New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio poses with the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue facing off with the ‘Charging Bull’ near Wall Street. The statue was installed on International Women’s Day 2017. Photo: Newsday.
There’s a movement going on right now, on a global scale, where men are being positively engaged in creating gender equality. We are thrilled to see this happening, and are committed to continuing to do everything we can to be a part of this. Diana Ryall in her article ‘Calling all Men’ shares some very practical actions that men can take to ‘back’ the women they work with.
Xplore is pleased to welcome back world-leading researcher and author on men and masculinities, Dr Michael Kimmel, who will be in Sydney for two days in August. We will co-host a panel event with 30% Club, to continue to build the momentum of ‘men as allies’, and look forward to bringing you more details and reporting on the outcomes of this event soon.
If you were like me and missed out on attending one of Amy Cuddy’s recent workshops, Di’s highlights of the Sydney workshop, together with Georgie Dent’s overview, will almost make you feel like you were in the room. Power to you!
We are delighted to again be supporting Dress for Success Sydney’s upcoming major fundraising event, ‘200 Years of Empowerment – A Fashion Journey’, being held on 9 August. You can still purchase a ticket, if you are quick!
My highlight for the past week was the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the first ever female Doctor Who. Bravo BBC!
Finally, if you’re looking for a way to give back and like the idea of some travel abroad, with a touch of adventure, then think about joining us on our Cambodia Field Trip, from 12 to 18 November 2017. I’m looking forwarding to leading the trip, and very grateful to have Diana Ryall join us as our host to share her passion for adventure and making a difference in this amazing world.
Until next time,
Calling all Men! #menasallies
In 2015, Xplore published a book about sponsorship and the role it played in supporting career success. Through interviews with 12 sponsors and their sponsees — many of them women — the book explores the various aspects of the sponsorship relationship and offers insights on how to make the most of the relationship on both sides.
With the call on men in recent years to join women in achieving gender equality in the workplace, sponsorship has become a powerful mechanism to support the transition of women into more senior roles and accelerate their career progression.
Next month we will release a revised version of this book under a new title, Got Your Back: The power of sponsorship to accelerate career success. The stories remain as they appeared in the first edition, however, some of the insights have been updated in response to recent developments and current initiatives in the diversity and inclusion space.
Through Xplore, I am happy to say we have seen many strong examples of men supporting the career aspirations of women. At the same time, we are acutely aware of the many challenges still faced by women every day in the workplace. By raising the level of consciousness around some of these challenges, we hope to see even more positive examples. Here, I would like to share a new section of the book that offers 10 actions men can take to ‘back’ the women they work with:
- Amplify women’s voices. Women are often spoken over, or if their voice is softer, they may not be heard. If you see this, can you repeat their point and ensure any ideas a woman adds are correctly attributed to them?
- Bring women into your network. Women may hesitate to attend networking events if these events are known to be attended mostly by men. Can you suggest going together and take the time to introduce them to key people at the event?
- Before an important meeting, ask yourself: ‘Is there a woman qualified to be in the room who I can bring to the meeting?’ Women may get fewer opportunities to ‘be seen’ by clients or more senior people in the organisation. Can you invite a woman to a meeting she may not have otherwise attended?
- Prompt women to speak up about their successes. Women are often reluctant to talk up their successes in meetings for fear of being seen as aggressive. If you are aware of a woman’s achievements, can you open the way in the meeting for her to speak up about these?
- Don’t assume women aren’t able to travel. The assumption of ‘family responsibilities’ may lead managers to think they are less willing to travel for their work. Can you ensure you give women the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to travel and offsite training, which will enhance their career prospects?
- Become known as a sponsor of women. Opening career doors and encouraging women to take on new projects or more challenging roles will support their career ambitions. Can you identify at least one woman (not in your team) who has the ability to take on a more challenging role?
- Become known as an advocate for gender equality. It is a fact that, even in 2017, men hold most of the powerful positions within organisations. Leaving the gender equality message to the 10% of women in senior leadership positions makes the change we need difficult to achieve. Can you be a spokesperson on why gender equality is a business imperative?
