We are happy to say there is a diversity and inclusion revolution going on and we are proud the Better Man Conference and Gender Leadership Group are a part of it yet for many men, including many organizational leaders and managers, gender partnership and/or gender equality is still uncomfortable for them....and that's ok. Often times becoming a modern day inclusionary leader poses difficult introspective challenges... and that's ok too, that's part of the work neccessary.
In Part 3 of this series entitled, Gender Equality Has Something In It For Everyone-Including Men, Dr. Kimmel discusses why so many men resist gender equality. Later in the series he'll share how men benefit from it. We invite you to be a part of the solution whether that means you facing uncomfortable introspection yourself and/or sharing this information with others. We invite you to read Dr. Kimmel's transcript below or watch the video above.
So part of my argument so far is that our first task in bringing men into the conversation about gender equality is bringing men into a conversation about gender….making us aware that gender is as important to us, as women understand it is to them, and that this is political.
Now the second obstacle I want to talk about is men's resistance to gender equality because there is a notion out there that gender equality is a zero-sum game. That if women win, men are going to lose.
So I want to tell you a little bit about that. I was on a TV talk show (a) few years ago, a very well-known black female host came out of Chicago, and just let me say, I'm a university professor right and so you know we academics we do not make good talk show guests because the act of the talk show format is so polarized, so heated “yes”, “no”, “us”, “them”, “black” “white.” And what academics do is we come up and go, “Well it's a little more complicated than that” which is, come on let's face it, bad TV. But I was on this show opposite four white men whom I came to call “angry white men.” Now I have to say that the book that I published in 2013 called Angry White Men, the name Trump does not appear in this book, but it's very interesting to me, I keep thinking like, “Wow! I'm so lucky I got that title then because I would never get it now.” But I basically, these were my first angry white men, the first ones I ever encountered that made me start thinking. And these guys all believed, and you have heard this in every one of your workplaces, they believed that they, white men were the victims of reverse discrimination in the workplace. That affirmative of action was actually now discrimination against white men. And so these guys all had stories to tell about how they were qualified for promotion, qualified for a job, and they didn't get it, they were really angry.
The reason I'm telling you this story is I want you to hear the title of this show. It was a quote from one of the men and the quote was, “A black woman stole my job.” They all told their stories, qualified for jobs, qualified for promotion, didn't get it, really angry and then it was my turn to speak and I said, “I have just one question for you guys and it's actually a question about the title of the show A Black Woman Stole My Job. Actually it's a question about one word in the title. I want to know about the word “My.” Where did you get the idea it was your job? Why isn’t it that the title of the show is A Black Woman Got A Good Job? Or why isn’t it A Black Woman Got A Job? Because without confronting men's sense of entitlement, we will never understand why so many men resist gender equality. We think this is a level playing field, so any policy that tilts it even a little bit like we think, “Oh my God, water is rushing uphill, it's reverse discrimination against us.” Look, white men in America are the beneficiaries of the single greatest affirmative action program in the history of the world - it's called the history of the world. So now I have suggested to you the two obstacles to engaging men. One, we don't see gender and two, that sense of entitlement keeps us from resisting gender equality.
WHITE MEN ARE THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE SINGLE GREATEST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IT'S CALLED THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD
Now I think we make two different cases (for gender equality and partnership). One, the case that you are all familiar with that you heard, for example, from Lean In, that you hear from Catalyst or McKinsey reports, which is the business case.
It turns out that what we know, and you were even saying this before in some of your questions and answers, you know why is gender equality a good thing? Because labor costs go down, people are happier, more productive, far less turnover, higher rates of profitability, higher return on investment. All of these things suggest to us, all of the data are all there, the business case is easy to make. And what it shows us is that gender equality is not only right, and just, and fair, but it's smart, it's good business. And it is particularly good business with young entry-level workers because if we were ever, and I don't think we were, but if we were ever Martians and Venusians, we are no longer.
Entry-level workers, millennials, gen Y workers who are coming into our workplaces today have the exact same profile. They want to be awesome dads, and they want to be really good with their jobs, and they want to share housework, and childcare. They're much more egalitarian in their interpersonal relationships than any generation that has ever been on the planet, so I think we make the business case but I also want to make the views that to pivot and also make a personal case to men I'm going to do this in two different ways.
To be continued in an upcoming blog soon or you can watch the next video now on Youtube.
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