Back in February 2015, I co-founded the Diverse City Careers (DCC)* job site. DCC is no ordinary job site- in fact, we’re Australia’s only job site that pre-screens organizations based on their policies and culture around supporting women.
After spending 8 years in IT, an industry under-represented by females, I experienced challenges within the workplace that aren’t uncommon in most male dominated environments. It was these experiences that sparked the passion inside me around diversity, and in particular, the importance of supporting women in similar roles.
It amazes me, how many leaders and organizations still don’t “get” why we need to be focusing on male and female equality.
I’ve spoken to many HR individuals who were in despair, telling me they don’t understand why their male CEO doesn’t care about diversity.
They’d tried everything from appealing to the CEO’s social/emotional side, to giving hard facts around how organizations that are more gender diverse have increased productivity, profitability and lower staff turnover.
Unfortunately, there are some people who will never care, no matter what evidence you provide them with. There’s no changing this.
In saying all of this, there is a very silver lining. Through DCC*, I have met a tremendous amount of men who are incredibly passionate about diversity. They genuinely want to see and support females become successful in their careers, receive equal pay and get leadership positions.
During a discussion with a large engineering firm recently, the male I spoke with was very open with me.
He told me that his organization was “terrible” at supporting women, so much so that he is looking for work with another engineering company.
This man has a daughter who is also studying engineering and he doesn’t want her to have to deal with what the other women at his firm put up with.
Another male within IT also told me a couple of months ago, that he was leaving to go to a new company because it supported diversity and has a very collaborative culture.
This senior executive knew that he could drive greater results within a team, if it wasn’t just made up of 30 year old, white males.
These are two of many similar conversations I’ve had with males in the last year on this topic. It’s wonderful to see (but not surprising) that highly skilled, talented men don’t want to work in archaic, unsupportive cultures.
If your company isn’t a great place to work for a female, it’s likely that it’s not a great place to work for a male either.
The reality is, that whilst women right now are looking specifically for organizations that will support them throughout the lifecycle of their careers, it won’t be long until the highly talented, forward thinking males follow them to the same organizations.
*This article references Diversity City Careers or DCC. This is what WORK180 was known as when we first launched back in 2015. You can find out more about our story here.