Fatherhood Inspires Corporate Executives to Close the Gender Gap!
Fatherhood aligns with corporate responsibility according to many male executives of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition. Following are five gender parity principles that inspire 14 who are fathers and corporate leaders.
1. Women and men should be treated equally in the workforce and have the same access to opportunities.
Chris Boerm, President of ADM Transportation said: “As the parent of a college-bound son and a high school daughter, I am extremely committed to ensuring they are both given the same opportunities. I could not accept the notion that one of my children might be more successful just because of their gender. For me, this is a good lesson to take back to the workplace. If I want my children to be treated equally, then why shouldn’t I want my colleagues to be treated equally too?”
Andrew LeSueur, Global Managing Partner of Heidrick Consulting said: “A ‘fresh’ example of how fatherhood has impacted my perception of gender parity was during my daughter’s summer internship and her male counterparts were invited to play in a golf outing with a team leader. While the women were not directly excluded, expectations were only ‘good golfers’ were attending. As she did not view herself as a ‘good enough’ player, she and most of the other females came to work instead. Her supervisor asked why she was not golfing, but because she did not want to call anyone out, she stayed quiet. Ultimately, a social event resulted in a high performing female feeling excluded from a team building event and at the office.”
Kip Wright, President & CEO of Genuent said: “I’ve lived my life by a simple mantra — ‘Do the right thing.’ As a leader, it’s my job to create and maintain a fair and balanced workplace. As a husband, my spouse is my partner — equal in every way. And as a father, I want my daughter afforded the same opportunities I had based solely on her abilities. Creating gender parity isn’t about ‘making a difference,’ or ‘putting a dent in the universe,’ it’s about ‘doing the right thing.’”
Sean Story, Vice President of Strategic Development of United Scrap Metal said: “Fatherhood has given me the opportunity to raise and influence a future female leader. When I look at her, I see an amazing woman filled with limitless potential; and my role as her father is to help her achieve that potential in whichever path she embarks upon. As a leader in the workplace, I carry a broader commitment to supporting other parents’ missions by helping their daughters and sons achieve their own unique potential through equal opportunity in the workplace.”
2. Everyone deserves a seat at the table.
Mark Santangelo, Senior Vice President of Global Operations of Innophos said: “As the proud father of a strong, independent daughter, I believe that gender parity and equality through equal pay, access and opportunity are key to the success of any modern workplace. I am honored to be part of the leadership team for a company that is devoted to and defined by these ideals — where everyone, regardless of gender, has an equal seat at our table and an open forum to share their individual experience, perspective and point of view.”
Tony Payne, Senior Vice President of External Affairs of The MEMIC Group said: “There is no position in today’s world for which a woman is not equally qualified with a man. It’s a pretty simple concept but requires that both men and women intentionally discard old habits and ingrained biases. As a dad of three adult men, I believe I have and will continue to model gender equity by looking around the workplace and within our community and ask, ‘Who’s missing?’ and then work to be sure there’s a place at the table, if not at the head of the table.”
Sarosh Mistry, Chair of Sodexo North America & CEO of Sodexo Homecare Worldwide said: “The research proves that gender balanced teams are more successful. We did our own study at Sodexo: Teams with a 40–60% ratio of men and women had better employee engagement and customer retention scores. This is one of those areas where the data supports what we intuitively already know. Gender balanced teams create more diversity of thought and better represent our clients and customers. They make better decisions, are more innovative, and ultimately more successful. As a father of a daughter, I am more determined than ever to create an equal playing field for everyone. My personal commitment is to do my part to eliminate or minimize unconscious bias in the workplace, and to ensure that the number of women in senior operating roles remains balanced.”
3. Men have an important role to play in closing the gender gap in the workforce.
Chad Deshler, Vice President of Sales of Maven said: “I am a father of four beautiful children, including three girls. We understand the societal challenges they’ll face and my hope is that by the time they enter the workforce, there is truly a level playing field, regardless of gender. Companies like Maven are paving the way for workplace equality, and if I can play a part in removing some of those hurdles through my work at Maven, my children will have more opportunities for success in the future.”
Steven C. Mizell, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer of Merck & Co., Inc. said: “In order to have the greatest impact on Merck’s mission to save and improve lives, we need to champion a workforce that reflects the people we serve. Optimizing a diverse and inclusive workforce is a priority at our company, and we are steadfast in our commitment to achieving gender parity. We know this parity will not happen without active participation from male leaders helping to break down barriers, change mindsets and open doors. My wife and I raised our two daughters with the understanding that they could achieve anything they put their minds to, so my commitment to gender equality isn’t just business — it’s personal.”
Greg Riddle, Vice President, Investor Relations, Government Affairs & Corporate Communications of Eastman Chemical Company said: “I’m driven to eliminate gender bias in the workplace not only for the talented women with whom I work, but for my strong, intelligent daughter. Men must be active participants through mentoring and driving the advancement and experiential opportunities for women in their companies. It’s my job to remove the obstacles for women at Eastman, because they deserve an equal shot. I’m personally committed to seeing that all the talented women I know — including my daughter — get the opportunities they’ve worked so hard for.”
4. Having diverse leadership teams is good for business.
Jeffrey Martin, Chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy said: “Being a father has informed my perspective on the world in many ways, including the goal of gender equality. I believe that committing to gender parity is not only the right thing to do — it also elevates our collective performance. Diversity and inclusion have been a focus at Sempra Energy since our company was founded. We’re championing people by taking steps to eliminate inequality. At Sempra Energy, diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions for our business and the communities we serve.”
Mark Hannum, Chief Research Officer of Linkage said: “Gender parity has two very important consequences for an organization. First, organizations that have achieved gender parity will be magnets for talent in the future. People want to work for organizations that have the best talent. They want to work for them, learn from them, be mentored by them, and collaborate with them. Second, if an organization has gender parity, and can leverage the experience and thinking of its best people, both men and women, it has a much greater chance of success in the marketplace. And winning companies also attract the best talent creating a virtuous feedback loop of continuing success. Men and women together unlock the potential of the entire organization.”
Tom Henriksson, General Partner of OpenOcean said: “Since growing the company and starting actively hiring we have been working on parity issues and joined Paradigm for Parity® last fall. Having a diverse team in terms of gender, education, and nationality is essential to be the best in our operations. Our job openings are gender-neutral, we make sure to include a diverse pool of applicants to the final pool of candidates, and established diverse interview panels. Subsequently joining P4P we have increased gender balance by hiring three new female employees also into executive and senior positions, with now close to 30% of female employees.
5. Inclusive workplaces benefit everyone.
Paul Hendrycks, Marketing Communications Director of ALOM said: “As a woman owned company, gender parity and workforce diversity in all forms is a cornerstone of ALOM culture. It makes us collectively stronger and better as a company. Our staff and management are comprised of talented women and men who are high performers and industry innovators. Where I strive to extend our example of gender equality is through community advocacy to promote STEM education to young women and empower them to follow their passion to succeed.”
Angel Mendez, Chief Operations Officer of HERE Technologies said: “Here Technologies is focused on building a culture of equality, inclusivity and mutual respect. Our culture is also a business imperative because innovation thrives in diverse environments. It’s my privilege to champion our Paradigm for Parity® action plan and the company’s Women’s Initiative Network. WIN is an employee resource group for every woman at HERE to think boldly about their career, and actively pursue their professional goals through leadership development opportunities. Now is the time for gender parity in the workplace.”