Men should care about gender diversity – here’s how

Christopher P. Skroupa: Why is gender diversity important in the workplace?

Doug Harris: The overall goal of organizations today is to maximize the talent that they have, and many times, a variety of talent allows management to approach things in different ways. The first stage of gender equality is giving opportunity to those who provide a different form of talent than that traditionally recognized in the past. It’s not about changing who you are—you might adapt who you are—but about appreciating that talent and getting the best out of it. The next stage is offering equal access, opportunity, pay, chances and exposure as you would with anyone else in line with what they’re able to achieve. Lastly, and most importantly, you need to really learn from the talent that you get through those new approaches.

When I first got into diversity and inclusion, I came from sales and sales management and I was a really hard-charging guy. The first meeting I went to, they said, “Let’s check in and see how people are doing.” I said, “What kind of meeting is this? You check in and see how people are doing? We don’t do that in sales.”

I learned that checking in is a good way to feel the temperature of your people, and now, I would never start a meeting without it. That’s how I learned the last level of importance for gender diversity: We can learn and grow ourselves as men in the workplace and bring different approaches and ways to get things done. There’s a lot we can teach each other, but we have to give access to one another if that’s really going to take place.

Read more

Our videos