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When Women Win, Do Men Lose?

Originally published by Catalyst

Creating an inclusive and equitable workplace benefits everyone, regardless of gender. At our recent webinar, Beyond Zero-Sum: Embracing Gender Equity as a Win-Win Scenario, our panel of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leaders discussed the Catalyst initiative MARC and the strategies and actions organizational leaders can take to embrace gender partnership at work.

Moderated by Julie Nugent, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Services & Community, Catalyst, the panel included Reza J. Rasoulpour, PhD, Vice President, Global Regulatory and Stewardship, Corteva; Sadhana Pattni, Director, DEI Global Learning & EMEA ANZ, Stanley Black and Decker; and Alejandro Ramirez, Senior Director Purchases for LA North Market Operations and Gender Equality co-leader for México, P&G.

Reza Rasoulpour shared with us afterward a few key things that were reinforced for him during this dynamic session:

“When challenged by zero-sum thinking, it is important to lean into the driving purpose of ensuring inclusion.  When we start with the desire of creating the culture of inclusion—for all the small moments and big moments—it disarms the zero-sum narrative.”

Rasoulpour added, “I also really appreciated everyone’s authenticity and humility that we are on an active journey—we need to lower the barrier for engagement. Sitting on the sidelines is just not enough.”

Selected takeaways from all three panelists include:

How To Start:

  • Consider your sphere of influence and start making change there.
  • Take an active role in advancing gender equity. It’s not enough to be a passive and quiet supporter. Evaluate what you are doing every day to purposefully advance equity in your workplace.
  • Engage senior leaders to help move the needle with those who may be resistant to gender equity. Leverage the power of stories from senior leaders—what are they doing to sponsor gender equity? What experiences have they had that put them on this path?

Play Your Role.

  • Men: Understand that you have an important role, which is not to be a savior but to help create an inclusive environment.
  • Allow people to make honest mistakes and fail. Mitigate the fear of doing the wrong thing and build a culture of asking, teaching, and learning.

Stay Focused!

  • Gender equity is a marathon. Things can’t be changed in a day; we need to incorporate new behaviors into our day-to-day lives.
  • Don’t let the politicization of DEI take away from the goals of our work to build more diverse and inclusive teams. The data show that diverse teams drive business success.
  • This work isn’t about convincing people. There will be those who can’t be persuaded, and they serve as a distraction. Focus on those who want to actively participate but don’t know how; this is how we can truly make change.
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