I often talk about what is wrong in the business world when it comes to women’s experiences and opportunities. But today, I am going to talk about what is right, thanks to a few good men who make such a difference.
Work is not the only thing we do at our workplaces. We have personal relationships with some of our coworkers and clients who are also our friends. We do business with PEOPLE, and every single person matters.
That’s why when an engineer working in the oil and petroleum industry on the East Coast picked up the phone to ask me why he hadn’t received my broadcast updates, it caused me to pause and remind myself that the work my team and I are doing is for the PEOPLE.
Mr. K, the engineer who called me, shared with me how much he loves getting emails from The Women’s Code because it gives him ideas on how to further his own cause. You see, Mr. K is an ally and he’s trying to get more women into engineering.
It Made My Day
In my personal experience, I have found the 80/20 applies also to men who support women advancement.
Eighty percent have their heads screwed on straight and are shocked when they hear or read what the rotten 20% say or do to women. It just feels like there are more than 20% rotten apples out there because they tend to command all the attention and are well documented.
See it for yourself just by reading the comments on some of my posts. It’s a real eye-opener when a man who is supposedly happily married with two daughters says some of the nastiest things to me. Clearly, more education is necessary.
Focus on the Few Great Men
First, let’s acknowledge there are more than just a few. I am happy to report that there are actually MANY great men out there.
If you are one of them, please share in the comments a #fewgoodmen. It just feels as if there are only a few because the 20% are so much louder. Shall we change that?
Support Women Advancement
Now, let’s take a look at what you can do if you are one of them and want to support and advance women’s causes.
This is probably the most important aspect of advancing women’s issues. When in a meeting, a man can use his voice to give the women a voice. Evaluate our ideas with the same sincerity as you would a man’s idea. Of course, this “voice lending” isn’t meant to be a final solution. It is, however, a simple way to start to address the norms of today’s society that hold women back.
MENTOR & SUPPORT WOMEN.
Make a point to mentor and support women by asking them to make presentations during meetings (or where appropriate) so that our voices are heard. Be clear to articulate that team intelligence is at its highest when women and men have a 50%-50% balance. (If you need those numbers and more, download the Insights Paper.)
WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING – SAY SOMETHING.
This can be in the form of taking the bully aside for a private chat after you watch him belittle a woman, or standing up for her when amid a group of 10 men. Either way, it is imperative that you say SOMETHING.
I have learned a few things about the pack mentality just by reading the comments that follow my posts about controversial topics. I’ve noticed that once one man makes a nasty comment, other men feel entitled to let out their frustrations as well, irrespective of whether or not those opinions are warranted. It’s as though I am the stand-in woman on the receiving end of many years of pent up anger toward women in general. And I’ll take that role on so that we can be more aware of the rotten ones and how they act, but no woman should be a punching bag for a man’s frustrations. Make sure they don’t pick on a woman in your circles because it’s easy.
ENCOURAGE & BE HONEST.
You’d be surprised the difference it can make for us. And a little goes a long way. Like when Mr.K called me today to tell me that what I do matters. Please, tell the women around you that they matter, too. It makes all the difference in the world and it keeps us going.
Finally, if you feel that you are one of these good men and I just spoke to you—I did. I thank you, the many good men, from the bottom of my heart.
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.