In this episode of The Forum Podcast, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox (20-first), argues that women alone should not be leading the topic of gender balance in organizations. But how do we engage men and leaders in gender balancing businesses when the topic of gender balance is often framed as being created for women by women, leading to failed engagement by men and accountability by men, or even worse, creating divisive segmentation within men of a, “you’re either with us or against us” mentality?
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Engaging men isn’t about getting women to become ever more congratulatory about men who ‘get it.’ Getting men to embrace balance requires leaders skilled at making the link between balance and business. When they buy it, and are skilled at selling it, everyone gets on board.
Over the past decade, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of 20-first, has worked on gender balance with 43 companies, across 32 countries, facilitated 231 debates with over 3,000 executives. She’s worked in every possible sector, from finance and energy to tech and consumer goods. Here’s what she learned and some of the questions she’ll explore:
- Why is gender balance so often framed as a women’s issue, discussed by and among women?
- How do we engage men and leaders in gender balancing businesses?
- Where do companies stand today and what’s the next step?
- Understand the common pitfalls to avoid and why they remain so popular
- Introduce the concept of ‘gender bilingualism’ as a management competency
- Outline ways of reframing gender balance more strategically and inclusively
Avivah is joined by Tim Hollins, Director and Senior Consultant at 20-first.
- A Decade of Engaging Men & Leaders in Gender Balance (FORBES)
- Getting Men to take Gender Balance More Seriously (HBR)