When He Listened, The World Noticed
A little over a week ago, a post from a man I have never met, nor heard of, gave me hope.
Jeff Martin had posted this very simple, but powerful statement on Linkedin:
Despite his message being the exact words that I, and many other women, have been stating for years but receiving little traction, the response he got was awe inspiring.
***OVER 10 Million Views, 85,000 Likes and 3000 comments***
I have been writing articles and posts along this same vein with almost the exact words for 2 years and never once have they gotten as far as this one post did. (This one got the farthest – Declaration of Value of Full Time Moms.) Why?
Perhaps because Jeff has 25,000 connections, and growing, compared to my measly 1400. Perhaps because he is friends with Gary Vaynerchuk, and I am not.
Or, perhaps it’s because he is a man.
Someone had LISTENED. Someone was THINKING and SEEING that the near impossible gauntlet that companies put women, who have “gaps” in their resumes due to caring for family, through was severely hampering companies’ efforts to get more women into senior leadership roles.
Thankfully, that someone was a man – and a well connected one at that. Bonus? He runs two recruiting companies! Thank goodness!
Why highlight that this was a man saying this?
Because, it’s UNUSUAL and the energy needed to change generations of perception about the role that genders should play and the value of those roles will not be changed by women alone. Despite screaming for help to get back to careers for decades, the barriers to entry for moms are still so prevalent and well known, much of my work is dedicated to helping relaunching moms believe it’s possible and then learn to navigate the powerful hiring bias against them.
A few weeks ago, Jonathon Sposato released his book Better Together and I was thrilled to see that he had a chapter dedicated to the challenges faced by women due to taking time to be with their kids.
The more men we have LISTENING and really considering how women are treated once they have children, the more we will be able to start changing the patterns of recruitment, promotion and business structure that prevent women from reaching senior leadership levels.
Oprah was right – “A new day is on the horizon” and it is one where men are walking with women in an effort to create a world where there is equality for all. If you don’t see the evidence of this through Jonathon’s book, and Jeff’s post and corresponding responses, you need only look to the Women’s March this weekend. There were A LOT more men in this weekend’s Women’s March than last year’s.
For this, I am hopeful.
To follow up on his megastar post, Jeff created this video. Check it out for a refreshingly male delivery of this message about the need to demolish this barrier to entry for moms – simply awesome in so many ways:
For a more feminine take on this message, I’ll offer up mine in comparison, as it’s funny to see the difference! This was created by another MAN who LISTENED when I told him about the cracks in this system when it came to gender roles and the world of business – the famed “break the status quo” documentary film producer, Sean Pamphillion:
For all the men that LISTEN,
And then choose to walk with us,
So where does this leave us? Time will tell…
How can you make a difference?
Use your voice to promote change and cause others to think.
Share this article and the videos.
Check your own bias about women who stay at home with their kids.
Start the conversation, be curious and LISTEN.