It’s Not All About Women

On Wednesday, February 24th The Network teamed up with the association Men For Inclusion

The discussion revolved around having more diverse and inclusive workplaces as a critical step to the success of organisations.

Unfortunately, even with senior leadership, efforts to implement better inclusion, often fall to female members of the workforce and men frequently avoid the discussion or worse still, actively resist programmes designed to help all genders.

‘Why does this persist?’ and ‘What can you do to change it?’ were the main questions our two presenters, Brian Ballantyne and Gary Ford (Co-Founders of Men for Inclusion) answered with a very active and fruitful involvement from attendees. In this event, male attendees were invited to give their view and feedback to the exploration of this subject.

Both male and female business leaders spoke of cases where they worked to shift cultures within their organisations and make this a priority for all genders, not just the women. Also some cases of good practices supporting work-life balance were presented, such as the wellness day at the PayPal.

Many different ideas and views came up during the discussion. Everyone agreed that the communication between men and women, and adapting to each other is key to reaching a balanced working environment:

  • The burden of childcare is still mostly on women’s shoulders. To change that, influential men could encourage taking parental leave by being examples themselves.
  • There needs to be communication between companies and men to make the change, as they are part of the solution.
  • We need to create safe spaces and get the discussion running on uncomfortable topics. Men need to open up to be vulnerable.
  • Both perspectives are important.
  • Men need to intervene when they see a problematic situation.