by Pat Heim, Ph.D. and Tammy Hughes

Seven Reasons Why Men Aren’t Responsible for Failing Gender Initiatives

1. Men are not the problem.  The business culture is male; men are just behaving in ways that are “normal” for them. For the most part they are clueless women have a different culture.

2. Women can’t expect something they do not ask for.  Research indicates women don’t negotiate for salaries and annual increases as aggressively as men, they need to stop blaming men when they make less for the same task.

3. Men simply must be included in the discussion of gender differences, stop excluding them. Gender issues are interaction issues. You can’t solve the problem with only one gender in the room.

4. Don’t believe the woman left for “family reasons”.  In exit interviews women say they are quitting for family reasons. Research indicates, in fact, they were fed up playing the male game but give “family” as a reason in order not to damage relationships or burn a bridge with their organization.

5. Women take the 2nd shift.  Research shows that women do 16.5 hours a week of domestic duties at home, while male partners only account for 7 hours.  The face-time requirement becomes difficult.

6. Women don’t aim for the line.  Women often find themselves in staff positions, while line positions lead you to the top.

7. Women have mentors, men have sponsors.  Sponsors look for ways to promote and pull people up through the organization; mentors give thoughtful advice. Research is clear that women are over-mentored and under-sponsored.