Last week I sent out a note to my circle of women entrepreneurs, friends and industry colleagues, sharing a video with the “why” behind the creation of the For Love And Business community. There was a message to fellow male entrepreneurs too. I thought they should know about the work I am doing, in case they might know of a woman business owner who might be interested.
I was delighted to see that the highest level of interest, based on the opening and playing of the video, actually came from the men! Perhaps it was my tongue-in-cheek subject line: “could you be one of the girls for me?”
What I didn’t expect was the heartfelt and somewhat wistful message I received from one of these men:
Congratulations on your new project. It sounds like it is a labour of love, pun fully intended. While I have no issue with sharing this link, I do have a question(s), which maybe for you, but maybe for the community at large.
I see many things coming out, particularly in our industry, for women and about women. But women have been at the forefront of our industry, arguably from the beginning. As a minority in this industry (planner-side), I sometimes wonder why there are no support groups for men in the Business Events industry. I am sure there will be pithy answers, like: men have always had support or role models. I wonder.
Does your group feel that only women are susceptible to guilt in a relationship? Or loneliness? Or over work?
Perhaps I missed something. Anyway, sorry for the minor rant, I will go back to my stoic, male work day.
I wish you well in this endeavour.
Immediately I wrote to the said gentleman, thanking him for his feedback, and promising that I would ponder this.
No one has all the answers
What I am hearing is that our guys, the ones who are genuinely concerned and respectful of their female partners and colleagues, may be feeling unsupported. This colleague is in the meetings industry, a sector which is known for being predominantly female. But the reality is that, as a woman, I often focus on what women feel, and I forget about the man’s side, unless I’m dealing with my husband or the men in my family.
That’s why I find it helpful to see research like the survey Chatelaine conducted recently with Abacus Data (see What Does It Mean to Be a Man in 2018).
Another friend – a single mom, raising a son – struggles with the issue all the time. “As a mom it’s hard for me to help my son,” she says. “There’s a lot of support for girls, but the boys need help too.”
In the work that I do, I have always said that it’s NOT about making one gender right or wrong. It’s about working together for better outcomes. Growing resilience and sensitivity in both women and men. In love and in business.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! What say you?
Yours for love and business,
Photo credit: Andrew Neel, Unsplash.com