A few weeks ago I presented at the Marie Claire Success Summit. I was sharing with my partner Stuart King about the event – and mentioned that the Commissioner for Human Rights Elizabeth Broderick would be presenting and I asked him to come.
Of the 350 attendees Stuart was only one of two men in the room – the other there on the production team. In Elizabeth’s presentation she implored the audience to include the men in our lives in the conversation about diversity and balanced leadership. She thanked Stuart for attending.
Stuart could not help but hear the woman behind him comment “Oh yes look he is nodding in all the right places.” Perhaps out of context, but a patronizing remark at best.
Stuart is deeply interested in social justice – he worked as a police offer for 30 years and in the last part of his policing career he was accountable for the diversity and inclusion program at Victoria Police. From that he was spring boarded into a role as CEO of Diversity Australia. In the last five years he has worked tirelessly as an advocate, advisor and activist for safe workplaces – particularly in the area of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination as MD at Risk to Business.
This is a man who gives a damn. The reason he came to the Marie Claire event is he was curious to learn what would be discussed. I note he has blogged about it himself.
Liz Broderick is working tirelessly with the Male Champions of Change to shift the perceptions about women in leadership.
We all have men in our lives all of us can start by including our men, sons, brothers and fathers in the conversation.
Liz spoke of the “daughter water” campaign – CEOs who have daughters will have a significantly less gender pay gap in their organizations than those without daughters.
“According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, it often comes down to the CEO, and whether or not he (and it’s usually a he) has had the gender equality epiphany moment that
comes from having a daughter.”
As I noted in my recent post about the conversation I had with a family member on his ‘blindness to sexism’. Balanced leadership and inclusion start by including the men in our lives – invite them to events, watch TED talks – and definitely encourage support and advocacy. And just as a side note – please support the men who are taking a stand – don’t patronize or exclude men, because otherwise we are back to basics – just the shoe is on the other foot and as we know that is not what we want nor does is it produce sustainable change.