PWN Milan: Engaging men to become allies for gender balance

After many years of work, and debate on women's empowerment, it is clear that our ongoing key challenge is to engage men, assuring their support as allies for gender balance to achieve the change we desire, together.

Robert Baker, CEO Potentia TalentPWN Milan started a program dedicated to men, with the precious help of Robert Baker (CEO or Potentia Talent and former VP Engaging men and Co-President of PWN Global) and the involvement of PWN Milan corporate partner, Google. Around 20 men, a diverse mix of corporate profiles and independent professionals, are participating to a series of three workshops.

The first workshop, led by the Google team, gave to participants a general overview of why the topic should be relevant to them, both in their professional and personal dimension. 

During the second workshop, led by Rob Baker, participants develop their own personal “WHY” to become allies for gender balance.

Most of the men who attended the workshop said they did so because they were drawn to the topic of gender balance by their values (justice and fairness) and by having female family members e.g. daughters who they wanted to have a more equitable experience in the workplace and at home. A number said they had had female bosses who had influenced them. 

They recognised that men have privilege by virtue of their gender and have a responsibility to use that privilege to advance gender balance for women.

They also recognised the bias we all face towards the association of men having careers and women looking after the family.

Our topic for the third workshop will be how to effectively become advocates and activists , so that these men can go out and involve more fellow-men to join the process. This is where progress has often stalled - most men understand and agree with the moral arguments, and business-related advantages of having a more balanced workforce - but, often, they simply don't have the tools and techniques to call out gender bias when they are witness to it. 

We are super excited about this journey and can’t wait to hear thoughts and findings of the participants during a final event in April, where they will debate and share their experience with the larger PWN Milan Community.




Date:  January 2022
Author: Gini Dupasquier, President, PWN Milan
Copy Editor: Rebecca Fountain, Marketing Consultant, PWN Global

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