In the Huffington Post, Barker EVP and Creative Director Sandi Harari has written an open letter of sorts to men working in the ad agency world. Harari's
letter begins on a very positive note lauding many of the positive changes that have occurred in recent years in terms of equality issues for women.
In the piece, she writes, "Husbands are marching arm-in-arm with their wives. Fathers are supporting their daughters. Women with signs are standing right beside the males in their lives. This is great news because men’s participation will make progress move even faster."
She notes she works in an agency that counts 70% of its workforce female. She likes her boss who she says has gone the extra mile to give women in the agency leadership roles. While things do seem to be heading in the right direction, Harari notes there are still topics that need some addressing, Namely, equal pay, harassment, lack of female CEOs and general glass ceiling issues.
To help rectify these and other issues Harari is calling upon men to lend a hand and she's offered five things men can do to help the cause. She suggests men give praise and credit when and where it's due.
Vocally. To everyone in the office. She suggests men become advocates for women by making sure supervisors are aware of work which deserves recognition. She suggests men stop making women feel guilty by giving working mothers what she calls "that look" when they have to suddenly leave a meeting.
She says men should respect a woman's unique -- and very different from a man's -- management style. Just because the stereotypical loud and brash style many men manage with works for them doesn't mean it will work for a woman. Different strokes for different folks. Finally she suggests women be given the mic, so to speak, writing, "Having a seat at the table doesn’t mean people will listen to you. Create a space for women to speak up at meetings. Make it easier for them to be heard and have the floor."