Why Women Need Men…Young Men.

Posted on November 8th, 2017 by

Photo courtesy of ‘Business Insider’

When I am running seminars or courses I am often asked if I think the position re women at work is changing, as in improving. My reply is usually along the lines of that my 22 year old self never thought my 62 year old self would still be campaigning on issues of equality, or that it would have taken this long for women to be heard, (I am thinking particularly of the sexual harassment cases engulfing us). However, I usually add the caveat that true gender equality, as well as improving the bottom line for businesses, also improves the lives of men, particularly young men. I was heartened to see a recent piece of research saying exactly that.

In the report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), How Millennial Men Can Help Break the Glass Ceiling, 96 per cent of companies in which men were actively involved in pushing forward gender diversity reported progress being made. By comparison, at companies where men were not involved with such endeavours, just 30 per cent showed progress. The report was based on the answers of 17,500+ respondents from more than 20 countries.

“Younger men today are more attuned to fairness in the workplace and are looking for a different way of working relative to their predecessors,” said Katie Abouzahr, principal at the BCG and one of the authors of the report. “These insights offer an opportunity for companies attempting to create a progressive work environment to differentiate themselves and gain an edge in recruiting and retaining the next generation of talent.”

The findings, which were based on the answers of more than 17,500 respondents from more than 20 countries, also revealed that millennial men’s wants tended to be much better aligned with women’s views than their older counterparts. When asked what kind of policies their business should introduce next, men under 40 ranked work-life balance initiatives, including flexible working, as their number one priority – much like their female colleagues. Men over 40, on the other hand, were more focused on promoting leadership transparency and commitment.

When asked to rank the policies they would value the most from an employer from a list of 39 options, men under 40 were much more likely than men over 40 to place family friendly proposals – such as onsite childcare and parental leave – in their top six. This was true even when the younger men were not parents themselves.

Hopeful signs, and a message to businesses: gender equality is good for you and your profits, and it’s good for your next generation of talent.  Sound business sense, nurture your talent, make gender equality a strategic move. And women, work with those young men to effect change, and help educate the older men who have yet to understand the importance of gender equality. No more women’s groups, but gender equality strategies, involving everyone.

Less hopeful is a report from the European Institute for Gender Equality, published in October 2017, warning that gender equality at work in the UK, and across the EU more widely, had improved little over the last 10 years. No time to rest on our laurels.

The full Boston report is available here.

Just in case you don’t know, I have a one day course running in Brisol on November 28th. We have a few places left on RenewYou, a day for you to take stock of where you are at career wise, or personally, and seriously think about where you want to be in 12 months time. It’s a lovely day, no role play, but plenty of thought provoking exercises to help you think and plan. It’s also usually a great day to network and meet some interesting women, too. You can find out more here. It could be the best thing you do all year.

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How Weinstein is Helping Professional Women…Weirdly

Posted on October 31st, 2017 by

The recent revelations of the abuse of women by men like Weisntsein, MPs, etc, have sparked a slew of sensationalist media coverage. The backlash begins. Women are being blamed for allowing the abuse. This is a story that must not be allowed to go away. Seize the moment.

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Sophie Slavin – Inspirational Woman

Posted on October 24th, 2017 by

Sophie Slavin set up her own business in social media. Before that she took her pony into hospices (yes, really) and appeared in Sherlock Holmes. She is a single parent (with a supportive father) and is passionate about being a good role model to her daughter. And she has a hobby horse. I mean her hobby is her horse!

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7 Days That Rocked My World

Posted on October 13th, 2017 by

It’s been a strange week for women. The Weinstein abuse story breaks and sympathy abounds. Then the backlash. Why didn’t they tell? Let’s get to our comfortable space of blaming the women. And then, amazingly, we begin to listen to the women. Really listen.

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Why Bother With Gender Equality?

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by

Busnesses with over 250 employees have got to report on their gender pay gap by April 2018. So far just 89 have. It’s not easy for businesses to suddenly find women to promote. Yet they need to as businesses with gender equality thrive. Here’s an answer for them…along with some tips for ambitious women, too.

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Carolyn Scott-Jeffs, Writer, Theatre Director & Inspiration

Posted on September 29th, 2017 by

Meet Carolyn Scott-Jeffs, a woman of many talents. Carolyn is a writer and theatre director. Just who did Lord Reith of BBC loathe so much he stifled her career? It’s all in this interview. Carolyn also has a play about another, largely unsung extraordinary woman opening soon at the Lichfield Garrick, Letters to Emma.

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