In the aftermath of the incredible courage shown by so many women during the #metoo movement, one of the most critical things we must do is continue the conversation, friend to friend, colleague to colleague, leader to leader.
Men and women must not stop talking.
We need men to ask questions, to collaborate with us, and to work with us to improve our workplaces. We need men to support us.
I am glad that so many women are finally #braveenough to speak, even though it is incredibly scary and difficult; my hope is the men who are listening don’t fall silent.
We need the participation of men.
We cannot squander the voices of so many brave women due to the silence of men.
We know that 80% of top leadership in science, technology, business and medicine are men.
We need men to help change the future of women.
We need men to hear us, support us, talk to us, and care.
We need men to believe us. Even one of us.
And we need to be open to listen, slow to judge, with understanding ears and open minds.
It is a lot to ask, and I don’t think we can ask that of every woman right now. There have been a lot of awful things coming to light that have been done to women in workplaces. Despicable actions considered so commonplace that women haven’t spoke the truth for decades. Right now women need space, respect, and our support.
Change is needed, and change will not happen unless we trust that there are men who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations; men who are willing to help.
There are men who are listening, but may be afraid to speak. They know it is a critical time, and we as women must reach out and ask them to sit at our table.
We need men in leadership to challenge their current environments.
We need men in leadership to look at the other men at the table and say, let’s have a conversation with the women in the room.
We need men to invite us to the table.
We need men to set the precedent for how women are treated the workplace.
And most importantly, we need men to choose women to lead beside them.
If women are in leadership, the health and wealth of an organization is improved.
I’ve had a handful of conversations with men who care about what is going on right now, and who have said to me, “Sasha, what is the right thing to do? How do we help? What do we do?”
Listen to us.
And if we say no to opportunities the first time, keep asking us to lead when other opportunities present themselves. Chances are, we are likely so shocked we are being asked that we don’t know how to react.
Lately, I’ve never been so proud to be a woman. I am inspired and humbled by all the women who have come forward, and I cheer for each one.
I have hope in our male colleagues. I know there are some wonderful #heforshes.
Women - Let’s ask them to our table.
Men - will you join us?