We have an obligation to build trust in society in this divided time, and the voice at the corporate level can open up the channel at the individual level, or amplify those individual voices so they are heard.
Additionally, companies are in the position to promote and recognize the behaviors that foster acceptance and equality in the workplace. A company’s values truly come to life in a response to tough issues, and staying silent can be seen as a misstep.
Sometimes people are not aware of how their behavior feels exclusionary to someone else—we call these blind spots. At PwC we deliver unconscious bias training to the entire firm addressing blind spots, and we require this training for our new hires and in advance of our people being promoted. Additionally, we created publicly available training to help other organizations promote an inclusive culture.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, where have you witnessed blind spots?
One thing that comes to mind is that some men will dominate conversations, especially in technology, because they are in the majority. I sometimes find myself having to push my way into discussions. I would like to see some men be more thoughtful about the women they work with, and invite them into conversations. This should be an ongoing exercise to help us make sure everyone has a voice. It’s important because being excluded too many times can cause frustration, job dissatisfaction, and frankly, it makes teams less effective and innovative.
The term “ally” was originally used for straight allies who were supportive of their LGBT+ colleagues. As a gay man, I have experienced the positive benefits of “allyship” directly, and I’m really happy the word is being extended—including how men can serve as allies to women. How can women better serve as allies for other women?
This is such an important topic. Sometimes there is a perception that there is only one seat for women at the table, but that’s not true. There’s a lot those of us who are further along in our careers can do to help the younger generations navigate more smoothly in order to make their own mark.