The Power Shift Podcast – Men Choosing to Combat Gender Inequality with Jeffery Tobias Halter

Sharon:

My guest today is Jeffery Tobias Halter. He is the president of Why Women, a strategic consulting company focused on engaging men in women’s leadership advancement. Now Jeffery is the former director of diversity strategy for the Coca-Cola company and has consulted for many, many Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of two books, especially relevant to our conversation today, Why Women: The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men. Now I’ve heard Jeff speak. I’ve been witness to his work and I am so excited for our conversation today. Your work, your thought leadership, you are powerful and practical. You are wise and warm. You know humans, from metrics to motivation.

So let’s just kind of start out and get some context here. So what is a gender strategist? What is the problem you’re trying to solve, and then what do you do?

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah, thanks, and thanks for having me on again. It’s a term I created. What I have found is about 50% of my work is helping companies create tightly integrated end-to-end solutions to advance women. And what I have found is most companies, even very big successful ones, do not have a written strategy like they would any business strategy with metrics, accountability, initiatives, and tactics.

So, one, I help primary senior leadership teams to create integrated long-term. I use women as a gateway to intersectionality. So the strategies will be similar for people of color or LGBTQ or other dimensions of diversity, and those are equally important. But what I find lacking is a strategy. So once the strategy is in place, then I specifically engage senior men, who are still about 80% of leadership in most companies. The bulk of my work is Fortune 100. What I find is, you really have to approach them with a business mind, and they want to see what a plan looks like. Then you can really start to drive long-term systemic change by actively engaging male leaders. So that’s kind of the yin and yang of what I do.

Sharon:

Okay. Fantastic. Now, in a moment we’re going to return to understanding the changing demographics and companies, and what the implication is. But before we do that, I wanted to ask you, how did you come to do this work, and what is important to you? Why is it important to you to do this work? Does doing this work activate anything for you about kind of being in your power, not being in your power, or using your power, not using your power, or anything that you observe in terms of power dynamics in your own life that kind of brings you to this work?

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. You know, I’m actually going to take two different points of view on that because in getting ready for this, I kind of pondered that. And I will say one of those powers is knowing what the issues are and having the ability to drive change. I won’t say that it’s a super power. What I will tell you is 20 years ago, I never thought about doing this work. I’m a sales guy, I had been a sales guy for 20 years. I was working in sales training. The company I was working for had a $200 million discrimination lawsuit. I was asked to lead a diversity education training initiative. I didn’t know what we had done wrong. I didn’t understand what the issues were. And so through training 4,000 people as a result of the lawsuit, but more importantly, having really honest conversations with women and men and people of color about what they were experiencing, it dawned on me, and they call this a white male epiphany, where you realize what white male privilege is. And the world revolves around you.

And so that’s kind of the second piece that I would call power is privilege. And now that I know these issues exist, I know how to solve them after choosing to get curious, and then having this knowledge and having the solution. I almost see this as an obligation. And I will be the very first to acknowledge my privilege and my power, and blatantly say I use that to my advantage. And what that looks like is, Sharon, you and I could stand in front of the same executive leadership team, say the exact same thing, and they’re going to hear it differently coming from a man than they are from a woman. And this is their bias that they don’t even realize. But I use that privilege.

When women do this work, sometimes senior leaders are looking at it as self-serving, right? Or playing the woman’s card, or the feminist card. By me not having an agenda, right, because I am part of the majority, I can just get away with really calling them on their crap and talking to them like business leaders and … Oh, by the way, make no mistake. I would never say this to them, but I realize there’s a power and a privilege to me being able to do that. It’s really calling on them for the responsibility they have to use their power and privilege to go and drive change, because we have been trying to advance women and people of color since the seventies. We’ve made some progress, but it’s been glacially slow, and the biggest problem is we don’t have men, specifically older white men like myself, actively engaged in the solution. So that’s how I use my power and why I think it’s so important.

Sharon:

Okay. I am so excited about 100 things that you just said. So here’s what we’re going to do, is we’re going to break it down, right?

