We asked 2016 YLAI Fellow Luis Martin del Campo of Mexico how men can join the efforts in empowering women, and support a more diverse workforce. Here are his answers.
- What can men do to be an ally for women´s empowerment?
To become an ally for women´s empowerment is to realize the complementarity of both genders. Reality is all about relational dynamics, the beauty of life is in the interactions between elements. And so, men and women must understand how both roles are indispensable and deserve to be respected and honored. This is the first step, a shift in mental framework. Asking ourselves the kinds of inquiries that make us question even our most deeply and secretly, hidden-held beliefs about ourselves and others.
To become an ally for women´s empowerment is to also become an ally for men´s empowerment. It is about lifting up all of humanity and about recognizing our unique roles in life and honoring the time and effort of each´s activities and to ensure the respect of rights and access to opportunities for all. It is about collaboration and interdependence, not domination. When that shift in framework occurs then automatically we embody the kind of relationship dynamics that reflects that kind of belief and uplifts everyone by its very nature. This is the kind of work we are doing in the Kala Institute (www.kalainstitute.com), which I co-founded. We are delivering a one-of-a-kind training methodology that helps you reframe your worldview into a whole-systems, collaboration mindset grounded in a solid understanding of who you are and then develop key skills to effect change in your personal and professional life.
And then from that new perspective, yes, you move on to tactics and actions and start actively engaging the rest of the world to make this shift widespread. Men (and women) that are conscious about this should engage in awakening others working from the micro to the macro. They must become conscious of how their actions reinforce either empowerment or disenfranchisement. Men and women must actively seek to shine a light on their hidden, unconscious and implicit biases and how they may be inadvertently repeating damaging behavior patterns. And in the professional plane we all should seek to create a workspace that is healthy and encouraging and respectful as well as fun and stimulating. Men, as the currently dominating energy, must embody this attitude in everything they do so that their actions on their own speak loud and clear about the kind of world we want to build today.
- Why is it important to have women leaders in the economy? In politics?
Having women leaders in politics is of course essential to the transition towards a more sustainable. just society and a world with no disadvantage to anyone. They have the capacity to guide us to a more wholistic vision of prosperity and to bring in an element of humanity, care and emotional integration to areas that currently feel devoid of anything but cutthroat, domination-oriented mindsets. There is an important caveat here. It´s not just about “having women leaders”. That would make it about filling a quota, just like sanitized TV shows fill their “gender and race diversity character quotas” with throwaway, one dimensional characters to please the Political Correctness police. No, it is important to have relevant, legitimate, respectable, competent, visionary leaders. Period. Both men and women. Yes, it is particularly relevant to involve more women on top because women have a magnificent capability to collaborate, nurture and seek the good of the whole. Women are naturally more empathic and socially intelligent. And we need a diversity of perspective women can provide. It is also important to have great women leaders not only in the economy and politics, but in science, invention, art, entrepreneurship and all endeavors. To celebrate them as role models so young girls are reinforced in believing they can excel in whatever they wish and that they too can reach the highest places and become leaders themselves. In the Kala Institute Methodology we use stories from great luminaries of history to illustrate how certain soft skills are key to the Creative Life and making change, and we make a point of including prominent men and women in politics, business, science and arts and sports as inspiration. In fact, many prominent researchers and instigators in sustainability, one of the most important topics of our time, are women. Their wholistic vision and innate social intelligence make then uniquely talented at designing new ways for human systems to interact harmoniously.
- How can you empower a female entrepreneur?
Essentially, we can empower a female entrepreneur in our lives by being the ying to her yang and supporting her as she steps into her power and owns it. By listening and helping her ideas grow, by being perceptive and listening, providing ideas and perspective. By acting towards her the way we wish the world to act towards her: with respect, honor and kindness. You empower her when you can contribute to her success and to her humility. When you encourage her to speak her mind, show her voice and work, to step into her power and embody her Self. I do this every day, both within my personal and professional life, with my partner, and as a fundamental part of the Kala Institute: giving young women entrepreneurs tools they can use to discover their personal spark and self-determine their lives through mastery of their selves.
You can find Luis Martin del Campo here: