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Brad Johnson, Professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the U.S. Naval Academy, and David Smith, Associate Professor of sociology in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College, join the program to discuss how men can be better allies for women in the workplace. Discover why men are so important for solving for equality, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and what prevents many men from becoming allies for women.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why David and Brad started collaborating (10:30)
- Why it is so crucial for men to mentor women (14:00)
- What allyship looks like right now (24:00)
- The definition of public allyship and why men often struggle with it (26:00)
- A broader economic perspective on gender equality (33:00)
- What companies need to think about when it comes to retaining talent (34:30)
- How we can bring women back into the workplace (37:00)
- Why the pandemic has helped men gain more empathy for women (39:00)
- What the new workplace might look like (45:00)
Listen in now, or read on for the transcript of our conversation:
JENNIFER: Brad and David, welcome to the Will to Change.
BRAD: Thank you so much, Jennifer.
DAVID: Great to be included.
JENNIFER: Yes, I’m happy to have you on. I have actually had you, David, on the Will to Change in the past. And so that goes way back to three years ago when I started the podcast. Both of your work on Men as Allies has been formative for me.
JENNIFER: In fact, I feel like it was one of my first memories listening to one or both of you speak at an event, I can’t remember which one, where I just felt, oh my goodness. This is so important. This is something I really want to invest in. This is something I wanted to be a part of. And these are two voices and human beings that I want to support with everything I can. And I know your work has taken you probably on a really unexpected and amazing journey as well.
I mean, let’s start there. I think taking us back to what each of you, your “day job”. I know now you’re author and you’re speaking, et cetera. But take us into the transition that you both made into writing on this topic. And maybe take us back to that book, Athena Rising, which I have on my shelf and which initially kind of caught my imagination and my heart, and what that focus was initially. And then we’ll get to Good Guys, which is your latest release, which I’m really excited to talk to you about.
BRAD: Yeah, Dave, do you want to jump in and I’ll follow you?
DAVID: All right, yeah. Sounds good. Well, thanks again, Jennifer, for having us today and to have a conversation around this journey. And I do appreciate the fact that you used that language because I think all of us who do this work do see it as a journey. There’s not necessarily a destination here.
And Brad and I started this work years ago. God, it seems like yesterday. But now, as I think about it, it’s been a while. But almost eight years ago we started collaborating together when we were both teaching at the Naval Academy together. I’m a sociologist and I’ve done most of my research in the area of looking at the intersection of gender work and family. And Brad is a clinical psychologist whose focused most of his research in the area of mentoring relationships and what makes for great mentors.
And Brad and I came together on this topic recognizing that as colleagues and the conversations that we were having about the fact that we’re working in gender equity initiatives related to the military and our institution. And it was clear that when these things were labeled or had the language around oh, it’s a women’s initiative or it’s about women’s leadership, women’s program, that the guys that we worked with in particular would check out. And they would just say, that’s not for them. That’s not their place, that’s not their role and didn’t see being integral to that part. That they had a part in that conversation.
And I think the frustrating thing for Brad and I because we both have personal connections to this work in addition to our professional is that we see this as being really important to us personally. Because my wife was a career Naval officer as I was. And I got to see first hand the experiences that she went through and how those head winds and challenges and barriers in some cases were very different than what I had ever seen or experienced. And it was just very eye-opening. And Brad, for the same reasons with his sister, Shannon, who still is on active duty in the Navy. And Brad, again, following… Those two following in each other’s footsteps got to see very much the differences in that. That this is a very personal issue for us. But a lot of other men didn’t see it that way.
And so, that led to we were doing our first research around mentoring and sponsoring and advocacy, and how men could be more engaged in doing this work because again, women were not receiving, in the research we find, they’re not receiving the same quality, the same amount, the same type of mentoring that men do. But then when they do, they’re much more successful, more advancement, promotions, get paid more. Lots of great benefits to that out there. And not because men are somehow better mentors but typically because we’re in positions of status and influence and power where we can open doors and do those kinds of things out there.
