Meet Rory: Why the ‘Y’
“I’m sorry, Amanda, I’m going to be a few minutes late for our meeting. I’ve just left school drop-off and I’m stuck in traffic.”
This was a voice message I received a few weeks ago from the newest addition to our team, Rory Brown. It was an unremarkable message in every way, but one. After all, how many times had I heard the same or similar from my female colleagues or clients, or said the same words myself in the course of balancing my own family’s needs with those of my work? What made it stand out was these words were said by a man – a man who had chosen to take on the role of primary carer to his two young children so his wife could focus on her career.
Rory’s message was like music to my ears, and a wonderful, timely affirmation of Xplore’s long-held belief that issues relating to gender equality are best addressed by women and men working together. As Diana Ryall says, “The changes we need for women, need the support of men. Unless we engage men to better understand how our biases and discrimination affect organisational success, real progress is unlikely.” Back in December we shared news of our focus on including men more deeply in our work, represented visually through a brand refresh with a ‘y’ incorporated into Xplore’s ‘x’.
‘Working together’ means different things to different people, but there’s much we can learn from opening ourselves up to different perspectives and listening to what works for others. We asked Rory to share some of the things that he discovered through being a stay-at-home dad, and he responded with this article, and an enthusiastic invitation to all men to “walk in my shoes”.
I look forward to the day when a call from a male colleague along the lines of Rory’s is accepted as a cultural norm unattached to gender. In the meantime, at Xplore, we will continue to partner with individuals and organisations to deliver leadership and career development programs that build inclusive, high-performing cultures where everyone grows and thrives.