Paul Hargreaves: How misogynist is our society today?
Two events happened last week that shed a different answer to this question. First, the disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard followed by the insensitive policing of the vigil for her on Clapham Common. Second, International Women’s Day last Monday, during which I saw a huge number of men posting on LinkedIn about how much the women in their life, both in business and personal lives, inspired them to be better people. Conclusion: I think progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go.
Within the last year I have had several women e-mail me after reading ‘Forces for Good’ telling of stories of how they have been treated badly in the workplace as women. Men who do this are complete idiots and, to be honest, I feel both angry towards them and also sorry for them. They are fools who haven’t discovered that the success of an organisation happens when there is both masculine and feminine within its leadership. Yes, that also means that there are men and women in their leadership teams, but also men who have emotional intelligence and resilient, strong women.
I have three such women within my leadership team, all of whom are a tremendous strength to both me and our company. It is my job as first amongst equals in that leadership team to ensure that their voice is heard just as loudly as the other men within the team, and their contribution is valued just as much. Having both men and women being authentically themselves will form a team that will change the world for good.