Corporate gender strategist Jeffery Tobias Halter is calling on men to put action behind their claim of being male allies. Jeffery is the leading expert on engaging men to advance women and he says it’s fine to say you’re an advocate for gender diversity and inclusion, but the follow-up question is what are you doing about it? He says that men need to do more than simply mentor or be an ally for women. They need to get out front and pull women up to advance them at the same rate as men. He points out that gender equity has been stuck in relatively the same place for 20 years, but things are changing. He reports that the white guys like himself (boomer men) are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day. These were the figures prior to the COVID-19 shift in workforce numbers.
Jeffery says this exodus is causing a macroshift where the workforce will look significantly different than it does today with jobs being filled by women, millennials, and people of color. However, with the pandemic, companies are going to have to reorganize and restructure. Those that were operating fragile business environments and don’t get the need to strategically advance the new diverse workforce will ultimately be the huge losers and probably close their doors. To make his point he says, “When did Sears figure out it was Sears? 20 years too late.”
What Makes Men See the Need to Advance Women
As President of YWomen, Jeffrey conducts business to business programs for men (no women in the room) to talk about being advocates. He says, “These are the opposite of the me-too knuckleheads. These guys are never going to make a headline. They are just great leaders and great managers.” But no matter how much most of them want to be advocates, the real motivator is a personal connection with a woman, especially if they have a daughter. He says male advocates can practice all of the other skills, but if they aren’t helping advance the women who are working with them, their daughters will face the same issues as women today, making only 83% of their son’s wages, lack of promotions they deserve and little chance of making it to the c-suite.
His book, WHY WOMEN, The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men, spells out exactly what is needed to advance women in the workplace. As the first man to write a book on advancing women, Jeffery sees women as an organization’s most valuable asset and feels it is absolutely critical for businesses to understand this and hold their men accountable for the advancement of women. He calls men 80% of the problem, but says they are also 80% of the solution since they hold the management jobs that are responsible for bringing women up through the ranks.
More Resources at YWomen.Biz
Listen to this interview for more of Jeffery’s ideas about what managers need to do to improve their strategies for advancing women. Check out his website, www.ywomen.biz, for more information, his white papers, including “Women on a Broken Rung.” and watch his TEDx St. Louis Women presentation. Jeffery invites all listeners to take the quiz on his website to find out how you rank as an advocate for women. Are you just thinking about it or are you doing something? Jeffery says just thinking isn’t enough. We all have to work together to help women advance. Read WHY WOMEN and find out how.