Why Do We Need to Engage Men In Women’s Leadership Issues? Part 1

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Why Men?

Women’s issues are societal issues and organization issues. Without men understanding the issues (the experiences women are having in the workplace), being involved in the discussions and actively involved in changing organizational culture then women’s advancement will remain stuck.

Jeffery Tobias Halter, president of YWomen, recently spoke with Dr. Patti Fletcher, Leadership Futurist & Solution Management at SAP SuccessFactors, about how to engage men in women’s leadership issues and the need for integrated women’s leadership strategies for her Forbes column. Here’s an excerpt:

Men are still 85 percent of senior leadership, which means we are 85 percent of the problem AND 85 percent of the solution. We will never drive long-term systemic change for women without male advocacy.

Unfortunately, most organizations believe that the key to retaining women is to “fix the women” by sending them to training or conferences, creating resource groups or just recruiting more women. These programs are very important, but they are only one-third of the solution. To achieve gender equity—frankly, to achieve equity for all employees—organizations must address all three legs of the proverbial stool:

1. Promoting women’s leadership initiatives

2. Operationalizing the business case and changing corporate culture

3. Creating male and organizational advocates

The problem is the culture of most companies is male-led, and we do nothing to train men. Companies today can get women in the door, but recruitment, retention, and advancement are the key roadblocks, and they all link to culture.

Read the full interview.