Posts Tagged ‘leveraging difference’

25 SEPT 2014 Chicago United Transformative Inclusion Member Forum and Exclusion CEO Council Luncheon

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Martin will be talking at this event from the principles of his book, The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed on the morning of September 25, followed by lunch and a book signing. The event will be held in Chicago, Illiniois.

1 AUG 2014 Academy of Management 2014 Annual Conference

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Martin will lead three sessions at this year’s Academy of Management 2014 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Friday, August 1, 10:00AM-12:00PM: Let’s Talk About Gender and Diversity, Let’s Talk About You and Me (Session 65)

Friday August, 1, 12:30PM-3:30PM: Publishing Diversity Research Workshop (Session 103)

Sunday, August 3, 4:30PM-6:00PM: Construals of “Diversity”: Examining Frameworks for Justifying, Defining, and Perceiving Diversity (Session 732)

For more information and a complete conference agenda, click here.

5 OCT 2013 TEDx Phoenixville, PA

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. And on October 5 from 12:45-2:00 Martin will speak on Embrace the Weird at the TEDx Phoenixville, PA live event. See the complete schedule and buy tickets now.

How Men Create their Own Safe Ports

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Male-only spaces can foster candor and emotional honesty.

My first blog post on this topic, In Search of a Safe Port, about where and how men could do their best gender work has stimulated a lot of discussion and reflection. I asserted that men can’t fully build their gender awareness and skill by learning and working in contexts in which women set the norms for the work. For example, I wondered if an organization like Catalyst could effectively foster the dialogue and learning about gender that men need to undertake.

My experiences in the past month have reinforced my belief that while some gender work for men and women must be done in partnership, men also need their own “safe ports,” male led and male. These are places where they can have open, frank conversations in which they express themselves with candor and emotional honesty.

Last week, I worked with a group of men and women on gender in organizations. My colleagues and I split the room into all male and all female groups and let those same-sex groups talk together for a period of time before reconvening the groups for a plenary conversation. In facilitating the men’s conversation, the toughest moments came when some men talked about how they believed women intentionally manipulated men and that women really had no legitimate gender grievances. In fact, they argued, women were the ones who had the upper hand. These sexist perspectives, we later learned, mostly flowed from their personal experiences of injury in interactions and relationships with women. But as I cringed at some of the attitudes expressed, I realized two things. First, these men needed to express themselves in a gathering of men coming together to intentionally address gender (as opposed to talking off-handedly in a bar or at a gym). These sexist views did not need to be censored, but rather expressed and, hopefully, influenced to change.

Second, these men would never have spoken these perspectives if they had not been in a men’s safe space. As one man said, “We censor ourselves around women. It’s not that they are doing anything to us to make us clam up. We just won’t say these things when they are around because we don’t want to be seen as bad guys. But this stuff really is part of how we feel.”

Men’s space is important for another reason. Women’s presence in gender conversations often feels dangerous to men. In the situation I was in last week, some women would—justifiably—have been enraged by what those men said. Men’s sexist perspectives actively injure women on a day-by-day and minute-by-minute basis. That is the reality of gender oppression in our society. But this justifiable outrage does not diminish the value of men being able to express their perspectives. This opportunity for men to speak their truths and be constructively challenged is a valuable method for creating change.

I offer these observations as an entrée into my modest attempts to respond to the two questions I posed in my last post:

1) Where can men do their gender-focused work?
2) What, exactly, is men-focused gender work, as distinct from woman-centered gender work?

I think the right spaces for men to do the best gender work will have the following characteristics:

  • Men can have the opportunity to interact only with other men.
  • These interactions are initiated and owned by men.
  • Men have the opportunity to interact in mixed-sex groups with both men and women. These interactions may be sponsored by men or women AFTER the men have had their own space.
  • Men are explicitly invited to explore what gender would mean if we were not talking about women at all.

All of these conversations include men who can ably facilitate learning productive ways for men to manage their identities and their relationships with women: These facilitators are self-aware and conversant about their experiences as men. And they have highly effective personal and professional relationships with women.

These two blog posts were stimulated by my simple insight that equality between men and women comes from empowering men and women. This empowerment means supporting them to speak their truths and thereby engage with others who may live different—even seemingly opposing—truths. My experience in my visit to Catalyst was one in which I did not feel fully empowered. It was not Catalyst’s fault. It was just that I needed—and I believe many men need—a different point of departure for their learning and development as men.

