Sometimes men seem so blind to the struggles of women to achieve equal opportunity and equal treatment that we want to send them all to another planet and run things here ourselves.
That would be a mistake. It’s not gender that’s the problem, it’s bias.
Consider the words of just a few of the men today who are standing up for women and making change happen on their watch.
This must be the century in which women take their rightful place, in which hundreds of years of marginalization are forcefully and finally overturned… in which girls are born not into a world of narrow hopes and lesser protections, but into a world of equal treatment and boundless opportunity.
We have had a policy for some time that if a board slate does not contain any women, we withhold support and don’t vote for it. We then write a letter to the nominating committee explaining our policy and why we think this issue is important. The evidence is mounting that investing in women makes good business sense. I think the burden should shift—and the question should be: Why not invest in women?
The challenge of gender parity in senior leadership remains daunting… The first step managers need to take is to confront our natural inclination to attract, promote, and develop people in our own image. In my experience, most male leaders in major corporations are not resistant to change, but we often do not recognize our unconscious perpetuation of the status quo. Until that is recognized, the pace of change will remain glacial.
When Steve did Almond do it? He made gender partnership a priority, and several of his most influential male board members volunteered to vacate their seats to make room for talented, senior women from their own leadership teams.
We need to make sure that the laws in our state, our country, do the most to help the battle for equality. Men in particular need to listen to women, to understand their stories. Men’s narratives are everywhere; women, not so much.
In order to understand, we must first open our ears. We need to understand what is being done to women we love. We need to look within ourselves to see where sexism still lives. It’s not too late for that; look how much the culture has changed.
President Barack Obama, in his 2014 State of the Union Address
When women succeed, America succeeds.