And so, that led Brad and I to go through the research for our first book, Athena Rising. And the focus there in particular, while bringing together the latest research, which is important I think from an evidence based perspective and working with audiences of men and women. To bring that evidence forward, we also interviewed women across industries and professions out there to ask them about what they most appreciated from the mentoring relationships they had with men. And what those male mentors did, and what they would like more men to understand about that.
That led to Athena Rising, which came out as you said in 2016. And it was really interesting that Brad and I were out there busy talking about it. Probably one of the first places there you and I interacted in that timeframe.
But as Me Too went widespread around the world, we found ourselves being pulled into a different conversation. A more expansive and broad conversation about what does it mean to be an ally in the workplace. And how could men show up as allies in the workplace? And, again, I think what a great conversation with thought leaders like you to really advance this conversation. And Brad and I are really interested in doing the research behind it as well to think about how we could engage more men and seeing this not as a women’s issue but this is a leadership issue. This requires men and women as leaders to engage in this work because it’s good for women, it’s good for men, it’s good for the organization. So everybody wins in this thing. And so, we set out to do that work.
I’ll let Brad add a little bit to that. I’m sure he has some thoughts.
JENNIFER: Thank you. Yeah.
BRAD: Yeah, and Jennifer I want to say, and Dave and I don’t mind sharing this. In fact, we think it’s really helpful for us to share this. But when we first started sharing with people, both men and women, way back when we were first doing the research and had the idea about the Athena Rising book on how men can really show up as more effective mentors and sponsors for women, people would look at us and just say, “You’re writing book on mentoring women. You realize you’re two guys, right? You’re two dudes.” And we really heard that and took it onboard.
And it’s so important that I think people understand the methodology we use for both Athena Rising and Good Guys was to go out and interview lots of women. And ask women, have you had male mentors, in the case of Athena Rising, or in the case of the new book, Good Guys, how do you see men who really get it in the workplace in terms of showing up as an ally? And what does that look like behaviorally for you? And if you were telling other men, maybe junior men, how to really show up as an ally, what would you say?
So both books are really in many ways kind of the voices of women. Women who are willing to share their experience with Dave and I so that we could put it together and pass it along to other men.
And just one other thing by way of introduction. I think it’s so important that Dave and I thank you also at the beginning of this call, Jennifer, mentioned the journey. And Dave and I have really been on this journey. And we learn all the time. And we get it wrong frequently. And when that happens, we really try and learn and get better.
So just Dave mentioned the Athena Rising impetus. But let me just also mention that that was not the original title for the book. Our original title was Guiding Athena. And Dave and I were so enthusiastic about it. Guiding is a synonym for mentoring. We thought, “Oh, what an awesome title.” And then fortunately our publisher at the time, the CEO was a woman and she came to us. I think she’d grown to trust us and knew that our heart was the in the right place. And she said, “Guys, can we have a talk about this title? Have you thought about how Guiding Athena is going to land with women?” And it was such a light bulb epiphany moment for both of us. We just hadn’t gotten it.
And so to have that sort of feedback from women that we have come to rely on and women who I think have grown to trust Dave and I has been so instrumental in helping us get it right. And I would put you in that category, Jennifer. I think you have been a real colleague for us along the way. And I think you’d be willing to point it out if we stepped in it somewhere.
JENNIFER: You know I would. I would call in. We like the calling in. I would invite the conversation, but we’re all learning. But there’s just such a dearth of humans identifying as you two in the way you do speaking about these things. And it shouldn’t be so rare, but it is rare. So I think that’s why I connected to you two and thought if there’s at least two people doing this and talking about it and they’re comfortable and they’re putting themselves on stage, professing to be helpful, I just thought that was a beacon of hope and certainly… But I also have found you to be hugely open to your own learning and super humble, and for all of us that has to be part of the equation because there’s so much we don’t understand from a lived experience perspective in our communities of identity.