This post originally appeared on the MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) website, May 23, 2013.

24 SEPT 2013 University of Cincinnati Diversity Recruitment Training Symposium

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

In response to the continuing requests from employers, who seek new insights and strategies to meet their diversity recruiting goals, the University of Cincinnati Career Development Center will provide a training symposium on how to identify and hire talented and diverse students and to explore best practices in recruiting on college campuses.

At 1:00 pm Martin Davidson will give the opening address, Diversity So what? Leveraging Difference is Different than Managing Diversity.

Download the online brochure.  And register here.

In Search of a Safe Port

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

This blog was first featured on the MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) web site, April 2, 2013.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Catalyst in New York for the first time and when I left town, I was struck by a paradox: I don’t think men can explore and understand gender and inclusion as long as they are doing it with women.

The occasion for my visit was a great Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) Thought Leader “Meetup” with Mike, Jeanine, fellow blogger Lars Einar Engstrom, and several other MARC partners and diversity leaders. We had a great conversation, touching on many topics, but I left consumed by an unsettling feeling. As I sat there at Catalyst HQ, seeing the many talented people (mostly women) working on critically important issues concerning women and work, I thought to myself “this is not the right place for me.” It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with Catalyst. It’s a beautiful facility with a wonderful vibrancy and buzz about it. The people were terrific and I felt well-taken care of.

But it was not a men’s place. I felt most welcome, but I did not belong there. In retrospect, this was an important observation. I believe that the most critical work men must do in order further gender inclusion requires us to delve deeply into our experiences, attitudes, and behaviors as men. That kind of exploration requires a safe port and it is very difficult for women to provide that port when it comes to gender.

I attended the Work and Gender Conference held at Harvard later that week. It was a fantastic event; lots of smart, interesting people coming together to talk about changing for the better women’s experiences at work. But what was striking was that there were few men in attendance and there was no substantive conversation about men in the workplace.

I have to pause to be clear about something. I do not raise this point from the perspective I’ve seen some men do so. Some guys rail against woman-centered activities and organizations out of insecurity and threat. They feel uneasiness about how they as men are being affected by these women-focused activities.

My point is different. I was honored to be present at that conference and to be present at Catalyst. I fully and unequivocally support these organizations and events. They are the most important places a person can be if she or he wants to engage with women-focused gender work.

I am noting, simply, that these are not always the best venues to engage men-focused gender work. Although men can’t fully develop their skill in gender inclusivity without women, they are held back in their development by abdicating the responsibility to learn about gender to women. Men all too often wait for women to set the context and conversation for gender learning. That will never serve to empower men to fully join in co-creating organizations that truly value the gender identities and experiences of the people in them. If this is true, the obvious next questions are:

1.  Where can me do their gender-focused work?

2. What, exactly, is men-focused gender work, as distinct from women-centered gender work?

I have some thoughts to share in my next blog post, but what do you think?

28 MAY 2013 MARC Tweet Chat

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Tackle the tough questions raised by Martin in his MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) blog, “In Search of a Safe Port,” during the upcoming MARC Tweet Chat, May 28, 11:00 am EST.

25 FEB MARC Breakfast Discussion, New York City

Monday, February 11th, 2013

As a thought leader on men’s roles as inclusive leaders, we invite you to join MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) expert bloggers Martin Davidson, PhD and Lars Einar Engstrom for a breakfast discussion on how to shape and realize the potential of MARC as a force for change in the workplace. Event to be held at the Catalyst offices, 120 Wall St, 15th Floor, New York, NY. Space is limited. RSVP to MARC@Catalyst.org.

21-22 FEB 6th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Seminar, Barcelona, Spain

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Martin will be speaking on Leveraging Difference at the 6th annual edition of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Seminar in Barcelona. This event is one of Europe’s longest running corporate focused diversity & inclusion seminars and brings together some of the world’s leading minds in the area of diversity and HR. Global Heads, Directors and VPs of Human Resources and Diversity along with Boards Members of some of the world’s largest companies will be presenting alongside renowned authors and professors.

25 Jan 2013 Embracing the Weird

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

In anticipation of his next book, Martin will give a flash seminar on Embracing the Weird at University of Virginia, Monroe Hill House, Friday, January 25, 2013 from 4:00pm-5:00 pm. The talk will be followed by a wine and cheese reception at Monroe Law Office.