- Isabella Lenarduzzi

Recognising men who do support Women

I take real pleasure in announcing that this week’s newsletter contains two lead articles that are written by men in support of gender diversity in the workplace.

With renewed interest in pushing gender diversity issues further up the political agendas and new calls for gender quotas gathering apace, it is refreshing to hear from men who are fully supporting Women in their ambitions.

But why should men back what is, essentially a female issue? Quite simply, because no winning team would want to leave half of its best players sitting on the sidelines while those on the pitch struggle to score the goals alone.

In his article on Glass Ceilings – Treating the Problem, Not the Symptom, Dr. Eric Shoars suggests that in order for women to break through the glass ceiling they must first understand that: “Power positions and Gender construct glass ceilings,” and “Organizational Culture and Societal Roles reinforce [them].” He adds that no matter how talented a woman may be “If the men who occupy those power positions do not believe women have the necessary aptitude for executive positions, women will not get promoted when a vacancy occurs.” It’s that simple.

Of course, quotas can help even out the balance but changing the culture of an organisation can only be achieved if men persuade other men – particularly top executives – to wake up and realize that Women have just as much to contribute to their organisations as their male counterparts.

Marc Tarabella, MEP, PES Belgium is a staunch supporter of gender diversity in the workplace. He is also author of a report on equality between women and men in 2009. In his article entitled: Oui à plus de mixité au top des entreprises! (Yes to more diversity at the top of companies!), he sets out well-argued reasons why more men should support women in their ambitions and thus into higher positions within companies.

JUMP also recognises the huge benefits that are to be had by including men who support women in their professional ambitions. That’s why we publish their articles and that’s also why we have entrusted the role of chairman and coordinator of this year’s JUMP Forum to a man! Marc Timmermann, Executive Director of Talent Management Europe at Hudson and a specialist in diversity management best practices will open this year’s JUMP Forum on Thursday, 29 April. Why not join us and find out more.

That brings me to my final point… our newly launched JUMP Forum 2010 website: www.forumjump.be