So let’s kind of start at the beginning. So what’s the changing nature of the workforce? Give us some context of the talent changes that are happening, and then what do these changes have to do with power? Just so we’ve got a foundation, and then we’re going to systematically go through some of the things you said.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah, it’s interesting. These numbers are pre-COVID. But some of them have been on track for the last 10 years. Number one, and I made this comment earlier, 80% of senior leadership is men, particularly older white men. There’ll be some small percentage of men of color in that number. But 10,000 Boomers a day are leaving the workforce, most older white men like myself. That trend has been happening for 10 years, but in the next five years … So 10,000 a day is 3.5 million a year. In five years, all the Boomers are going to be gone.

So now think about this power shift that’s about to take place. From a representation standpoint, I want your listeners to visualize what their senior leadership team looks like now and realize that 85% of new entries into the workforce are women, Millennials, or people of color. So this picture looks vastly different than what’s there, and smart companies are realizing this, because there’s a huge war for talent going on. Companies are getting ahead of this. It’s actually why they’re doubling down on initiatives to bring in more people of color, bring in more women. These are the dynamics that we talk about with senior leaders. It’s really long-term succession planning.

But what you have to realize … So that’s the problem, and we try and conceptualize that with leaders. Right now, the Fortune 500 is just trying to keep the doors open. I don’t care what business you’re in. But there is going to be a point in time we’re going to come back to some semblance of normal. Well, companies are going to be scrambling. In September alone, we lost 800,000 women in the workforce. Smart companies are going to have to figure out how to onboard these really talented women who want to come back, because even if I only wanted to hire white guys or older white guys, there’s just not enough of them. It’s not a sustainable business strategy.

So I think you’ve got this huge U-shaped trough, where you’ve got the companies that get it, 50 to 80 in this country really doing dynamic, blockbuster work. Then you’ve got this trough of companies that are coming into it, going, “Holy crap. We need to do something.” Then you’ve got a lot of companies that, quite frankly, aren’t going to be here in two years. When did Sears realize they were Sears? When did Blockbuster realize, “This is not a sustainable business model”? Now you compound this with COVID, and now you compound this with the economy. Healthcare companies are doing great, but the travel industry, cruise line, commercial real estate is going to be the next one. So you’ve got to figure out your new business model.

It’s not just senior leaders. I had the opportunity … One of the benefits of my job is I get to talk across all sources. I went to a conference called The Amazing Women of Supply Chain. So it’s 300 women from the supply chain industry, and they talked about the fact that we need today 100,000 truck drivers. Stuff isn’t getting moved without trucks. They said, “We need to recruit women as truck drivers.” The very next week, I went to The Groundbreaking Women of Construction, and, again, 600 women in the construction industry. Oh, by the way, we’ve got 200,000 openings for plumbers, welders, steamfitters, right? Training people. Then I got to go to the IBM Think conference, and they said today, there’s 400,000 job openings for cybersecurity, right? So this is just three groups of jobs with 700,000 job openings. The point is, there’s just not enough people. So you’ve got to get this right. It’s a long-winded answer, but that’s what the future looks like. It’s going to change, and you’ve got to have a strategy, or you’re going to get overwhelmed.

Sharon:

Right. So what you’re saying is that there’s inherently … Just because of demographics, there is going to be kind of a shift in talent in terms of who’s leaders, in terms of who’s going to be growing into leading companies, and we need to have our eyes open about it, right?

So when you say it that way, and who are we filling roles with, it goes beyond a gender issue or a diversity issue. That’s one of the things I think is so important about what you say, is that you really help us appreciate this is a stay in business and thrive in business case.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

I’ll tell you another real quick story. So I do a full-day session with 30 men called Creating Gender Advocates. Believe it or not, it’s 30 men in a room. We spend seven hours talking about how to be advocates for women. What I have found is, you have to find that organization’s pain point. I was at a pharma company, and a senior scientist stood up. He said, “I wake up every day trying to solve cancer. If I had a workforce that would work 24/7, seven days a week to cure this heinous disease, that’s what I want.” But he said, “You know what? I’ve got 15 openings today for organic chemists. Oh, by the way, flex time goes against all the fiber of my being. But I also live in an area where, within 100 miles, there’s 75 other biotech companies that want the same talent. So if I don’t embrace flexibility, work from home, whatever Sharon wants, I’m going to lose and tomorrow. I’m going to have 18 openings.”