So I know you’ve probably had a million moments over the years of now on your second book of changing your language. Like I love that the publisher said, “Who’s guiding whom right now? Let’s be clear.” So I think even just every year I think language goes through a lot of changes, and I know we wouldn’t be authors if I think we weren’t trying to flex into this new lexicon and also this new sensitivity, and I don’t say that in a bad way. But it’s good. I mean, it’s good that we’ve become so sensitized to things like our privilege, things like power, things like what we learned this year in 2020, which is just enormous amount of, in many cases, really difficult learnings that have caused us to look at ourselves and reflect on our behavior.
So Good Guys is your second book is probably… I see it as a more concrete call to action, and I feel like we’re in a time where it’s not enough to be… It’s funny, the title says Good Guy, but it’s important to say it’s not enough to be, “Oh, I’m a good person. I’m doing enough because I have daughters in my family,” or I sort of generally believe in gender equity. It’s really more important what you do with the intent and what you do with the values that you espouse and really how you put it in action, and that’s requiring I think a lot of people to get more brave and more courageous. I think more challenging, but that is the work of allyship.
So I’m just curious what your finding out there because it’s been a really intense year, and we now know more than ever that people have to put their money where their mouth is, particularly people with power in order to make systems changes. So you’ve probably had to up the ante when you speak to your audiences to say, “Hey, FYI, this might have been enough, but it’s really not enough and here’s what enough would look like.” That would have actually concrete impact on outcomes from gender equity.
So I’m just curious your own journey of change, the change that you hear and see in your audiences, and your book has been out now for a month or two. Perhaps the reception you’ve gotten from it has told you something about where our learners are with all of this. So I just would love to hear about any of that.
BRAD: Yeah, yeah. It’s such a good question, and it’s such a kind of thought provoking question, Jennifer. I think that very often, and I’ll just start with the research. So in the research for Good Guys, Dave and I very quickly I think recognized that there were a few different buckets of allyship actions, and I think people when they hear the term allyship, they have their own immediate association of what that means. As a psychologist, that’s kind of like the Rorschach Test. What does allyship mean to you?
I think that for a lot of men, if we’re talking about male allyship, the association right away as you just said, “Well, I’m a good guy and because I believe in gender equity and I believe in fairness and justice, that therefore I’m an ally.” And when you ask other groups, in this case women, “Is this person an ally,” sometimes you get there’s a gap here. That’s a gap between my aspiration and how people actually see me executing it. I think that’s a humbling piece of feedback for a lot of us. Whether we’re talking about allyship across race or gender or any other group, the research in social psychology is really clear that those of us in the majority tend to overestimate the extent to which we’re actually taking action in this area.
So anyway, the interpersonal part is sort of what Dave and I think of as the easy part of allyship. A lot of men say, “Oh yeah, I show up and I’m nice to women.” Well, that’s great. That’s a good start. I’m glad you’re trying to be nice, and let’s move beyond that now. When we’re talking about interpersonal skills, are you mentoring and sponsoring or being mentored and sponsored by women the same way you are with men? Do you show up and listen generously? Do you de-center? When, as a male and a guy with privilege, the spotlight automatically comes to you. These are more of those action oriented elements that I think we guys tend to miss. It’s not the aspiration and the being nice. It’s the behavior, and in this case, the interpersonal.
I’ll let Dave talk about more of the public allyship, but I think this is where men really struggle a little bit more. And we can do this. We can absolutely do it, but I think putting skin in the game and doing the public systemic allyship is a bigger stretch for a lot of us. But Dave, your thoughts.
DAVID: Yeah. I think it was really clear when we were doing the interviews for Good Guys, the men that we got to talk to by the way were all nominated by women that we talked to, women like you, Jennifer, who was interviewed for the book. So these guys didn’t get to self promote their way into the book, by the way. So they were identified by others as allies. So it was really interesting to hear them talk about what allyship meant to them, and all of them I think unequivocally would tell you that there was specific action in disrupting the status quo that was a part of their allyship, their brand as they thought about it.
Their journey to allyship was all about their learning of taking action, what that felt like, the risk they felt like they were taking personally and professional, in some cases, how uncomfortable it might’ve been or awkward it might’ve been in some cases. But at the end of the day, it was just having this courage, the moral courage to do this, to make the change out there, and to hold others, not just themselves but this the holding others accountable for doing the work. So it’s not enough for me just to hold myself accountable but it requires the public allyship of holding others.
And often as leaders, and some of these men were CEOs of companies, that they would tell us about it wasn’t just enough to hold their own organization accountable. They were holding other organizations accountable that they worked with. So from an external accountability. It wasn’t enough that we do this right; that you have to do business with you, then you have to do it right also. And that’s really taken us to a level that I think… As I think about where we’re going in 2021, this is what I think really gives me a lot of hope and optimism and an excitement about what the future might hold for us is that there are people out there not just taking accountability for their own organization but for others. And this is where we begin to expand the action, the doing of allyship and creating a more just society beyond the organizations that we work in every single day.
So yeah, it was really humbling to hear these men talk about it this way, and the compelling nature of their words and their actions that they were taking. They wouldn’t accept anything less as a response to their overtures for doing this work out there, even though they met a lot of resistance. Sometimes it was from their board. Sometimes it was from their fellow folks in the C Suite. It might’ve been others in the organizations. They were like, “No, this is right. This is why we’re going to do it, and here we go. We’re going to move out and do this.” Even though in some cases they felt there was a little bit of risk associated with it.
JENNIFER: Right. Oh gosh, it’s so much about extending your power and really recognizing that pulling the levers of power that we have is probably less risky than it is for a lot of others of us to show up fully and take that risk with all of who we are and all of our authenticity and stigma that follows a lot of us around. So we do get into a lot of conversations about risk, and I push on leaders of certain identities to say is this risk really real? Let’s talk about it. I don’t want it to derail your efforts because of a perception that you’re not accurately viewing how protected you are when you use your voice and you look a certain way or you identify a certain way, there are different rules that apply to you when you do that. And that’s a recognition of privilege and all those things I know we all encourage leaders to explore. To sort of take stock of what are all the many ways as a messenger that I have more permission, that I have more space and grace, that I have more access? I can get passionate/angry and no one’s going to call me a certain name.
So it’s a huge double standard I think when some of us flex our muscles and others do. So that’s a key learning I think for leaders, and then to not be intimidated by flexing it but to say, “Oh, I can actually do that. That’s very doable. I can sponsor that woman.” Like you gave me an example when we were doing our prep call and we talked. I asked you about this really disturbing statistic about the hundreds of thousands of women that left the workforce in just September. I think the number is like 600,000 women left the workforce this past September in 2020. 78,000 men left the workforce in September. So we are in the midst of kind of a mass extinction event for the progress that we’ve made for representation of women. I mean, I cannot imagine a more alarming statistic. Oh my gosh.
So I asked you all what can men do right now to… I mean, it’s a bigger problem than any of us sitting here today, and it’s persisted for so many years. And this is why we find ourselves in this position now because precisely people with power weren’t mentoring, sponsoring, pulling up, protecting, investing in… It hasn’t been happening. So now we’re reaping what we’ve sown I think, and when the bottom falls out, as it has in 2020, everything kind of falls apart. We rewind eight years in terms of our progress.
But anyway, one of you said, I love it when you role model language. One of you said, a man could say, “Let’s not lose touch with the women that we’ve supported. Now more than ever I have an obligation to let people know about her talent achievements. Maybe she’s had to downshift to cope with responsibilities, but in no way does that diminish her readiness. I need to make sure she’s not forgotten.” I wrote that down verbatim because I thought to myself, how incredible sitting here as a woman to know that somebody might be saying that about me is an incredible feeling, and it should be such a rare feeling than it really is.
So anyway, I just thought that was beautiful, and I wondered so how are you coping with this horrible news? And what is it leading to in terms of maybe the urgency of your message or the specificity? What do we do to stop the bleeding that’s happening this year?
