What Can Men Do to Support Women in Leadership Positions?
People in general should understand that differences in leadership styles and backgrounds make a well-rounded team. Leaders should understand how to fill in their own gaps. Often that means reaching out of their comfort zone to hire and develop people with different experiences and perspectives.
—Eleanor Hong, chief marketing and strategy officer, Smart & Final
Men can better support women by advocating for flexible company practices that provide more opportunities to work remotely. There also needs to be a cultural shift beyond the workplace toward men assuming more responsibilities at home. When the obligations of home life are shared more equally, women can have the balanced career/home lifestyle that men may take for granted.
—Rachel Lipson, founder, CEO, Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People
Hire more executive women: Every board room I am in is generally 95 percent male, and it is always like walking into a party where everyone knows each other, and you are the outsider having to prove yourself over and over again. It is exhausting!
—Jessica Kogan, co-founder, chief digital officer, Cameron Hughes Wine
One of the most important things men can do to support women in leadership positions is to treat them as the equals that they are in business. It may sound easy, but there is a lot of unconscious bias in the business world, and it takes a concerted effort to overcome it. They can also help to mentor and advise women just as they would do so for male leaders.
—Stephanie Cartin, co-founder; Socialfly, co-host, The Entreprenista podcast
When women speak, let them speak. Don’t talk over or interrupt them. Similarly, if you see a client who constantly asks you questions that should be directed toward the woman you’re with, don’t answer them. Redirect that client to ask the woman instead.
—Erica Douglass, co-owner, VP marketing, 1Up Repairs
I think it’s the same thing you can do to support anyone who might not have a reason to feel like an outsider or in the minority within any group—pay particular attention to creating opportunities for them to participate and contribute to important decisions.
—Harj Taggar, CEO, Triplebyte
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine.