At Bentley University: Engaging Men to Advance Women in Business

Oct 29, 2013, 12:00 ET from Bentley University

The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University Convenes Best Practices Forum to Help Companies Compete and Grow With Teams That Blend Male and Female Leaders

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University today convened its latest Best Practices Forum, "Engaging Men to Advance Women in Business."


Bringing together a group of prominent and diverse influencers, experts and practitioners, the one-day conference featured CEOs, C-Suite leaders, consultants and academics who shared their experiences, insights and wisdom on how men in positions of organizational power can help advance women to create a more balanced business model for future success. Speakers included Chuck Shelton, Managing Director, Greatheart Leader Lab; Mike Barriere, Executive Vice President, Alcoa; Chris Brassell, Director, Office of Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers; William E. Lyon, Managing Director / U.S. East Zone Leader, Marsh Inc.; Leslie Mays, Vice President & Chief Inclusion Officer, Avon Products Inc.; Duncan Spelman, Management Professor, Bentley University; and more.

"To truly support, retain and promote women in the workplace, we must involve men in the conversation as full partners," says Betsy Myers, Founding Director of the Center for Women and Business and a leadership expert, author and advocate. "Men aren't the problem – they're a key factor in the productive solution."

Adds Bentley President Gloria C. Larson, "It has been proven that companies with leadership that blend men and women into effective teams have a better bottom line. But many men at the top of many organizations don't know how to make this a business reality. That's where Bentley's Center for Women and Business can play a constructive and educational role."

Female Leadership at the Top of the Organization Has Plateaued

The Center for Women and Business' Best Practices Forum examined the reasons why women currently hold just 10%-15% of the senior leadership (C-Suite) positions in corporate America, despite the fact that women now represent 58% of all college graduates and hold 50% of middle-management positions in the United States. 

"Female leadership at the senior levels of American companies has plateaued," explains Myers. "Yes, of course, there has been progress; and, yes, today we have more female leaders than a generation ago, but only a very small portion is sitting at the top of organizations. And, to make matters worse, the conversations we are having about gender and work today are the very same conversations we were having during the mid-1990s."

Looking beyond the numbers, the Best Practices Forum also addressed the role confusion and tension that men and women feel in the workplace today.

And, finally, the conference discussed concrete steps that leaders can take to help advance talented women in their organizations.

"The good news is that we have just about reached consensus and the vast majority of corporate CEOs no longer ask 'why' they should include and advance women in their organizations," says Myers. "But it's increasingly clear that there is confusion as to 'how'– how to include, keep and advance women."

"We need to change attitudes within leadership in order to make the workplace a more productive and better-run environment," adds Steven P. Manfredi, a retired executive with more than 30 years of senior-level management experience who is currently Chair of Bentley University's Board of Trustees. "And we must do a better job at helping young women develop the skills they'll need to be considered as candidates for CEO, CFO and all the C-Suite jobs."

The New Frontier for Women in Leadership – Including Men

In conjunction with the Best Practices Forum, Bentley's Center for Women and Business is publishing a Thought Leadership Gallery with 18 distinctive contributions from the best and brightest thinkers in the field of gender and business.

The publication will, hopefully, mark the beginning of a robust shift in thinking and research on this topic, so that developing and promoting female leaders becomes a best practice across the corporate landscape.

The articles in the Thought Leadership Gallery include:

  • Betsy Myers – The New Frontier For Women in Leadership – Including Men
  • Chris Brassell – Enriching the Organizational Soil Will Help Female Leadership Grow
  • Lucy Lee Helm – Women Can Distinguish Themselves In Almost Any Corporate Culture
  • Chuck Shelton – Fearless Reciprocity Will Advance Female Leadership
  • Tom Peters – The Why and How: CEOs Must Prepare Their Best Female Executives to Lead
  • Duncan H. Spelman – Men Need to Pay Attention to See Women Clearly in the Workplace
  • Jerry Rossi – It's All About Establishing Mutual Respect Between Women and Companies
  • Richard J. Caturano – Erasing the CEO's Unconscious Bias
  • Lise Edwards – Leading Beyond: An "ALL-IN" Women's Leadership Journey
  • Andres Tapia – Organizations Need Greater Gender Cultural Dexterity
  • Ray Arata Male Executives Need to Wake Up, Man Up and Step Up
  • Michael Q. Simonds – Building a Corporate Culture That Advances Talented Women
  • Rob BakerOrganizations Need to Make the Best Use of All Their Talent
  • Steven P. Manfredi – Walking the Talk to Advance Women in Organizations
  • Stephen DelVecchio – Men Need to Understand How to Include and Advance Women
  • Jeffery Tobias Halter – How Men in Leadership Roles Can Become Advocates For Women
  • Rebecca Shambaugh – Integrated Leadership: How to Leverage Gender Strengths
  • Susan Adams – The Surge of Global Diversity Will Spur Female Leadership

About Bentley University's Center for Women and Business

Bentley University's Center for Women and Business envisions a world where women no longer make up a small fraction of corporate leadership. We engage preeminent thought-leaders and business executives to help them address the challenges of the ever-changing, global market for talent, and develop best practices to support, retain and advance women in the business world. In addition, the CWB creates leadership opportunities for female students, and partners with a variety of Bentley faculty and staff members to prepare all students for career success.

For more information please visit or contact Elisa Vincent,

About Bentley University

Bentley University is one of the nation's leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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