DAVID: That’s a great question, and it’s certainly been front and center I think… [inaudible 00:22:55] lately about why in particular gender equity is so critically important right now, and I think this takes on various levels across the world. But if we focus even within our own country, I think there’s a broader economic conversation that needs to be had about our national economy and how this is tied directly to that and how it can… It may set us back even decades in particular around our GDP. There’s speculation about how economists are looking at that right now, and that’s just on the broad economic perspective. And then to me it’s more closer to home, it’s around our families and our workplaces and what that’s going to be like and what it’s doing to financial insecurity and fragile families that are out there right now is really incredible.
Alongside that, that research or the data you were quoting, Jennifer, about the number of women leaving the workforce, the flip side to that is that just as many men were out there getting promotions and advancements and pay raises.
JENNIFER: Right. Yes.
DAVID: So there’s an insidious flip side to this whole equation that we need to take a look at because I think what we’re really seeing is we’re shining a light on something that has been an issue for a long time in the workplace and really how the crisis that we’re going through right now is exacerbating that. And that leaders, broadly, need to be looking at so what are the things I can be doing right now to, one, to retain the talent, and how do I put that in place right now? And we’ve been having these conversations, and I think there’s a lot of companies that get it and they’re beginning to do that work right now and thinking about how do we retain women in particular? And looking at things like well, we’re in the middle of a crisis. First of all, we need to look at performance review criteria and things that those performance review goals that we signed way back in January probably are not applicable right now in December as we think about that.
So again, companies are directing managers to one, check in with every single employee and make sure you’re doing this. See how they’re doing. But two, in the seeing how you’re doing, look at their performance review criteria. Look at deadlines. How critically or important or how hard fast is that deadline that you have set up for particular projects or particular work? Is there flexibility we need to be building in to the way that we’re working right now because I think we’re all beginning to realize that the world of remote work is a little different. Flexible work arrangements are a great thing, but there’s some challenges with it to. And acknowledging that it’s happening with the backdrop of life right behind me right now.
Whereas before I could leave my home and go to the workplace, it’s all right here with me and for all of us right now. We’re right in the middle of it, and acknowledging that as opposed to ignoring it and what I call just kind of going… Thinking about the world before the pandemic and that is the status quo we’re in. Well, that’s not the world we’re in right now. We have to acknowledge that this is different. There’s some silver linings to it, and I think we could take advantage of some of those as well out there.
I know Brad has some thoughts on this too. Brad.
BRAD: Yeah, I think that’s great, and I have just some kind of more actionable interpersonal things that I might add, Jennifer. So you mentioned our earlier phone call, and I think now is a moment if I’m an individual man, and especially if I’m a man with any sort of power or social capital in the workplace, now is a moment for me to think very honestly and deliberately about how I make sure I am doing my part not to allow my company or my organization to take these two or three big steps back on gender inclusion and equity. And maybe for me it’s the individual check ins. It’s the mentoring. It’s the sponsorship. How powerful would it be for me to reach out if I’m a senior male to a talented junior woman who’s been forced out of necessity to step back or she’s been furloughed, put on leave against her will. But for me to reach out and say, “Hey, want to make sure that we don’t lose you. Let me know what we might do to make it possible for you to start stepping back into the workplace. What would that look like? How could we make it flexible enough?”
I also can continue during the sponsorship piece mention her name when she’s not in the room. If she’s not included in a Zoom meeting, I can bring up what she’s working on and talk about her accomplishments. If I’m in a meeting and I hear about an opportunity for advancement, am I talking about her? Am I her raving fan when she’s not there? These are not heavy lifts for guys that really want to be committed to not allowing the pandemic to have the massive toll that we’re talking about in terms of potential loss.
To Dave’s point, I love the idea of already starting to think about the vaccines are rolling out. How do we get really active in bringing women back that have felt that they needed to step away or had to stay away for different reasons? Let’s create avenues for a term that are proactive. Dave and I are in academic institutions. We’re recently lobbying in our own institution to have a pause put on promotion and tenure. So women who have been disproportionately effected by lack of ability to do their research aren’t penalized. They’re not going to fail to make tenure. We can put a pause on those things. We need to advocate for that kind of flexibility, and these are things that men have got to be thinking about. Our voices need to be part of this.