So what’s your pain point? When companies can crystallize that, I will tell you women are the answer.

Sharon:

You were even referencing that we’ve been at this effort in earnest over more than a decade. We’re making incremental gains. You are on the front lines. You are whispering in the ears of leaders. You’re hearing what is in their hearts and minds. There’s lip service. There’s commitment publicly. Then what is interfering with kind of actually making changes? Help us understand. Help us be a fly on the wall in those conversations.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

I’ll tell you the biggest thing: there are four barriers that I have found in this work. The first one is a lack of empathy. I understand there may be differences, but I really don’t internalize that men and women are having a different experience in the workplace. So lack of empathy by men. Apathy. “What’s the big deal? I don’t understand the business case. It’s not affecting me. It’s not affecting my paycheck, so why should I care?”

Lack of accountability. What does that look like? That means you don’t have rigor in your selection process. You don’t have rigor in your hiring process. One of the things is leaders not doing their job and asking tough questions and holding people accountable. Then the last one is fear. What that looks like is … and this goes back to the Me Too initiative, and now we’ve got racial sensitivity. Men are scared to death they will say or do the wrong thing. So it’s easier for me as a white male to choose to do nothing, to not give Sharon tough feedback, to not give Irene, the woman of color working for me, tough feedback.

Sharon:

Protective hesitation we call that, right?

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. So these barriers, empathy, apathy, accountability, and fear, are overcome through a model of work that I do, and it’s called listen, learn, lead, and have the will.

So the way to overcome empathy is to genuinely listen. Invite women for a virtual coffee. Invite people of color for a virtual coffee, and ask one simple question. “Sharon, are you having a different experience than I am in the workplace? What don’t I understand?” I know you would share this with your listeners, but most Sharons would say no. They don’t want to be the flag bearer for all women in the organization.

Let’s go to men. Ask again, “Is there something I don’t understand?” Don’t interrupt her. Let her talk. Don’t start problem-solving. Don’t mansplain. Listen. Then ask a third time. In that last 10 minutes, you’re going to hear root cause issues that you had no idea existed.

Sharon:

The real truth.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. So that’s the learn part, and you have to hear that from people you know and respect. So then to overcome apathy, you have to learn, and this is really twofold. One is you have to operationalize the business case. So many companies have fluffy strategies on their D&I site, but they don’t connect to me. So I have to write an operational business plan that holds everyone in my company accountable. Then the second part of learn is going and doing your own research. I’m a huge proponent, and every man I run into, I have them read the McKinsey Women in the Workforce study.

I’ve been doing this work for a while. 2018 was the one that really highlighted six things that women are experiencing. Oh, by the way, this is going to build your brain on the listen stuff, right? But what McKinsey says is … and this is based on 350 multinational companies, so this is not a small survey set.

Women receive less support from managers. Women get less access to senior leaders than managers. Women face everyday discrimination. Microaggressions, micro-inequities are a reality. Sexual harassment remains prevalent, either overt or very quietly. Women are too often the only one in the room.

Sharon:

Right. I hear it every day.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

So the McKinsey study has research on all of this, and what we find is there’s not one thing. When I work with senior leadership teams, they want to know the answer. The answer is not one thing. It’s 20 interrelated, connected strategies that you’ve got to do to move things forward.

Sharon:

Right, right. Right, and at many different points along a woman’s career or different kinds of interactions that she has. Absolutely.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Absolutely. So the 2020 McKinsey report focused on two things, and we’ll talk about one of these, women of color specifically. I want to address that later.

What McKinsey found out was that for every 100 men promoted in their very first job, only 80 women were promoted. Only 63 women of color were promoted. What’s fascinating is, companies for so long have been focused on promoting senior women. What we find out in this research is women are left behind from the very first job, and it has a compounding effect.

