Featured Post: 5 Easy ways men can support women in the workplace
How men can support women in the workplace- And opening the door isn’t one of them!
As we now know, organic gender balance will not be achieved until 2133 if things are left to run their natural evolutionary devices. Are you prepared to wait?
There are endless tips and advice to support women to do any number of things to enhance their prospects of career advancement. We should stop apologising, sit big, stand tall, use powerful language, look good in a power suit and walk purposefully in killer heels. The list is endless.
However, what I am seeing is a new generation of men and their partners who have different expectations. Men no longer want to have the stress of being the sole revenue generator, and as net disposable incomes fall, most couples need dual incomes to maintain living standards. The increase in divorce rate has also changed the professional landscape, with an increasing number of men being responsible for child care every second week. We are also seeing men simply wanting to play a greater role in family life.
So I share the growing feeling out there that believes that the shift towards gender balance will not be a result of altruism, but economic necessity, and men will play a driving role.
5 ways men can support women in the workplace
1. BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN UNCONSCIOUS BIASES
We all have biases which impact our perceptions and decision-making processes. If you are a male decision maker, understand that and arrange training to identify and manage the unconscious bias in your organisation. They will be legion. They can never be eradicated, only handled. I was at a meeting when the Head of Diversity said “Women talk a lot”. This was followed by an understanding and knowing indulgent smiles in the group. This belief is in fact turning into possibly an oft recounted urban myth. I’ve done it myself. Research is emerging that women and men of equal power status talk the same number of words.
So he should have said:
"Men and women communicate differently and have different communication expectations."
That one throwaway remark perpetuated a fallacious stereotype.
It’s important that men don’t fall into the main gender stereotype traps. Not all women want kids. Not all women are emotional and cry. Men and women can serve coffee and take notes equally ably. There is no need for women to do the office housework. Actively support women by giving them a chance to speak in meetings and encourage an environment where they can assert themselves without being considered bitches. Invite them to the energy position at the table. If you are a leader and see instances of negative behaviour based on stereotyping – educating the life out of it is more lasting than a pre-emptive stamping out.
Another client, a VP. of Marketing had a situation where one of her junior staff members had been absorbing 900 hours a year of admin duties of two men in another department. That is equivalent of permanent part-time job. Why? Because admin support was seen within that organisation as a female function.
It can be hard being a woman in the workplace. 3Plus can help you with a Returner Roll-Up Session on Developing Resilience.
2. TAKE YOUR PATERNITY LEAVE
I have long felt that the sign of gender balance success will be when all men are able to take paternity leave without fear of repercussions. It is a critical benchmark. Parental leave and childcare aren’t female issues, they are working parents issues. Hillary Clinton called them family issues in her opening campaign speech. Children have to stop being a corporate inconvenience. If women are free to earn salaries commensurate with their skills, couples will thrive and so will organisations as a result. Offering the same conditions to men and women equally and detoxifying the stigma of flex-working, will create an environment of acceptance. Corporate culture will change.
The more men exercise their rights, the better it will be for all parents.
3. DON’T APPLY THE MUMMY PENALTY
Currently while men of a certain age occupy positions of dominance in most organisations, their thinking prevails. With a new generation eventually, in two-parent households, parenting will shift to being more of a partnership. We should therefore expect to see more organisations taking an open-minded view about hiring women who are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, and accommodating what is a very short timeframe in an overall career. I am hearing increased anecdotal evidence about organisations hiring women who are already pregnant and being willing to wait until their maternity leave was completed.
One client I had told her boss:
“I love my job and I want to stay in this organisation. But I’m telling you now, I would like to get pregnant this year which means I will be on maternity leave in Q2 or Q3 of 2017. How are we going to deal with this?”
They are working it out.
4. BECOME A JOINT DOMESTIC COO
In Belgium women spend 245 minutes a day on unpaid work. In the US women will spend 130 minutes doing housework, while men spend 77 minutes. Data from ATUS and Pew Research Center showed that working fathers spend an average of 7.3 hours a week with their children, while working moms log an average of 13.5 hours a week. Some of the toughest negotiations women have to make are not with their bosses as they think, but within their own relationships.
Ironing is no fun for any of us. But it maybe useful to outsource low value work for long-term benefit.
CONTACT 3PLUS IF YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TRAINING ON UNCONSCIOUS BIAS IN YOUR ORGANISATION
5. EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN
A girl’s destiny is chosen way before she dons her first business suit. Girls can’t be what they don’t see and hear. So expose both your sons and daughters to the whole spectrum of activities and choices and don’t focus on gender based stereotyping activities.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Make your employer brand attractive to women so that you can attract the top potential candidates.read more
We use it casually every day, but now we need to work out the best social media etiquette for professional use. Remember, your whole reputation could be gone with just one click.read more
Many companies are hoping to attract more female candidates to their top positions, so why do they continue to create male-coded job adverts?read more