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On 1st October 70 attendees joined The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress for the fifth Power of Inclusion breakfast workshop of 2019, sponsored by Mayer Brown. The aim of the breakfast was to share practical and tangible tips on engaging men on gender equality in the workplace. 

The breakfast kicked off with a warm welcome from the chair Karina Robinson, CEO, Robinson Hambro ltd who shared why this topic was particularly important to her, drawing on her professional experiences.

Jim Oulton, Partner at Mayor Brown gave the hosts welcome shared that “proactive men will make an enormous difference to every community”.

The Lord Mayor in his opening address highlighted the importance of businesses addressing gender inequality in the workplace, and “society recognising injustice and doing what it can to support women”. The Lord Mayor also drew on his experiences from Barclays where they had a programme of recruiting male allies across the business to champion women’s equality.

The first speaker of the morning, John Whalen, Director at Catalyst Europe provided evidence from the research that Catalyst Europe have been doing on men’s engagement on gender equality over several years. John summarised his talk by advising that businesses move away from awareness and towards action, defying masculine norms, moving towards encouraging men to have women mentors.

Damien Shieber, Head of Culture and Inclusion at Santander was the second speaker and shared findings from the Equal Lives research that Santander sponsored. Damien started by sharing that, 85% of men think they should be as involved in caring as women, but there is still pressure for men to provide for the family. He then continued by saying that women do not believe that they are better placed to take on a caring role and ended with a call to action for people to become “loud dads” – openly sharing when people are making use of agile working options to  take care of their families.

The third and final speaker, Andrew Armes, UK Head of Talent Acquisition at Roche gave us his insights into involving everyone in all actions around inclusion and that cultural change doesn’t need a policy. Andrew shared that, to have empathy for others, we must begin with empathy for ourselves, and then echoed Shieber’s, in the power of creative communication - leaving loudly, discussing in working groups, sharing stories - to open the conversation around inclusion as being a key part of having gender equality in the workplace.

With many thanks to Mayer Brown for sponsoring another great Power of Inclusion breakfast on engaging men on gender equality in the workplace.