Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 72

NEW HORIZONS

Male Mentors in a #MeToo World
More than ever, men must step up to create gender-equal workplaces
TOO OFTEN, WOMEN RECEIVE ADVICE about

overcoming career barriers that focuses
on what they need to do - how they need
to change. Lean in, raise your hand, speak
out, reach back, bring results. It all starts to
sound like a big game of Simon Says.

By Sarah Alter,
President & CEO,
Network of Executive Women

Women do need to assert more control
over their careers, but one of the most
powerful strategies for advancing women's
leadership isn't related to what ambitious
women can do. It's about what influential men should do: mentor and sponsor
high-potential women.
In most companies, men still hold a large
majority of the decision-making roles that
determine which employees are developed
and promoted. By mentoring or sponsoring talented women, high-ranking men can ensure their companies' leadership teams are
gender diverse and reflect a
range of leadership styles.

Cautious to Counsel
Unfortunately, recent polls
by LeanIn.Org and Survey
Monkey reveal men are less
enthusiastic and less comfortable with the idea of mentoring
women than they were a few
months ago, before sexual
harassment stepped to
the forefront of the
national - and workplace - conversation.
Almost half of surveyed male managers are now
uncomfortable
participating in
a common work
activity, such
as mentoring,
working alone or
socializing, with
a woman.
Almost 30 percent
of male managers
are uncomfortable
working alone with a
woman - more than
twice the percentage of
men polled before major

72 Convenience Store News C S N E W S . c o m

media began reporting on sexual harassment claims of high-profile men.
Their discomfort with the idea of meeting
with female colleagues outside of work has
become acute: Senior men were 3.5 times
more likely to hesitate about having a work
dinner with a junior female colleague than a
male one, and five times more likely to say
they'd hesitate to take a work trip with a
junior-level woman compared to a juniorlevel man.
These attitudes "undoubtedly will decrease
the opportunities women have at work,"
LeanIn.Org founder Sheryl Sandberg wrote
in a Facebook post. "When [men] avoid, ice
out or exclude women, we pay the price.
Men who want to be on the right side of this
issue shouldn't avoid women. They should
mentor them."
And, I'll add, companies must do more to
foster men mentoring women.
Three tactics for promoting gender-mixed
mentoring are:
* Make clear to all employees that if they
work with, develop, promote, mentor
or sponsor only people of the same sex,
that's discrimination.
* Make mentoring part of the senior leaders'
job descriptions and compensation.
* Institute a formal mentoring program
that pairs senior men with high-potential
women, and create related goals that can
be measured.
NEW also has advice for men who recognize that businesses with gender-diverse
leadership teams are stronger and, research
shows, more profitable. When mentoring:
Don't bring traditional gender biases into
the mentoring relationship. Don't assume
"She's likely to start a family and won't be
fully committed to that challenging new
role" or "Moving up would mean relocating
her family; she won't want to do that."
Have humility - it's a powerful leadership
trait. Don't assume you know the challenges or barriers your mentee has faced.
Many women experience similar workplace


http://www.LeanIn.Org http://www.LeanIn.Org http://www.CSNEWS.com

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