This member’s story is not unusual or unique, but it needs to be told…
Mark.Freed / 12 Oct 2021
Last week, I met another brilliant member of our community, who reached out to talk about Men for Inclusion. Their story is not unique or unusual, but it needs to be told. Why is it, so many of our network can tell the same story of how culture defines progression.
Having started a career in financial services twenty years ago, this member was full of ambition and desire, with a dream to achieve. With dedication and hard work, they climbed the corporate ladder and in a short time reached their current leadership position.
This gifted person is a great mentor and champion to many. Teaching others, particularly young women to succeed and flourish in the environment and culture she knows well. She is the type of person who sends the lift back down to help others follow in her success.
She shared; “This year, I was challenged by one of the graduate intake, who said, Why are you teaching and encouraging me to change to fit in with this culture, in this environment?"..."Why are you telling me to be like them?"..."When I come to work, I want to be respected and promoted for who I am. If I bring my true self to work; I am better, perform better, have better ideas, deliver better outcomes, show more initiative, and I am happier and more motivated. I don’t want your lived experience.”
This was a wakeup call. It suddenly dawned on her that she had progressed in her career by fitting in, by putting up, by ignoring accidental and purposeful sexism and the behaviours of her peers and leaders.
Without realising, for years, she had been recommending and encouraging young peers to do the same...But this years' intake was different, they were bold; with a desire to recognised for who they are and to break the mould of needing to fit into a culture they didn’t believe in, and nor should they.
To succeed they suggested, now was time for the workplace culture to change. As a senior leader, they petitioned her to champion change by supporting and helping male peers to become more inclusive, more understanding and more empathetic. By challenging and changing behaviours and systems everyone would benefit from a better, happier, more productive, more successful, and creative environment.
We hope this story has challenged you to look at your organisation and ask is it time to change the culture of fitting in? At E2W and Men for Inclusion, we’re here to support you as you seek to make a difference in the workplace? Together, we can make a positive change by levelling the playing field for the benefit of all.
I hope this member and all their firm will be pleased they reached out to us.
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