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Healthy masculinity and other takeaways from real change with MARC (blog post)

For three days, world leaders held barrier-free conversations on some of the biggest DEI topics in the workplace today: gender equity, cancel culture, corporate accountability to DEI, and Moreover.

One participant summed it up like this: “It was just great. I don’t say “life-changing” very often, but it really fits here. »

Real Change with MARC (Men Advocating Real Change): Reimagining Gender Equity brought together leaders from around the world virtually and in person at four on-site locations in Panama City, Pennsylvania; San Ramon, California, USA; Zürich, Switzerland; and Singapore. Google was the lead sponsor.

The event addressed the workplace implications of traditional views of masculinity and sought to connect people of all genders committed to advancing gender equity in the workplace.

“If we’re going to have inclusive workplaces, it’s really important that men are involved,” said Lorraine Hariton, president and CEO of Catalyst.

Here are the top 5 takeaways.

Don’t be afraid to get up first.

Co-host and keynote speaker Gaby Natale – triple EMMY speaker, best-selling author and entrepreneur – shared her experience as a Latina immigrant struggling with gender bias in her career. She encouraged participants to be “pioneers” and to challenge prejudice and inequality, even when no one else does.

People of all genders are capable of inappropriate behavior, but we must have the courage to have uncomfortable conversations and challenge the status quo, she added.

American actor, director and entrepreneur Justin Baldoni spoke with MARC Vice President Alixandra Pollack about the need for healthier role models who openly express their vulnerability. “I wish someone had modeled the vulnerability for me,” he said. “I wish someone, when I was younger, had told me that vulnerability was strength.”

Men must recognize and reject “benevolent sexism”.

In a conversation with Catalyst Research Director Negin Sattari, PhD, Mark Greene – author, speaker and consultant – explained the concept of benevolent sexism and why men should stop following this behavior:

“Benevolent sexism [is when] men think it is their duty to “watch over women by protecting them”. But they can’t let go of this idea that they still have a privilege over women.

Mark added that men should instead consider women and people of all genders as equal partners. “Until men reject this idea that we are somehow better…we will continue to hold doors for women while [considering] ourselves for the right to have power over them.

Psychological safety is key to breaking down barriers.

Google President for Asia Pacific, Scott Beaumont, speaking with Catalyst VP of Advisory Services, Vandana Juneja, discussed the need to ensure all employees are engaged in DEI and understand its benefits. A psychologically safe environment – ​​where employees and leaders can have difficult conversations, learn, and make mistakes – is equally essential.

“A lot of the most effective in-house training is about… ‘How do I start a conversation?’ said Beaumont. “By peeling this understanding, we get the ability to have the conversation. Coupled with psychological safety, we have an environment where people can engage, where understanding can be enhanced, and as an organization we can move forward.

Embrace a culture of forgiveness.

In her talk “The Destructive Nature of Cancel Culture,” celebrity stylist Ayishat Akanbi shared this important insight: “You cannot promote a culture that simultaneously threatens extreme repercussions for our missteps and promises the kind of openness, forgiveness and acceptance that is necessary to nurture good mental health.Something has to give.

Ayishat added that we should forgive ourselves and others for our mistakes. “A lot of the zeal for cancel culture is overcompensation. But if we can forgive ourselves for what we haven’t learned, then we can deal with what others haven’t yet learned.

Use your power and privilege to raise awareness.

Going deeper, former MARC Cristina Santos, Senior Vice President and Head of DEI at Capital Group, spoke about the power and privilege of everyone’s individual perspective. Through gender partnership – where people of all genders work together to advance gender equity – we can all use this power for good. “For me, gender partnership is a recognition that we know different things. If you don’t know, how can you expect to do anything differently? »

Alixandra Pollack also noted that “it is not enough to be supportive or committed to advancing equity and inclusion. We must commit to personal learning, mutual accountability and action through partnership. That’s all our work to do.

Learn more about Catalyst’s Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) programming and how you can implement it in your workforce today.

Thanks to Presenting Sponsor, Google; 2022 Convening Presenting Sponsor, Visa; Breakout Session Sponsor, Spirit Aerosystems; and hosts Dow, Procter & Gamble, Chevron and Google.

“I walked away from [the MARC program] a changed person. I realized that I had expressed good intentions in this area, but I had not internalized well what gender equality meant. I certainly didn’t understand what my role was – and what I needed to be – to balance things out and create a more equal and inclusive environment at work and beyond. — Gary Coombe and CEO, Global Grooming Business, P&G.


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