Sharon:

A diverging pathway.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Oh, yeah. What we find is the person making that decision is a department manager many times, who hasn’t been through your unconscious bias training who hasn’t done targeted selection and interviewing in a non-biased manner.

Sharon:

Doesn’t feel connected to the high-level objectives of the company.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah, yeah. We’re certainly not mandating diverse panels down there. So women are left behind from the get-go, and that leads to this accountability thing. There are 10 quantitative and qualitative things companies need to be monitoring and tracking. I say quantitative and qualitative, and oh, by the way, this is not about setting quotas, right? So many companies get hung up on, “Hey, we want women in 50% of roles in five years.” Well, the first thing you’ve got to do is monitor and track and then figure out what your numbers look like. But here’s a perfect example, and I’ve seen this multiple times. We’ll be in a talent review of senior leaders, and they’ll bring forward slates of candidates. Division of VP jobs open.

And there’ll be four white guys, or four men on the deus and the CEO will go, “You know, guys, we’re trying to drive this diversity thing. I’m not seeing any diverse panels, or I’m not seeing any diverse people on this slate.” And Jim will go, “You know what? We just don’t have any ready.” And you know what the CEO does? Says, “Yeah, I get it.” I have seen CEOs look at Jim and say, “Jim, the next time you come forward, you better have somebody ready.”

“Otherwise, why do I have you?” If you can’t develop the people-

Sharon:

Right. What does it say about Jim as a manager? Right.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. But you know what, Sharon? How many CEOs don’t ask that second question around, what are you doing to get them ready?

And by the way, I’m not holding you accountable for getting any ready.

And then the last one, overcoming fear, I talk about, you have to have the will. This goes directly back to your power element, I think. And I have found the will comes from a personal connection. It’s very hard. I’m not saying you can’t be an advocate without a personal connection. But, anything you are going to advocate for, having that personal connection is critical, because it gives you a compass of due north when you’re getting into that fear thing. When you’re getting into the, “Ooh, I feel a little uncomfortable.” You have got to picture that personal connection.

And believe it or not, and I came to this very late in life, men never make the connection that, if I’m not advocating for women today in my workplace, I’m hurting my mother, my sister, my spouse, and my daughter. I have a responsibility. And so that overcomes the fear, and that allows you to start to toe dip in this thing.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

And it’s the same thing for women of color. Unless I have spoken personally to women of color, I don’t know the unique challenges you’re facing.

And it gets back to power. One of the things, and again, I reflected on this before our call, when we were just starting formal mentoring at the company I worked for, and I was doing my diversity journey, I made it a point to mentor young women of color. And it’s because I wanted to hear the experience they were having, because I knew it was different than mine.

Sharon:

Right.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

And I don’t think people… When you think about mentoring, I see it as a learning opportunity for me. I’m going to get as much out of this relationship as she is.

Sharon:

Right. And that’s all good. Yeah.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Oh my gosh, yeah. But 20 years ago, I learned about some of the unique challenges women of color are facing. And they go back to what we just talked about.

I’m the only one in the room. I’ll share a story with your listeners. So I’ve got a great colleague, MBA from Northwestern. This woman’s an SVP, African-American woman, and she will… When she travels on business, she straightens her hair and wears a business suit.

And she will whisk through TSA, fly first class, no issue. When she travels on the weekends in blue jeans and her hair in knots, she is forced to take longer at TSA, even though she’s got rapid check-in. The flight crew is not as friendly to her, even though she’s sitting in first class. And it’s just these little micro indignities that you listen to, and you’re just like, “What?” And when these come from someone you respect, then you start to think back about, “Oh my God, what is every other woman of color feeling and facing?” And so that’s where doing this work in the future is really, now starting to broaden my work around women. And so now, I’m taking a much more inclusive terminology around women. So, I’m focusing on women of color.

I’m expanding my definition of gender to include gender expression, gender identity, trans and non-binary.

Sharon:

So, I mean, just so many things you said so powerful. Like you said, there’s many men who want to help, and there’re men who have apathy, who are not in empathic to what others are experiencing in the workplace. Could you give us an example of where you worked with a male leader who, you almost could see like the wheels turning in his mind, where he started the conversation with you. Maybe it was sort of an abstract intellectual exercise. I see the McKenzie Result. Okay.