JENNIFER: Yeah. Because we’re not even in the room to be a part of the discussions based on these statistics, which is so disturbing. I mean, I remember early in the pandemic, maybe you do too, thinking that as at least heterosexual partners and parents are grounded together that there would be this quantum leap in empathy amongst men that would perhaps finally crack through the sharing of household duties, the burden of the administrative aspects of family, and all the things that lead to the double work. And so when I read the statistics, it was just a kick in the gut. Here we’re sort of grounded with each other, and we have in many ways male colleagues have more insight into what their female colleagues are living through. Strangely, even though we’re actually not co-located, I think there’s an intimacy of this year that’s really generated visibility into our private lives.
So I thought, I hoped for lots of aha moments and a real kind of revisiting amongst men that would be the igniting of empathy that then would lead to this isn’t right. I need to be a better partner or a different kind of partner. And then that would transcend in to the way male colleagues show up in the workplace to say, “Now I understand. Now I’ve seen it firsthand. Now I see the struggle. Here’s what I’m doing differently. And by the way, as an organization, here’s how we need to enable a different outcome. We need to support differently. We need to,” like you said, “Let’s revisit some systems things we can do that aren’t realistic and let’s broaden our thinking so that we can retain and mentor and pipeline these talented people.”
So then you see the statistic, and not only did that not happen but kind of the opposite happened. So anyway, I wondered if you had any thoughts on that. I know this is all you care about really is getting that empathy, igniting that empathy because then hearts and minds can change, and then behavior changes both in the individual, then in the organization and the system. I mean, that’s how it’s supposed to go. And I wonder maybe that has happened this year, so we don’t need to kind of look at the dispiriting statistics as repudiating that. That there actually has been progress with empathy and sort of the activation of men on the part of family challenges that have always been with us. What do you think?
BRAD: Dave, do you want to start? This is such right in the middle of your area of research. But why don’t you jump in first?
DAVID: Yeah. I think a couple things here, Jennifer. I’ll give you just an anecdote that gives me a glimmer of hope again because I’m always looking for the shiny light there at the end of the tunnel. It’s interesting. As we were in the first couple months of the pandemic, Brad and I were working on writing a couple pieces for HBR, and we did some interviews looking for this exact change or shift as you’re talking about in terms of men gaining more empathy and whether that’s for the experiences that women are having in the workplace or the accommodation of experiences between the workplace and at home and responsibilities there. The lion share or the burden of again division of household responsibilities and childcare falling on women.
What’s interesting, we choose a particular group of men to interview for this, and these were men who were professionals but their partners, in this case, they were all female partners, were in the healthcare industry. Most of them were doctors and physicians, emergency room nurses, ICU nurses. Just the whole host across the spectrum for healthcare industry. And so before the pandemic, these men had been in the workplace. Their female partners had obviously been in the physical workplace as well, and they all had children as well. When it came to the pandemic, these men were working from home. Their partners were still working on the frontlines obviously because it’s healthcare industry. They had to be out there. And the guys had taken over full primary responsibility for the running of the household and for childcare and for homeschooling.
Interestingly, here’s a unique group of men who’ve taken up the triple shift that women are mostly experiencing right now today, and these guys… It was really interesting to hear is you brought up the topic of empathy. They talked about this in several different ways. One, they saw with their kids, they really, really appreciated the fact that they… Not that they were just helping out their partner, but they were able to have some real close emotional bonding with their kids and developing real relationships as opposed to the more task centric aspect. I think as fathers and as dads, sometimes it can be just getting kids to and from the logistics of being places and doing things. But really actually sending time with them and getting to know them and really enhancing that relationship. And the dads were so appreciative of that and saw it as a silver lining.
The other part of it was really around the fact that now in the teams they were leading, they would spend 20-30 minutes at the beginning of a Zoom call just checking in with everybody and seeing how everybody’s doing. What’s going on? What are your challenges, and what are your challenges? And letting people just kind of talk and maybe spent time they talk about just time listening and understanding and really beginning to understand other people’s concerns around whether it was financial concerns or health concerns or just the balance of this crazy environment that we’re currently in. They said, “I’m really beginning to think about how when we go back into some sort of a new workplace, how do I continue to do that? Because I feel like it’s really helped to create engagement and connection on my team that I never had before.”
