Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 

MEN WHO CHAMPION WOMEN

August 20, 2018

Most men want to be part of the solution to driving gender equity and understand that we will not get there without them. Those who do it well understand that inclusiveness means involving both men and women in women’s advancement. But it can be hard to know exactly how to help.

Only 32% of women and 45% of men feel as if managers make sure a diversity of voices is represented in decision making, according to the 2017 Women in the Workplace Study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org

Based on 75 in-depth and confidential interviews with men identified by colleagues and direct reports as champions of women, research recently reported in Harvard Business Review identified four key characteristics and behaviors associated with successful male champions:

  1. Explicitly use their authority to create a more inclusive culture in their teams and across the organization.They look at areas where women are under-represented and push for solutions.
  2. Think of gender inclusiveness as part of effective talent management. Male champions consider diversity of all kinds an asset when hiring and work to provide equal opportunities for learning and development for women and men.
  3. Provide gender-aware mentoring and coaching to increase the visibility of women they work with. They seek to understand women team member’s goals and women who work with them report that their male mentors helped them feel they belonged at the table and increased their self-confidence.
  4. Have an other-focused leadership style rather than self-focused. They focus on helping mentees develop their own leadership skills.


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