But, he didn’t really get it. And then, as you interact with him, you could see where he really took ownership of it. And then, was personally committed. Help us understand what goes on there.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yep. Yeah. It’s funny. When I go into a company, typically what I will do is, I’m working with ready-now, men. So these men are already predisposed, they’ve been selected or recruited. Oh, by the way, they willingly acknowledge they don’t know what they don’t know, but they want to help. And so they’ve identified or self-identified or been identified by the women’s group to do that.

So, number one, don’t start with the knuckleheads. Right? Start with the men who want to help you and go from there. But then the other part of it is, I will always try to do a broader keynote to the organization, because just training 60 to a hundred men is not going to drive change. But if you can talk to three or 4,000, even via webinar, these days, you’re going to touch more people and get them curious, and maybe they’re going to want to learn more.

So I go back about three years ago. This was actually a large liquor company, and you would know their name if I shared it. And it was their national sales meeting. And I was actually in front of a room of probably 350 sales leaders. And then I was later doing a breakout for their women in leadership and the men who wanted to get started. But I was talking to the broader room.

And so I brought up this personal connection. And I have an initiative called, The Father of Daughter Initiative. And you can print this out from my website, but you are committing to take 10 actions on behalf of your daughter.

And again, it’s a due north. And so this… I got done with my keynote and this guy walks up to me, big burly… we’ll call him a manly man. All right? And he said, “I was really taken with your talk. The facts and data were really good. But then when you closed…” He said, “I want you to realize I’m an SVP. I run a region of almost 500 people, but I’m also a father of five daughters.” And he said, “I thought I was really busy before, and now you have given me more work to do. And I know I have to take this on.” And it was just so gratifying. Right? To get this light bulb moment from this, I presume, very accomplished man, who said, “You know what? I never made the connection.”

Sharon:

It’s like anywhere in life, it’s all about that personal connection.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. And I tell it, first person, I never made the connection. It was very late in life before this came to me. So, it’s just having that story and realizing that, men would do anything for their daughter. Well, that means you got to stand up for another woman today. And I know that sounds really guilt-ridden and I’m well into my sixties now, and I don’t care if it sounds guilt ridden. I’m going to tell you it works. And so let’s go use guilt and privilege and power to our advantage-

Sharon:

Whatever it takes.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

… just to get men engaged. Yeah, whatever it takes.

Sharon:

When you’ve seen change or power sharing happen in organizations, do you see it coming from that personal connection? Do you see it coming from kind of that CEO mandating, or creating a culture where there’s accountability? Is it by any which way, it works, or do you see that it works better one way or the other?

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

I will tell you the companies that get really serious and want to drive change, it comes from the CEO.

Sharon:

From the top.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

It has to be at the very, very top. By the way, when you talk to leadership teams, none of them would ever say women or diversity inclusion is not a top five priority.

Top five. People, top five. You know what? One, two, and three are really important and we never get around to anything after that. We’ve got to keep the doors open, we got to keep the trucks running, we’ve got to keep plants going, and they just don’t look beyond it. I don’t think… I think we are in an age where there is… It still exists. So I don’t want to be too myopic in this. It’s not intentional discrimination. It’s just a complete lack of awareness, because no one’s ever really sat them down and talked about it. And part of that is also driven by… The average tenure of a CEO is what, three and a half, four years?

And so, no one has the longterm vision to do this. If you look at DiversityInc, and the top 50 companies to work for… If you go to Working Mother Media, look at the top 50 companies for women or people of color, what you find is companies, IBM, Sodexo and Procter and Gamble.

Great companies, solid senior leadership, been doing it for 20 years, relentlessly. And this is what I talk about. And I’ve got some big name tech companies that I’m starting to work with. And I have an NDA, so I can’t share with them, but you would know who they are. They’re some of the largest companies in the country. But you ask them a simple question. “What is your aspirational goal?” And invariably, something 40 to 50% of women in senior leadership, at some point in time. And then you asked them, “How are you going to get there?”, because you cannot build talent rapidly enough. Number one, you’re a fast growing company, so you’re constantly playing catch up.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

And so what I talked to them about is, you have to do a build, borrow, buy strategy. It’s the only way you’re going to catch up. And so, number one… And I’ve got a friend in New York who works… He’s not even a diversity guy, he works in big data. But I would ask any of your companies to run this number. He actually has a working model, and it’s little men and women moving up and down in the organization, from the bottom to the top. And he’ll plug in your engagement scores and your hiring rates, etcetera.

And what he will tell you the number, to get to 50,50 at the top, based on your existing culture and engagement, even in a high performing companies, you have to bring in 95% of women at the bottom, and 5% of men.

Sharon:

Wow.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

And no company is going to do that. Right?

Ideally, we’re shooting for a 50/50 mix. That makes common sense. 50/50 will never drive the number. So number one, you got to do a better job recruiting. Oh, by the way, companies are getting women in the door, retention has become the big issue.

Sharon:

Absolutely.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

What do I have to do to retain you, and advance you? The other thing is-

Sharon:

And that has so much to do with the culture. Right. And the systems for advancement.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yep. So that’s the kind of building. The borrowing says, “We know that women are congregated in staff functions. And so, how do we take back of house and move them into front of house, because we know we don’t have enough women in sales and operations.”

And so IBM said, “We have more women sitting on the IT desk. We need more women in a sales role.”

So they said, “We’re going to take 500 customer support women and move them front of client.” Now, they didn’t just take 500 women and say, “You’re going to be salespeople.” They manage their salary. Because sales people tend to have a more salary at risk. They made sure they were successful. They put them on a two-year development track. And oh, by the way, this goes back to, this isn’t a nice thing to do, it’s our customer is changing and we don’t have enough women.

And then the last one is, buy. And that is, you need to go and steal from your competition.

As much as build is important, there are key roles you can go borrow talent for, CFOs, CHROs, staff functions. Go hire your top customer’s customer person and bring her over. But you’re never going to run your own numbers and figuring out how you got to get there. You cannot do it one at a time. One at a time. So, the company I worked for that had this $200 million discrimination lawsuit. It was racially related. They went out and recruited 50 MBA senior-level people of color. And they brought them in and said, “I don’t have a job for you. You’re really talented. We’re going to make you a deputy vice president, and in a year you’re going to roll out into a business role.” 50. And oh, by the way, the majority of those people are still at the company, now sitting in SVP, EVP roles. The ones that left our general manager group presidents in other companies. But it was this company’s willingness. And oh, by the way, it was… they wanted to hit a number. It was mandated by the lawsuit, but they also did it because it was the right thing to do.

So go hire talented people, put them on a bench, train them, and then they’re ready to go.

Sharon:

Jeffery, you have solutions. You have insight into the actual obstacles. You have strategies that show the way, you have solutions. And this has just been so helpful and substantive in terms of guiding the way forward. I have a burning question. One more question, if I can ask you, since we have an opportunity to talk with you here. You’ve been so systematic in the way that you’ve laid out what the challenges are, and how it’s really a business issue and you have business solutions. But you also said earlier on in our conversation, it kind of has to do with a mindset, right? Where there might be fear.

And I do hear this a lot from women that I’m talking to, who are trying to make the business case and they can just sense that there’s resistance, that they’re coming up against until we have these kind of conversations where they can successfully make the business case and implement some of these solutions. And I’m just wondering, can you share with us what actually goes on? What are the prohibitions that go on between men? What are they really concerned about amongst their peers or about losing their standing, kind of in a zero sum game world, just so that we can really understand what they are up against? And then we can all try to be part of a solution.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. This is exactly how I work with senior leaders. Because I’ve been in business for 40 years, so I’m not going to walk in front of a group of CEO level executives and have my hat handed to me. I know how vicious they can be. And so before I go in that room, I have three or four allies.

