In this series, we aim to shine a spotlight on those women and men who are working tirelessly to bridge the gap between the current gender disparity in the workplace. In today’s article, we particularly celebrate the men who are getting on board to make changes for women in industry - by leading by example, changing the narrative, and paving the way for the next generation of businesswomen.

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Equality in the workplace is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. 

We can’t deny that there has been progress with gender equality in the workplace- yet there is still so much to be done, as women continue to face challenges their male counterparts will never experience. For example, did you know that on average women in full-time employment get paid 10p less hourly than their male counterparts? And globally, women hold just 24% of senior leadership positions. 

It’s time to make moves to change these statistics for the better, and one of the best ways to do this is through advocacy and support. Having male counterparts speak up for the women in their industry, and believe in their work is going to play a part in helping take gender equality to the next level. 

Those men who are true diversity champions will show continued efforts to raise awareness around male privilege in the workplace, and stand beside women as his equals by being an active participant, and encouraging others to engage in the conversation around gender equality in the workplace and be working to challenge the ‘norm’ - this list of men are doing exactly that.

Dal Darroch - Head of Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Programmes at The Football Association

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Dal is a dynamic senior business professional with deep skills in business change management, programme management, diversity & inclusion and all aspects of ‘people’ and operational excellence to drive change and deliver outcomes across a variety of business contexts. Dal believes that the key to the successful delivery of any business outcome is through effective management/consultation of people who are an organisation’s most important asset.

Working in an industry that is male-dominated and often unacknowledged as a woman’s game, Dal is working closely with The FA Technical Division on all D&I programmes across men’s and women’s games. Focusing on FA education, coaching, England teams staffing models, and women’s and disability projects.  He also acts as the main ambassador for all D&I at various external meetings and events. 

With the recent win for the England Lionesses, Dal’s work is paying off and has a fruitful future in changing the way women are seen in sport.

Daniele Fiandaca - Founder of Token Man Consulting

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Token Man Consulting is an inclusion and diversity consultancy which specialises in engaging men with the I&D strategy and inspiring them to become change-makers, creating workplaces that are truly inclusive and diverse. We do this through consultancy, events, research, training and thought leadership. 

Token Man gives Men in industry a better understanding of the challenges women face in business and greater empathy for when they are in the minority. They hope to achieve individual behaviour change that fuels a cultural shift in the workplace, enabling men in a tangible way to contribute to the movement for gender equality. It acts as a platform for the progression of women in industry to reverse gender inequality.

His efforts and commitments to making changes for the better are incredible, and haven’t gone unnoticed, as he was honoured to be listed by Management Today as one of the Top 30 male Agents of Change in 2018 - it’s time we had more people and businesses like Daniele and Token Man.  

Eugenio Pirri - Chief Operations and Culture Executive at Dorchester Collection

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Eugenio labels himself a ‘Diversity Advocate’ and a ‘value-driven leader’, and with over 30 years of operations and people resources experience he has a proven success record in people management, operational performance, human resources, organisational development, finance, change management and employee relations. 

Grounded in a holistic approach to employee and guest engagement within all aspects of the business Eugenio is responsible for providing leadership and strategic vision to the organisation by bringing leadership, procedures, reporting structures and operational controls to the company. Protector of the Dorchester Collection culture and ensures that transcends through all project and operational initiatives through strengthened leadership participation - Eugenio is on a mission to create a diverse, inclusive working environment for everyone involved in the Dorchester Collection. We look forward to seeing where he can take the future of the business. 

Josh Willacy - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant at Creative Equals

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Engaging and innovative diversity and inclusion specialist, Josh is dedicated to delivering bespoke learning and development solutions and strategic insight to a wide range of FTSE 250, central and local government clients.

He develops and implements programmes addressing racial and gender inequality, authentic leadership, inclusive workplace practice, unconscious bias, LGBTQ identities, proactive allyship and community engagement. His key responsibilities at Creative Equals include; Carrying out capability assessments on DEI across an organisation to develop bespoke programmes, Ideation, conception and copywriting of DEI training materials, programmes and workshops and working with clients to understand their requirements and tailoring programmes around their knowledge needs. 

As well as his work with Creative Equals, Josh is on the board of trustees for Stonewall Housing where he supports them on their organisational mission to provide guidance, support and safe housing to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people - ensuring all correct and proper procedures and processes are in place. 

Kristofer Phelps - Inclusion Lead at Veolia UK

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Kristofer is an experienced diversity and inclusion professional who is passionate about creating fully inclusive workplaces which allow individuals to reach their full potential. With over 16 years of experience in providing technical and strategic support to a range of clients including global corporations, public sector agencies and local government.

Kristofer has also shown his support to the Women in Tech Employer Awards, for a number of years as a judge. The Women in Tech Employer Awards aim to recognise the employers and individuals going above and beyond to help close the gender gap within the tech sector - and Kristofer plays his part in choosing some of the best businesses that are showcasing female talent. 

