Catalyst’s MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) is dedicated to bringing research and actionable tools for male advocacy to corporations and individuals.
They have focused July 2017’s resources on gender partnership: how women can support men in their advocacy efforts. As part of this campaign, you can read my featured article, “The Importance of Women Supporting Men” directly on the MARC website.
“While I’ve had the pleasure of having more than one male ally (my father Greg Grant, and my first boss out of post-secondary, the late Philip Guishard), I would say my #1 fan is my husband Jonathan. As an ex-pro athlete, motivational speaker, and business coach Jonathan has the ability to push people beyond their comfort zone.
When Jonathan and I met, I was in transition period in my career. I needed a break from what I had been doing for the last 6 years which was Sport Administration within the Olympic Movement & Major Games. I was at the time, working a job that was not close to my abilities and was discouraged. Jonathan really showed me just how transferrable all the skills that I had developed were. When I was ready to look for a new job he was beyond supportive, and reached out to his many contacts to help find my new career path.
In addition to that, Jonathan’s entrepreneurial mind is always thinking about ways that my ‘passions’ can be used to earn money. As a fitness enthusiast, I dabbled in the thought of becoming a personal trainer but never committed to it. Jonathan supported me whole-heartedly and pushed me to become certified much sooner than I ever would’ve on my own. One of my first clients is even a dear friend now!
When a prospective job came up that did not align with my experience, Jonathan was the first person to remind me that it wasn’t always about what was on paper, but who I was as a person and that the company believed I could get the job done…and done well. He is always graciously reminding me of everything I have accomplished (and yet to accomplish) when I feel inadequate in my career.
Jonathan guides our family (which is just him and I for now) and always makes sure we are doing what we need to do to be ready for our 1 year, 3 year and 5 year goals both for us personally as a couple, and for our professional selves as well. He keeps me focused, grounded and challenges me even when I don’t necessarily want to be. When I’m nervous about making decisions, my husband reminds me that I’m a force to be reckoned with, and that even if I make a bad one, there will be other opportunities.
He is an ally that knows the world cannot function without women, and shows me how grateful he is that I support his business, and other endeavours.
I love that I have someone in my corner who appreciates me just the way I am, and that being me and my skills are good enough!”
– Chantelle, Candidate Care Specialist, Stryker Canada, Hamilton ON
“Undoubtedly, my most important male ally is my husband, Rustin. A stay at home dad, self-proclaimed ‘manny,’ and my biggest fan, he is all in. Without him, our coaching business and family life would not be possible. He maintains the home, takes excellent care of our amazing girls, helps with our business, and is always there when I need that nudge or to vent about travel snafus. He’s our family’s rock.
When I originally brought my book idea to him about the important role of male allies and how they support women for gender equality, he coined the book title ONE. And, this title is completely fitting. Without him steering me, I would have ended up in a completely wrong direction. He’s my guard rails. He keeps me and our family grounded and focused. We’re lucky to have him.
When I think about a male ally, he’s the personification of one. Proudly sharing and celebrating women’s accomplishments, supporting his family in and out of the home, raising our children by showing them what good looks like, and instilling confidence in the women in his life. I’ve never felt a power struggle with him, he’s let be the strong woman I have always been. I have the freedom to be my authentic self.”
– Julie, Coach & Founder of Pivot Point
This story was adapted from Julie Kratz’s upcoming book, ONE, about the role of male allies and their support for gender equality: together through mentorship, sponsorship, management, and overall advocacy.
“In the early stages of my career, I’ve quickly learned the importance of having a mentor, especially in the wealth management industry as both a female and a minority in a male-dominated environment.
I met Todd Norris while working for a local Registered Investors Independent Advisor as a Financial Advisor’s Client Service Assistant. Still being fairly new, we brought on Todd as a planner to support our team’s planning needs.
With both of us being new to the firm, I was helping Todd learn the ropes with operational procedures, while Todd educated me about financial planning. In the wealth management industry, it is hard to progress in your role without planning knowledge. Todd always graciously stuck out his hand to help me understand the reasoning behind certain planning tools, and why they were beneficial for the client. It is one thing for someone to “find” time in their busy schedule to help you, but it is another for them to “make” time. Every day I was sitting in a very fast-paced environment with no time to breathe. He always offered to help me with not only financial planning, but also with my own duties.
With Todd’s guidance, he added value to my experience and heightened the quality of my work. Around the same time, we also convinced each other to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam, one of the most prestigious designations in the industry. While Todd was already a Certified Financial Planner, his hard-working demeanor, but laid-back personality made it easy to confide in and trust him as I always felt constantly stressed with both work and my studies. He taught me the importance of work-life balance and to worry less.
While we are not currently working together, Todd has made a tremendous impact on my career and work ethic. The industry itself can be very demanding, but with someone’s praise and support, it makes the routine demand of work more enjoyable knowing I have a male ally on my side that I can reach out to when the possible seems impossible.
In the wealth management industry where female interest staggers, I believe having a male ally to help you progress to the top is one of the hidden secrets to success, and I am extremely thankful for Todd’s support as both a colleague and a friend.”
“I first met Manuel when I started to work in Group Leche Pascual in Spain. Not many members of my team came to say hello and he was one of the first ones. That is one of the most characteristic things about him, his way of treating people. He is a very welcoming, chatty person; since the beginning, he made me feel part of the group. This was important, because it built a foundation of trust.
I was an assistant inside of a big corporation, the first big company I’ve worked for, and there were many things that were both impressive and daunting. But Manuel, with his natural personality and his sense of humour, always made me think that nothing is impossible and we have to look further, in order to find ourselves.
Soon, there became a moment when I was very comfortable within my comfort zone, but I myself did not notice it. Manuel did. And he started to offer questions and make me think about opportunities that I almost wasn’t able to see for myself… Leading me to the most convenient and strongest path, and opening my eyes when I wasn’t able to do it.
He has been my inspiration many times and the person I have enjoyed my time most with, either working or in my free time. Manuel has helped me to add instead of deduct, and for that reason it is very important to be surrounded by someone like him.
I think we’ve become a very good team through our work together, and now, through our friendship, we still are.”