And so when I’m invited into that organization, usually by a senior woman, I will ask, who are your allies? Who are the two or three guys who get this and have your back? And this is the coaching I would give for the senior women you work with, Sharon. Those guys are on your team and they’re ready to help, but they don’t know what to do. And so, you’ve got to bring them along. Because on any senior leadership team, you’re going to have three or four visionary leaders, right?

You’re going to have some others who are just playing the corporate game. I can get behind this diversity thing. If I think John’s getting ahead, because he’s doing this diversity thing, I can get behind that. Oh, my God. If the CEO’s behind it, I can support that agenda. I might not be happy about it. Hadn’t really thought about it, but it’s around building your allies and then holding them accountable.

And so what do I mean by that when I’m in front of senior leaders? And oh, by the way, I’ve talked to these two or three men and I know that they’re a help for me. Right? And so we’ll go back to Jim, Jim’s the new Karen in my world. So when Jim says, “I get this, but I just don’t have time. I get a business to run. This diversity thing is fine. I just don’t have time.” Or he says something even more crass.

And clearly trying to take me on a challenge. And I’ll look at Jim. And I’ll say, “Jim, you know what? That’s an interesting question. I was talking to Mark on your executive team about that. Mark, how would you address Jim’s concern? And then Dave, how would you address Jim’s concern?” And so particularly Sharon, when you’re the only woman in the room, you have to have a couple of allies because otherwise you’re just going to butt your head up against the wall. So who are your allies? Oh, by the way, you know who they are. They’re the good guys, they’re the visionary leaders. And so, that’s where you start. And that’s how I work with every company I work with.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

I start with Ready Now Men. It’s a brand adoption model. If we can get 30% of men who are ready, then I can get another 50 who might get behind it. And then there’s always going to be 20% that won’t. And you know what? They will migrate themselves out of the company if they see things changing or they will fall into line.

Sharon:

Yeah, with the program now.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. So focus on allies, focus on Ready Now Men, focus… And oh, by the way, when I say focus, invite them in. That is the most critical thing I can say to women is invite them into this conversation because you will find many men want to help and they don’t know what to do. But it starts by inviting them in.

Sharon:

Absolutely. And I think it also starts by going to your website and to your materials where you literally have downloads of the 10 Metrics To Be Monitoring and the Father Daughter Initiative and how people can start to have these conversations. So tell us for listeners who are like… We absolutely need to have Jeffery come into our organization. Where can we find you?

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Yeah. So my website is Ywomen.biz. One of the things that I’m introducing literally within days, but you can get a sneak preview of it, is my full-day eight hour workshop for men and put it on video. And so, the first module is downloadable for free. It’s your Kick the Tires, it’s my free gift. Please go out and watch it. If you have an interest, you can buy the other modules. I will tell you, they are very nominally priced. I’m not looking to make a bunch of money on this. I’m looking to get 10, 20, 30,000 men to go out and be advocates. And I found this is the best way to do that, but please go out and watch the first free one. It’s got a participant guide. You can run it for as an employee resource group meeting for free and take it from there.

Sharon:

Jeffery Tobias Halter at Ywomen.biz is where you can get started engaging with Jeff. I have to say, I wake up in the morning and I send you good energies and Juju, because I’m like, we need Jeff. We need him to be creating a movement of Ready Now Men, and just really, really thank you for your keen insights, your strategic solutions for your work in the world. Thank you for being on the Power Suit podcast.

Jeffery Tobias Halter:

Oh, thank you, Sharon. I know you’re such a good friend and such a supporter of my work, so I really appreciate it. Thank you.

The Power Shift podcast is all about redefining the idea of “power” and how women use it for good, not with the traditional idea of force. Listen to thought-provoking and practical interviews to help listeners understand power from every angle– how a person gets ‘in her power’, how power works in the workplace, and how power can shift.
Host Dr. Sharon Melnick is a business psychologist who’s a best-selling author, speaker, and sought-after executive coach who helps women executives be an intentional Culture Carrier in their organizations and helps women get promoted to next level opportunities. Because every woman in her power is a Change Agent!
You can listen to The Power Shift Podcast with Dr. Sharon Melnick here at these links:
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