Small Business ShowsThe Small Business ShowSupporting women entrepreneurs and addressing workplace sexism — Simon T. Bailey

Supporting women entrepreneurs and addressing workplace sexism — Simon T. Bailey

As women entrepreneurs continue to break barriers in industries around the world, now is the time for men and the rest of society to embrace the power their female colleagues possess. On this episode of The Small Business Show, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Simon T. Bailey, keynote speaker, coach, philanthropist and author, to discuss his latest book, “Ignite the Power of Women in your Life – A Guide for Men.

“I wrote the book because I failed as a man and certainly as a business owner,” Bailey begins. This realization came after his family criticized him for being emotionally unavailable in his home life: “[My partner] said you give everybody the best of you, and you give us the rest of you, and I don’t want the leftovers anymore.” Determined to stop chasing money without any meaning and to give everyone his full attention, Bailey devoted himself to listening and learning rather than being closed and isolated. “Ignite the Power of Women in your Life – A Guide for Men” is the product of his determination to change for the better and is based on his conversations with women entrepreneurs and other successful individuals who face challenges in male-dominated industries.

One of the book’s key pieces of advice for men is to avoid taking credit for ideas that are not one’s own. “Whenever you have a colleague that has an idea, don’t poach the idea; make sure she gets proper credit,” Bailey explains. Many women entrepreneurs and employees experience this treatment from their male coworkers and go unrecognized for their contributions. Sometimes this is because men feel threatened, Bailey notes, a feeling he dismisses. “The answer is absolutely not because once you champion a woman’s idea, she will continue to bring more ideas forward.”

To address sexism in the workplace, women entrepreneurs and employees should give men feedback when they notice something they disagree with. Speaking out is crucial to causing change on a wider scale. “Address it immediately,” recommends Bailey. Women should also share ideas on how the business can move forward and be prepared to offer their reasoning. “Once men understand the why and have data, that’s always powerful,” he adds. For women in a position where they are tolerated but not celebrated, Bailey encourages them to ask, “Why is my long-term vision?” By considering where they want to be, they can confidently find roles where they are treated with respect and allowed to find success without being held back.

To create a culturally intelligent workplace, businesses must start by focusing on their communication. By ensuring that all employees, male and female, have open and honest dialogue, companies can ensure that their teams are respectful and keyed into each other’s feelings. An even more important step is to ensure that women are paid on the same level as men. Doing this is not only ethical, but it also encourages workers to express their ideas more often. It also builds the confidence female employees and creates more women entrepreneurs. This gives managers and leaders a chance to recognize employees for their efforts. “Research says one minute spent on recognition creates one hundred minutes of initiative,” remarks Bailey.

Ultimately, men should strive to do better in the workplace, encourage women entrepreneurs and support their female colleagues as much as possible. Bailey urges his readers not to repeat his personal failures as a leader. “I failed because I was a boss with an agenda instead of a leader with a vision. I used my team to move up the food chain when in fact, I didn’t listen…so what I recognized is I needed to step back, put my ego aside…and really begin to understand it’s not about me; it’s about we.”

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for ASBN. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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