Executive Education

Empowering Equality: How Men Can Champion Gender Equity Beyond International Women's Day

An enlightening interview with Robert Baker, fervent supporter of gender equality, CEO of Potentia Talent Consulting Limited and EDHEC disruptor in residence

Reading time :
29 Mar 2024
Empowering women - group of female MBA students

In light of International Women’s Day, we recently sat down with Robert Baker, a fervent supporter of gender equality and CEO of Potentia Talent Consulting Limited. As EDHEC disruptor in residence, Robert also supports our MBAs on important subjects like gender bias in organisations, Diversity & Inclusion and equality for example in cooperation with the Global MBA Diversity and Social Impact Club.

EDHEC: Robert, International Women's Day is a pivotal moment for gender equality. How do you believe men can contribute meaningfully to this cause?

Robert Baker: Men play a crucial role in supporting IWD. It's essential for us to use our positions of privilege and power to amplify the messages of IWD, challenge inequalities, and encourage actionable steps towards equality. Listening to women's perspectives and incorporating these learnings into our behavior is key to fostering a supportive environment for gender equality, not just on IWD but every day.


EDHEC: With your extensive experience in the corporate sector, what actions can companies take to be "great places to work for women"?

Robert Baker: "Companies have a significant impact on advancing gender equality. Creating better career paths for women, developing supportive cultures, and promoting women into leadership positions are essential steps. But don’t just make them quotas! Help them evolve, mentor and support them to believe in their capabilities to be able to fulfil their leadership roles and thrive. Ideally, start with carrying out a thorough diagnosis of the barriers and challenges women are facing in your organisation and based on the results, start making changes. Collecting data and measuring results along the way to assess and improve outcomes is always a good idea.


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EDHEC: The theme for IWD 2024 is "Invest in women: Accelerate progress." Could you elaborate on what this investment looks like in the corporate world?

Robert Baker: Investing in women means diagnosing barriers, enhancing cultures and policies to be more inclusive, and addressing the gender pay gap. It's about setting clear plans for how companies will step up their investment in women and DEI, holding themselves accountable for making tangible progress.


EDHEC: Beyond organisational efforts, what can individual men do to support IWD 2024 and gender equality?

Robert Baker: Individual actions range from educating ourselves about gender inequality, supporting women-run businesses, to mentoring and sponsoring women colleagues. If you’re a senior leader take IWD24 as an opportunity to start your sponsorship of a high potential women to support and advance their career development. Or, bring this home: Talk to your children, nieces, nephews, at the sports club, with friends about the importance of IWD24 and the ongoing need for gender equality. Every man can contribute by becoming an ally, participating in events, and engaging in meaningful conversations about gender equality.


EDHEC: Robert, your insights are invaluable for both men and women aiming to support gender equality. Thank you for sharing your perspective.





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