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Engaging Men

Engaging Men to Advance Women in Business

October 29, 2013


Men Are Critical Players in Creating Workplace Equality

Engaging Men to Advance Women in Business
October 29, 2013

How can it be that in 2013 women hold only between 10 and 15 percent of C-suite positions in corporate America, and why are we having the same conversations about women’s role in the workplace as we did 20 years ago?

These questions were posed at the CWB’s most recent Best Practices Forum, “Engaging Men to Advance Women in Business,” which was held on the Bentley University campus on October 29, 2013. The Forum brought together male and female executives from a variety of companies, including MFS Investments, Marsh and McLennan Companies, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Analog Devices, Hologic, Wellington Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Southern Company, Dassault, Cisco, Forrester Research, Sun Life Financial and Thermo Fisher Scientific, among others.  Thought-leaders and executives who lead efforts to engage men in diversity and inclusion initiatives shared their strategies and best practices for collaborative leadership.  Throughout the Forum, attendees participated in several polling exercises,  answering questions about their perceptions of how many men in their companies are engaged in gender diversity, the effectiveness of their companies’ efforts in engaging men, and metrics for tracking progress toward gender equality.

Chuck Shelton, Managing Director of Greatheart Leader Labs: “Ultimately we want this day to point us toward leadership success and acknowledge the ancient and mysterious differences that exist between the genders”.

Best Practices for Engaging Men: Effective and Sustainable Models for Inclusivity and Collaboration

Betsy Myers and Chuck Shelton moderated a panel of four business leaders, each of whom has devoted considerable time and expertise to creating the kinds of collaborative efforts.    

Mike Barriere, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Alcoa; Chris Brassell, Director, Office of Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Bill Lyon, Managing Director/U.S. East Zone Leader, Marsh; and Leslie Mays, Vice President & Chief Inclusion Officer, Avon Products shared both personal stories and examples of how different companies have gone about engaging male leaders in advancing women.  Although they come from different industries and types of organizations, the four panelists seemed to agree on several core propositions. 

Luncheon exercises with Professor Duncan Spelman focused on differing perceptions held by men and women about a variety of diversity and inclusion metrics. For example, there was an 11.7% gender difference in polled responses to the question, “To what extent do both men and women learn from and value the ways of each other?” and a 13.3% gender difference in perceived levels of gender discrimination in their companies. As one might expect, on both issues, women were more critical than men about company practices.       

Our Partners

The CWB would like to thank all of the presenters, especially Chuck Shelton, who played a key role in helping us to frame the program and who recruited the panelists based on his experience working with companies that are true leaders in engaging men.  Special thanks as well to our partners at Swarmworks who assisted us in tapping the wisdom and insights of all participants though a variety of polling exercises.

Learn more about our Best Practice Forums and how you can partner with the CWB for future events.

Thank you to our Founding Corporate Partner