To me, that’s just this bright, shiny star out there that I’m like, “Oh, please hang onto that. We need that when we go back.” We need to be able to develop teams and understand that this is a part of who we are as leaders that makes our organizations more successful. It makes it more fun to do the work that we’re out there doing, and it makes us more successful in achieving our goals and that.
So to me, there’s a lot going on with this that I think we may not see. It may lag, in other words. And it’s not to take away from a lot of the concerns and what the research is also showing beyond the anecdotal that again we’re seeing a lot of negative impact when it comes to the fact that women are leaving the workforce because they’re just carrying a lot more of the burden at home than men are.
BRAD: The one thing that I would add is that the research even after the pandemic recently here in the last six months or so shows that although more men are home and more men are getting a front row seat, we’re still not… If we’re partnered with women, we’re still not doing as much. We’re not sharing. Women are doing the double or the triple shift. Men are not sharing if their partnered with women. So until that changes, until [inaudible 00:37:22] ally in my personal relationship, we’re not going to get to gender equity at work any time quickly, and that’s sometimes the bitter truth for us men to hear. But we have to take that one. I don’t have to show up in the workplace and throw on my ally cap when I’m transparently not a full ally at home, and that’s something that I think if I’m going to begin somewhere in my allyship journey, it’s do a domestic partner audit and ask myself if I’m a genuine partner in all ways that matter at home.
JENNIFER: That is such a wonderful final thought. You just said domestic partner ally, and that is very inclusive, so I appreciate your choice of words. I also do think that it can be tempting to do allyship for the perhaps glory, for the recognition or maybe do the easy thing instead of kind of putting yourself on the line and taking risks and being comfortable being uncomfortable and making that a part of your commitment to yourself and your growth. So both of you have given us such wonderful sound bites today, and there’s so much more in Good Guys, the book, which is out this past October. So please check it out. And tune in to Dave and Brad’s work.
Where would people find you so they can read more about you? I know you’re constantly in Harvard Business Review. You have some great pieces in there, for example.
DAVID: Yeah. So if people are looking for more information, you can go to our website, and that’s workplaceallies.com. So all one word, workplaceallies.com. And you’ll see a lot of the articles that we’re writing and the work that we’re doing out there and certainly connections into reading our book as well.
JENNIFER: Wonderful. Thank you both so, so much. Never leave this work. We need you, your voice, and your role modeling, and your courage, and your humility and generosity, and the way that you are creating change is something that we all know needs to be replicated at scale. So I just love that you’re on the VanGuard of this. I know that more and more men are stepping into this, and I know that from my work as well. And I always recommend your work and the work of a couple others that have also been on the podcast just to say this is such an opportunity for enrichment and transformation and growth. I think one of you said it earlier, this makes us better humans and better leaders and really thinking about legacy gives us a legacy that we can really be proud of. We really think how do we want to look back at our lives and say, “What did I actually utilize that I was given, and what did I shift for others so that they could thrive and have fewer head winds and challenges along their way to achieving their greatness and finding that genius?”
You both have done some really concrete things to speed that along. So I’m just grateful to you, and I think you’ll probably have a lot of new fans after they listen to this episode. So thank you both so much and keep up the wonderful work.
BRAD: Thanks, Jennifer. So much appreciate it.
DAVID: Thanks, Jennifer. It was great to be here with you today.
- MLK Day Replay: Intersectional Panel on Civil Rights including Jennifer and other L’Oréal USA DEI Advisory Board Members
- Cancel Culture to Coaching Culture: Navigating DEI Conversations with Author and Professor Kenji Yoshino
- Healing the Plus-Size Customer and Employee Journey with Author and GORGEous Agency Founder Kara Richardson Whitely
- Owning Your Power: Jennifer Joins the Beyond Barriers Podcast
- Cultivating a Purpose Mindset in Next-Gen Leaders: Social Entrepreneur Aaron Hurst Returns to the Will to Change