Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 104

How can
men help?
Men will ask me, "What can I do to help
the cause of gender equality?" Although I
sometimes hesitate to give advice to women
based on my experience, I don't feel any qualms
about doing so with men.
My starting point is the concept of "gender
partnership." If we are to achieve proportional
representation of women in technology
leadership roles, men must become strong
allies with women in this effort. It's certainly in
men's interest to do this, given the documented
business benefits of greater gender equity in
organizations.
Beyond that, I see two steps for men to take,
especially those who are in leadership roles.
First, educate yourself. Convene a group of
women and ask them what issues they face
that are unique to them. Get the data on where
your company is on the hiring and promotion
of women. Attend a conference like the annual
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in
Computing, the world's largest gathering of
women technologists, and listen to people's
descriptions of roadblocks to gender equity.
Second, take action. If there are removable
roadblocks in your organization, get rid of them.

104

Or be a staunch advocate of women who are
trying to do this. If a formal program would
help, sponsor it.
Sometimes the action you take occurs one on
one. For example, a high-performing woman,
the CTO in one of our business units, came
to me and said the demands of her job kept
her from meeting her demands at home. She
couldn't do both, she said, "and I need to
choose my kids." I asked her for some time to
think about her situation.
After speaking with colleagues, I was able
to propose a job for her in HR that was parttime and enabled her to work from home. She
decided to take the job, and eventually got back
into our technology work.
The outcome was that I was able to help
someone balance her life, but more important,
she helped me to better understand the
situations professionals encounter. People are
often reluctant to share this kind of information
with their boss, but it worked out well for both
of us that she did.



Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology

Contents
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover2
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Contents
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 3
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Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover4
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 108
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 2
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 3
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 4
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 5
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 6
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