Why Should a Man Attend a Women in Business Event?

Unfortunately Carving Your Niche has been cancelled.  We look forward to meeting you at a future PRSA Pittsburgh event.

Thank you for your understanding!

 

By Steve Radick, PRSA Pittsburgh President

Maybe you marched, helped someone lean in, or realized how important she was when she left for the day. Maybe you voted for a woman to become President. Or maybe you’ve liked a few Facebook posts. Whatever you have or haven’t personally done, it’s clear men must take on a much more visible role in gender equality issues. And while these public displays of support are great, it’s the everyday moments where we can really start to make a difference.

After 15 years in an industry dominated by women, and having three daughters of my own, I feel uniquely qualified to share some of the things I’ve learned, not from hashtags, conferences, or books, but from honest, candid conversations with dozens of brilliant women over the years. Lest you fear putting your foot in your mouth, sounding completely ignorant, or straight up offending your female colleagues, I’ve gone ahead and done all these things many times.  Here’s what I’ve learned that I’d recommend to men who wish to do more for gender equality:

  1. Develop true relationships with women at your workplace where you can have frank conversations without fear of offending.
  2. What may be a small thing to you may be a huge thing to her. You’ll never know, though, if you don’t pay attention or ask.
  3. Don’t be so afraid to sound stupid that you stop asking questions.
  4. Be especially cognizant of assigning her typical gender roles (don’t always ask the woman to take notes, don’t ask her to get office supplies for a meeting, etc.). You may not think anything of it, but believe me, she does.
  5. Even if you don’t feel comfortable participating in conversations about women’s issues, at least be adjacent to them. Believe it or not, there is a bit of an osmosis effect that occurs just by being around strong women and listening to what they’re talking about.

On Thursday, July 27, you’ll have a great opportunity to put #5 into action. PRSA Pittsburgh is hosting its second annual women in business event, Carving Your Niche at SLATE in the Strip District. You’ll get to hear from amazing women from the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions and a former Partner at Ketchum, and a reporter turned publisher for one of Pittsburgh’s top magazines, but more importantly, you’ll learn by being there and listening.

I was one of the very few men to attend last year’s event and I can’t tell you how much these types of events have helped me in my career. I wouldn’t miss this year’s event for anything. And whether you’re a man, woman, senior executive or intern, I hope you’ll join me there.

You can RSVP for Carving Your Niche here.


 

Steve Radick is the Vice President, Director of Public Relations at BRUNNER in Pittsburgh. Find out more about Steve here.

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