How Do We Help The Men (or should we?)

men in business

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

My question: Are we leaving the men behind?

First, let me explain. I must hire a new marketing manager for my company. 

To clarify, here is why I am writing to you.

Firstly, my company has been top-heavy with strong, competent men. Secondly, we wanted to create a more equal opportunity organization. Moreover, in the last four years, there has been a conscious shift to hiring more strong, competent women. 

In addition, we have become much happier, what we call a ‘gender-accepting company. ‘

Therefore, we no longer talk about how many men or women work here

To sum up, that is until now.

What makes anything really fair?

For example, It looks like the old conversation about fairness is creeping back into the talk at work.

So, here’s my issue today.

There are three candidates for the new position. Suddenly there are two camps: the ‘yes to women’ and the ‘what about the men’.

Personally, I think the man (the two others are women) is the best fit. 

As a result, my colleagues are trashing me when it comes to gender equity.

Did I say, I think the male candidate is the best? Ah, I repeat myself. Guess it’s stress.

Anyway, my CEO and I had coffee yesterday and he encouraged hiring one of the females. He kept talking about ‘the visuals’ and I kept talking about “the competencies”.

Is it better to speak out or shut up?

However, I need to get back to my boss. I must go along with his idea of the visuals, or make a strong case for hiring the man.

Yeagads! Do you realize I just wrote to you for suggestions on why we should hire a male!

Further, the world certainly has turned upside down again.

Suggestions appreciated,


Loves to be Fair


Dear Ms. Fairness,

What an interesting dilemma. It’s amazing to watch women break the glass ceiling. They take on positions of authority from corporations to the military to politics and onward to Mars. 

Glass Ceiling thinking is outdated

HOWEVER, the concept of the glass ceiling has put men and women in antagonistic positions. It’s still based on winners and losers.

Certainly, now is a good time to change the image. Now, there is a need for partnership. A real partnership where you can walk together past the old way to a more inclusive way of thinking.

For example, a great read is Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family. Here she gives a vision of what true equity between men and women looks like.

Therefore, I am sending you, Ms. Fairness, a challenge. 

Above all, can you stay strong in your conviction? As I understand it, you prefer the male you interviewed as the better candidate?

Most importantly, the visual, if you will, of a woman cheerleading a male for a position, is quite intriguing.

In other words, let me cut to the chase. Assuming all three are good and that one is even better, what difference does gender make here?

As a result, we all enter the workforce with our beliefs and patterns about gender in place. Fortunately, we are now attempting to unravel the old way. There are enough who want to make way for new thinking in a more positive manner.

Likewise, what is your responsibility to helping build a strong bridge that we can all walk over together?

Does gender really make a difference anymore?

Therefore, we should all be championing a more balanced business environment. No shunning because of gender, race, age.

In other words, my suggestion is that you go with your gut (as in being GUTSY). Stay true to your reasons why the male candidate is the best. 

If there is too much pushback from corporate, well then, know you stood for your truth. Then, it’s time to move on. Take whoever gets the position under your wing. I know you will help them shine and do a great job.

In conclusion, this is where I see gender equity heading. As women become more daring it gives men the opportunity to show their soft side and become more caring. The formula 

Daring + Caring = Sharing

To sum up, let’s all work toward that goal. We will be healthier, happier and more connected with each other.

Let me know what you decide.

To your success,


P.S. Enjoy this masterclass about how GUTSY WOMEN MAKE CHANGE.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options