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

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

My question: Are we leaving the men behind?

Let me explain. I must hire a new marketing manager for my company. 

Here is why I am writing to you: In the past it’s been top heavy with strong, competent men. And the good news is that in the last four years there has been a conscious shift to hiring more strong, competent women. 

We have become a much happier gender accepting company and no longer talk about how many men or women work here.

That is until now.

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

Here’s my issue today. There are three candidates for the new position and suddenly there are two camps: the ‘yes to women’ and the ‘what about the men’.

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

Yet, I am getting slammed by my colleagues about 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”.

I need to get back to my boss and either go along with his idea of the visuals or make a strong case for why we should hire the man.

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

The world certainly has turned upside down again.

Suggestions appreciated,


Loves to be Fair


Dear Ms. Fairness,

What an interesting dilemma. It has been amazing watching women break the glass ceiling and take on positions of authority from corporations to the military to politics and onward to Mars. 

The Glass Ceiling is Outdated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.

Now is a good time to change the image to one of a high bridge of partnership where we can walk together past the old way to a more inclusive way of thinking.

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.

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

Can you stay strong in your conviction that the male you interviewed would be the better candidate for the job?

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

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

We all enter the workforce with our beliefs and patterns about gender in place and then we begin to unravel the old to make way for new thinking. 

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

We should all be championing a more balanced business environment. No one should ever get shunned because of gender, race, age, and what ever else you want to put here.

My suggestion is that you go with your gut (as in being GUTSY) and 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 and take whoever gets the job under your wing.

Here is my formula for where gender equity is headed. As women become more daring it gives men the opportunity to show their soft side and become more caring. The formula 


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. Here’s a shout out for International Women’s Day on March 8. Enjoy this masterclass about how GUTSY WOMEN MAKE CHANGE.

Sylvia Lafair