There are two kinds of people – those who believe in a life of abundance and those who believe in a life of scarcity. Men who open doors for women AND women who welcome these men into their networks, perspectives and career paths are of the first ilk – believing in a world of abundance.
If it follows that women who open doors to rooms of privilege themselves are looked upon as pushy, AND women who are escorted into rooms of privilege by men are looked upon with curiosity and respect, then we need to forge more partnerships between genders to facilitate leadership.
Below are some reasons and up-sides for men-who-open-doors.
- By rising above gender biases, teams, companies and industries can start focusing on embracing and encouraging leadership and results rather than gender (and other things we can’t control).
- The more women (and men) you escort into rooms of privilege, the higher the waters will rise, and the more boats will sail. This is good news for all involved.
- The more women feel empowered, the more likely they will be to empower others, which is also good for all involved.
- The more you are surrounded by people who don’t look-or-think-like you, the more perspectives and ideas will appear. And generally that’s good, for diversity matters whether you’re writing the code or running the business!
- In general, understanding and accepting people who are NOT like you helps you become more grounded and happier.
- It feels *good* to let deserving and open people into a whole new world – even if you don’t directly benefit immediately from doing so.
- Each door you open is a ‘thank-you’ to those who opened a door for *you* when you needed it. Pay it forward, perpetuate the virtuous cycle.
- Make it not about gender – create a cohesive, integrated, merit-based, collaborative team, for the good of all!
- People don’t leave their companies, they leave their managers. Give all your people the support they need to succeed so that they stay with you, and grow with the team.
- Be strategic about who you open the doors for – those who are smart, hard-working, passionate, and ethical. And be open to opening that door even if the other person doesn’t quite reach that bar.
To all those men who have opened the doors for me, I thank you and hope to continue to pay it forward. Be the kind of man who would open doors for others, because you can. Be the kind of woman who welcomes these kinds of men into their lives.