As you may have heard our esteemed and definitely not toxoplasmosis-infected president Donald J. Trump turned to two guys — Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and EY CEO Mark Weinberger — for a discussion on women’s workplace issues with his Strategic and Policy Forum last Friday. Perhaps all the women CEOs were busy that day getting their hair did and knitting pussy hats.
Except the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum already has working women on the panel who might be better suited to address women’s issues than a couple dudes. Mary Barra from GM, for example. Or Indra Nooyi from PepsiCo. Wait, maybe not Indra Nooyi, she’s still pissed about all that “grab them by the you-know-what” stuff.
So, two dudes it is.
It’s not like Mark Weinberger hasn’t leaned in on the ladies during his tenure at EY. On his fancy International Women’s Day landing page, Weinberger is asking the important questions: “We know that gender-balanced companies achieve better results. As business leaders we need to ask ourselves: Have we made enough progress? Are we helping enough women find their way into leadership roles in order to make our businesses better?”
Sir, maybe you need to ask yourself to take a seat and let the women handle this part of the conversation.
Anyway, getting outraged about a couple of dudes advising our dude president about women in the workplace is, as Avivah Wittenberg-Cox points out in Harvard Business Review so predictable.
Gender equality is not a “women’s issue” — it’s a huge political, economic, and social opportunity. It is a massive business issue that more than 75% of corporate CEOs currently put on their agenda of top 10 issues. Research shows that gender balance happens in companies only if it is personally and forcefully led by the CEO. The reality is that many of the companies starting to look truly balanced are or were led by men.
Right. It’s sort of like dudes going to Lamaze class because they’re part of the pregnancy too, just not the part that serves as a temporary hotel for a growing human being for nine months and then unceremoniously pushing said human being out of their body. Men absolutely should have a place at the table, but must it always be at the head of the table?
Couldn’t Trump have grabbed Deloitte by the Cathy Engelbert just to make it appear as though he was attempting to hear from women on the subject of women? Oh what am I talking about, that’s a silly idea. I better stop spouting nonsense and get back in the kitchen.