Written by Jeanniey Mullen, Chair, Women’s Leadership Group
A bold statement, but one that I now agree with in many aspects: I’m encouraged. Men are helping to drive the gender equality issue forward. This is a huge win. And, with this support, women can and should expect to see continued advancements relating to this critical global issue. One month ago a statement like this would not have come out of my mouth. Yet, overwhelming response to 2 sessions at the IMPACT16 conference changed my mind. Here is why:
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a keynote panel at the Internet Marketing Association’s IMPACT16 event. The panel featured members of the Women’s Leadership Group. With 1500 people in attendance, and 60-70% of them being men, we carefully crafted a conversation we felt would engage both the men and women in a positive way. Our discussion covered four key areas; How women leaders break through the glass ceiling; The importance of same-gender and cross-gender mentorship; “Manterrupting” and it’s effects on morale and performance and The importance of maintaining mental and physical wellness. (If you would like a copy of the presentation, or to schedule this panel at your event, please reach out.)
The next day I facilitated a breakout panel where we asked only women attend. In that session, we openly and honestly shared our stories. Every person in the room took away key learnings, and linked to a group of women willing to help them conquer any challenge.
I had expected many men to tune out, or leave. I was wrong. The post-conversation comments shocked me…