Enlisting Men to Erase Harmful Stereotypes of Women, with Michael Fenlon

Talent Management
PwC Talent Manager Michael Fenlon discusses the aims of HeForShe, the solidarity movement for gender equality famously championed by actress Emma Watson in a September speech at the United Nations. He explains the importance of getting men to pledge their support for women and learn to listen in order to quash harmful stereotypes. To take the pledge for global gender equality, visit HeForShe.org.

On February 27th, PwC hosted a live webcast on developing great women leaders with ABC News's Claire Shipman and her "The Confidence Code" co-author Katty Kay. Watch the archived stream here, and follow the conversation on Twitter: #PwCAspire. Big Think will be featuring more related videos and other content throughout the month.

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TRANSCRIPT

Michael Fenlon: He For She was launched by the United Nations as a global initiative to enlist men in gender equality. And we've learned that some small actions can have a big impact. It starts by actually demonstrating commitment, by going to HeForShe.org and signaling your commitment; sign the pledge. But do more than that; it's very important for men to ask questions and listen for several reasons. One is we immediately broaden our perspective by stepping into the shoes of another person; by seeing the world through the eyes of a woman; by listening and really trying to empathize, we can identify our own blind spots. We can understand perhaps some of our own stereotypes or assumptions that we've been carrying around that are inaccurate. And we know that when most people understand these stereotypes that they have them, that they work hard to change them; they understand it's unacceptable to act on these sorts of stereotypes.

If I'm not asking questions and if I'm not listening, I'm not learning. It's as simple as that. It's impossible for me to become a better leader and a better person if I'm not connecting with others, particularly others who are different from me. So listening to women, listening to their experience and understanding how I can be a more effective leader, coach, colleague, peer, makes all the difference. As men, it's critically important to make our voices heard on the issue of gender equality. Let's not assume that others know, of course, we have the best of intentions. Let's make it real and let's make it explicit. Let stand up and make our voices heard. Let's take the pledge for global gender equality at HeForShe.org.

To take the pledge for global gender equality, visit <a href="http://www.heforshe.org/" target="_blank">HeForShe.org</a>.<p>On February 27th, PwC hosted a live webcast on developing great women leaders with ABC News's Claire Shipman and her "The Confidence Code" co-author Katty Kay. Watch the archived stream <a href="http://goo.gl/5Af5aX" target="_blank">here</a>, and follow the conversation on Twitter: <a href="http://goo.gl/6aa4dq" target="_blank">#PwCAspire</a>. Big Think will be featuring more related videos and other content throughout the month.