Leng Montgomery - Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Leader at Burberry

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Recently appointed Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Burberry, Leng has a varied background work-wise but all of this has contributed positively to how he approaches diversity and inclusion in his role, with particular skills and strengths in stakeholder management, thought leadership and empowerment. Leng has experience in enhancing the diversity and inclusion in teams of some of the biggest companies in the UK, including ASOS, Sainsbury’s, and many more. 

His experience and passions will help him create a workplace at Burberry, that is both safe, and accessible to everyone. As well as his employment for various companies, Leng is also a keynote TedX speaker who has famously spoken about his views on Why we need to listen to trans people tell their own stories. Through his own story and those of other trans people, Leng Montgomery explains the real struggles faced by the trans community. He explores the importance of ensuring that the voices of transgender people are present in the mainstream media debate. Leng actively engages and consults within the public and private sector and has written policy and delivered keynote speeches across the globe on the topic. 

Previously, Leng worked at Stonewall, where he was involved in the Workplace Equality Index and the trans inclusion guides launched in 2016. In 2014, he was the first openly trans contestant on BBC’s MasterChef and, for two years running in 2014 and 2015, he was listed on the Independent’s Rainbow List in the ‘Ones to Watch’ category.

Mark Bennet - Senior Project Manager at BW Workplace Experts and Co-Chair of Building Equality

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The Great British Businesswoman Awards, Male Advocate of the Year Winner Mark Bennet is a true advocate for women in all industries, particularly the construction industry - which is a predominantly male-dominated industry.  

At the time of his winning, Mark Bennett was Senior Build Manager at Willmott Dixon Interior, and has since furthered his career, and is now Senior Project Manager at BW Workplace Experts. During this time at Willmott Dixon, Mark was also the co-chair of the equality, diversity, and inclusion team  - specifically advocating that the construction industry needs to talk openly about menstruation and provide an environment that is suitable for both men and women. Mark firmly believes that talking about periods should not be taboo, and that period products should be freely available for all women. His work also saw Willmott Dixon partner with social enterprise Hey Girls to provide free period dignity items on all of their sites - creating a safe, supportive construction site for all women. 

We’re really excited to see what Mark will achieve in his new role, and it’s people like this we really need to help make changes.

Nick Lewis - Director of Umbrella Cymru

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Nick is a trainer and consultant in equality, diversity and human rights specialising in gender and sexual diversity. He has a Masters’s degree from Cardiff University in Equality and Diversity and maintains a strong commitment to fairness, dignity, respect and inclusion in all he does. His experience has extended to public, private and third sector industries across a range of policy areas including education, children and family services, health and social care and many others.

He’s very passionate about learning and development both personally and professionally and believes that anyone can achieve anything with the right support. 

Umbrella Cymru, set up by Nick is a national gender and sexual diversity specialist organisation that provides a wide range of support services across Wales, offering emotional, practical and counselling support as well as information, signposting and support for professionals. They are passionate about equality and inclusion and we aim to provide the best services we can to help make Wales a more inclusive place to live and work.

Simon Gallow - UK Lead at HeForShe

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HeForShe is an invitation for men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality. The men of HeForShe aren’t on the sidelines. They’re working with women and with each other to build businesses, raise families, and give back to their communities.

HeForShe Lead at UN Women UK, Simon, is aiming to use his unique experiences to promote human rights and gender equality. Having been a Public Policy (MPP) Newton Scholar at Cambridge University and a Strategist at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), he is in a strong position to implement change that brings equality and social justice in the UK and abroad.

He is an active advocate for women’s rights and has recently spoken out in solidarity against the abortion laws that have been introduced in America. “This is not a question of politics. This is not a question of culture. This is not a question of religion. This is a question of fundamental rights - the right to bodily autonomy and the right to choose your destiny,” he said.

Vineet Raheja  - Head of Creative at ITV

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21st-century creative leader, Vineet is a strategic problem solver with very strong conceptual skills and the unique creative vision and ability to turn big ideas into integrated campaigns. His work has been awarded/nominated at all the big shows including D&AD, Cannes, One Show, New York Festival and Caples Awards.

As well as his extensive experience in the creative industry he was also selected by the Berlin School of Creative Leadership to pursue an EMBA - a course that focuses on leadership, strategy, innovation and change management within the context of fostering creative excellence in an organisation/industry. More recently, he was nominated by 40/Forty to be part of an elite group of the 40 best creative leaders from around the world. 

Being in such an influential business he has also made a point to champion diversity (or the lack of) in the workplace, as he works in an industry that doesn’t tend to represent society. He also mentors minority and BAME creatives through JOLT Academy and other similar initiatives.

Are you a male advocate standing in solidarity and making changes to help create a world with gender equality? Why not enter this year’s Great British Businesswoman Awards, Male Advocate of the Year Award here.

You can also nominate someone you know, who deserves to be shouted about - nominate here.