- Don’t accept pushback from other men. Ambitious men, particularly those in more junior positions, may push back if they see women receiving special consideration. As gender equality expert Michael Kimmel said, ‘Men have had the benefits of 200 years of positive discrimination’. Now is the time to truly seek ‘merit’ that shows diversity. Can you say that you have supported one woman into their next career move?
- Ensure equal pay for women. Women are paid less for the same role and level in most organisations. Have you looked into — or are you aware of — any pay inequity between genders in your team and, if so, have you brought it to the attention of those who are able to do something about it? Can you ensure the women in your organisation are not financially disadvantaged?
- Encourage promotion. Women are known to stay in the same position for longer and are more hesitant to seek promotion than their similarly talented male counterparts. When you hear of an opportunity, can you encourage a qualified woman to apply for the position and offer to be a referee?
Strike a pose: The power of Amy Cuddy
This week I was fortunate to attend the Sydney Business Chicks workshop with Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy, as guest speaker. Known around the world for her 2012 TED Talk, Your body language may shape who you are — the second-most viewed talk in TED’s history — Amy studies how non-verbal behaviour and snap judgements influence people. She argues that ‘power posing’ when we don’t feel confident, increases our feelings of confidence. The Sydney workshop alone was attended by 1,000 people, most of who were women, and approximately 50 men. Amy shared many stories, but there were four that particularly resonated with me:
- How young children can spot ‘confidence’ by the age of four, and how they associate confident figures with being male. This is summed up by a quote from Amy’s new book, Presence: ‘Based on research on timing of the development of gender identities and adoption of cultural stereotypes, we hypothesised that the four-year old children would label dolls in the high-power poses as male and dolls in the low-power poses as female and that this effect would be stronger in the six-year olds. …. both groups showed strong male-power gender bias, compared to the four-year olds the six-year olds were about three times as likely to see EVERY powerful doll as male and EVERY powerless doll as female. And there were no differences between the scores of girls and boys – they were equally biased.’
- How young girls gradually compress the space they take and how this impacts their confidence, especially in the high school years. As Amy says, ‘Anyone who’s observed young children knows that girls are just as likely as little boys to throw their arms in the air, stand with their shoulders back, and plant their feet apart. But at some point, studies show this changes: boys continue to expand and girls to collapse’.
- Amy identifies how women undermine their power with specific poses and actions — hunching, leg crossing, their voice, touching their hair and the use of their arms. Read this article by Amy that shows how we stand, sit and speak can boost our confidence
- Through one of Amy’s contacts, she became aware of work done with horses to make them more confident. By demonstrating how a horse shows confidence, they were able to help horses with confidence issues and transform them into proud horses that were able to take their position in the group. Read the story and watch this uplifting video of how horses can benefit from power posing too.
Finally, a personal observation. This week when I attended my Zumba class, I noted that so many of the moves are ‘expansive’. Perhaps that is why I feel so energised after each class. Maybe Zumba should be mandatory in high schools for girls!
From around the web
- Fantastic cross-generational interview by Michael Kimmel and his son Zachary last Monday at the United Nations Foundation’s 2017 Girl Up Leadership Summit exploring the issue of boys as allies to girls.
- Is your organisation still looking for ways to increase the presence of women in leadership? Here are a few quick tips from those in the know and what they believe can help.
- This is one powerful TED Talk. Maysoon Zayid shares her personal story of living with cerebral palsy, being a Muslim woman … and a couple of other drawbacks. Watch this and you will see why!
- If you happened to be one of the unfortunate souls who missed out on seeing Amy Cuddy on her recent national workshop tour, do not despair! Here’s a great article from Georgie Dent, from Women’s Agenda, capturing all the need to knows.
- The future looks bright … for businesses run by women! A great read from Upworthy that shares 11 facts about women-run businesses.
- Australia deserves better childcare! It sure does, and here is a reality check on the current sad state of affairs. Watch this video.
- If you missed our Inclusionary Leadership book panel Q&A event in your state earlier this year, you can catch the conversation from our Sydney event on YouTube. Featuring incredible insights from our awesome panellists, Mariam Veiszadeh, Fiona de Jong, Steve Vamos, Huseyin (Huss) Mustafa and Dale Connor.