Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - 26

NEW HORIZONS
By Sarah Alter

Male Mentors
in a #MeToo World
MORE THAN E VER, MEN MUST STEP UP
TO CRE ATE GENDER-EQUAL WORKPL ACES.

oo 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.
Women do need to assert more control over their
careers. One of the most powerful strategies for advancing women's leadership isn't related to what ambitious
women can do, however. It's about what influential men
should do: mentor and sponsor high-potential women.
In most companies, men still hold a large majority of
decision-making roles that determine which employees
are developed and promoted. By mentoring or sponsoring talented women,
high-ranking men can ensure that 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 that 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 media
began reporting on sexual harassment
claims against high-profile men. Male
managers' 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 that they'd hesitate to
take a work trip with a junior-level woman
compared with a junior-level 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 companies must do more to foster
men mentoring women. Three tactics for
promoting gender-mixed mentoring are:
Make clear to all
employees, if they work
with, develop, promote,
mentor or sponsor only
people of the same gender,
that's discrimination.
Make mentoring part of 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.

26

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - June 2018

Contents
Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - Cover1
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Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - Contents
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