how to clean up the culture, stretch talent equally, establish ally networks, manage meeting behavior, promote belonging, and measure progress toward achieving inclusion milestones. Each chapter includes sections on salient ally insights (takeaways about the experiences of many women in male-centric workplaces) and ally ideas (excellent strategies for solving gender exclusion, bias, and sexism to increase a sense of belonging among women and bolster the organizational bottom line in the process). Finally—listen up here guys—Kratz finishes each chapter with a manager took kit. Yes dudes! There are tons of tools here! This is a veritable leader tool box for successfully ameliorating gender biases and roadblocks and honestly assessing how your own team is doing when it comes to gender inclusion.

Lead Like an Ally is a gift to leaders everywhere. It is instantly the current standard in the fields of allyship and leadership. Read it, apply it, and watch your teams become more inclusive and successful.

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