Male Allies Key in March Toward Workplace Gender Equality

A male colleague relayed a story he heard from a female co-worker to Chelsea Render, Director of Marketing-NA for Bosch Building Technologies, an off-putting experience the woman had at a tech trade show. “To his credit,” Render says, “he came to me and said ‘Have you ever experienced this?’ Well, it was something that happens to me at every trade show!”

A male colleague relayed a story he heard from a female co-worker to Chelsea Render, Director of Marketing-NA for Bosch Building Technologies, an off-putting experience the woman had at a tech trade show. “To his credit,” Render says, “he came to me and said ‘Have you ever experienced this?’ Well, it was something that happens to me at every trade show!”

Chelsea Render speaking at Brand Innovators’ CES Summit in January

The story illustrates two things: the kind of backwards behavior that still deserves to be called out and the need for colleagues, regardless of gender, to be unafraid to talk it out. “I was really happy that he asked me,” she says. “I was able to share my own experiences and give him some resources about our industry so he could see what the experience can be like for women. That kind of thing is what we need more of.”

In a recent interview, Render gave her take on the state of diversity and inclusion in 2020. Spoiler alert: we’ve come far and we have far yet to go. She acknowledged the important role a male mentor has played in her time at Bosch and made a broader case for men to step up as “allies,” particularly in male-dominated fields like tech.

“I think male allies are essential to making any kind of meaningful change,” she contends. “Some of those ways are just being open-minded about the people around you. Involving them, ensuring mentorships are in place for the people who need them.”

Bosch takes D&I seriously, Render says, calling it “more than a checkbox item for us.” She stresses the importance of business resource groups like Women at Bosch–she headed the council for her division–and proudly notes that half the board is made up of men. “These are not clubs for women. They are for fostering that sense of diversity and inclusion and for making sure people feel welcomed, valued, respected and heard. Men play a big part in that.”

Chelsea Render (far left) with members of a Women in Marketing Leadership Panel at Brand Innovators’ CES Summit

On a wider scale, Render urges people to step back and clarify what they mean when they talk about D&I. “I think diversity and inclusion is often misunderstood. There are a lot of definitions out there and I think sometimes people are a little afraid of it because they don’t know what it means. The best definition I have that I share–and I can’t take credit for this–is ‘Diversity is being invited to the dance and inclusion is being invited to dance once you’re there.’”

Interested in our events?

RELATED STORIES

Innovator Insights: 5 Ways For Brands To Capitalize On The CTV Opportunity

Read More
CMO Of The Week

CMO of the Week: Mint Mobile’s Aron North

Read More