We Can't Do It Alone: How Powerful Men Can Champion Women's Equality with Andy Healy
Hello, and thank you for joining me for another rich, stimulating conversation about women’s empowerment!
If you haven’t caught up on my article about the INCREDIBLE interviews I’ve shared so far you should take a look here.
It has been such a joy to revisit these insightful and inspiring conversations, and I am so excited about the one I’m going to share with you today.
When I decided to put together the International Women’s Day Interview series, I was intentional about not just talking to some of the game-changing women that I know. I decided to get the male perspective too.
Because, sisters, there is a LOT of work to do. And our strides towards equality and equity are much longer when we have purposeful men on our side.
And believe me, I picked an amazing one to dive into this essential topic with - Andy Healy.
Andy is the Managing Director of Tefl Org, a female-founded award-winning Scottish enterprise.
He joined the organisation with over 20 years of experience in the publishing sector, most recently building market-leading consumer brands for Immediate Media and BBC Magazines.
Using his expertise to grow the business, Andy is focused on delivering accessible, premium quality learning across international markets, particularly in the US.
Most importantly, Andy is also husband to George and a devoted Dad to two daughters and a son. So his drive to champion women’s equality is incredibly personal, as he wants to create a better, fairer world for his children - particularly his daughters.
As a leader, Andy is all about trying to even the playing field. And one point we kept coming back to is that equality, equal opportunities, and equal access are crucial - but they are only relevant if everyone begins at the same starting line.
And although there have been improvements, we ladies are starting so much further back than our male counterparts. There is so much injustice for so many people, and a lot of work is needed to correct it.
The misconceptions and mischaracterisations can be overwhelming, right?
If we’re empathetic? That means we must be flaky and unreliable.
Creative? We’re too quirky, too odd to understand.
And as for being ambitious? Woah ladies, you might come across as headstrong.
We aren’t allowed to be too emotional. Too driven. Too angry.
I don’t know about you - but I have had ENOUGH.
Hearing Andy acknowledge all of this helped me feel so seen. And I know it will help you too.
We also talked about the paradoxical idea of a ‘working mother’. Really, there’s no such thing, because we’re expected to be 100% both at all times.
When we take a step back, the ‘allowances’ we get in the workplace, just don’t work. Flexible working sounds great, but we are rushing into the office, cramming the same amount of work into a small period, and then rushing off to pick up our kids.
It’s got burnout written all over it.
We need to be given the tools to manage our priorities so we will stay happy, healthy, and whole.
And this also opens up a deeper divine question: What does success look like to you?
Is it the hours that you work?
Or the quality of your output?
Is it about quality time with the people you treasure most?
Or rushing around and never being truly present in any aspect of your life?
And this question about success extends both ways. There is a huge expectation and pressure on men to work and be the provider for their families, which can lead them to miss key milestones. The time they will never get back with their children.
We all - men and women - want to do great work in the world. We need to change the starting line to create a world where EVERYONE can do this, without compromising the most important parts of life.
What you are trying to achieve?
What blocks are stopping you from getting there?
By recognising this, you can decide what you do need, and get loud in asking about it.
The structure and society we have been brought up in have shaped us and created limitations to who we believe we are, and what we think we are capable of.
The real secret is supporting people in who they are. That is what Andy and I strive to do. We need to bring the world back into balance so everyone feels they can embrace all of who they are, not just the bits they think will be welcome at the table.
Andy’s desire to contribute positivity and use his leadership position for change is truly inspiring. His commitment to creating a world where his daughters believe anything is possible fills me with hope and possibility. It is my heart’s deepest desire that more powerful men follow his example to champion women’s equality, so we can all thrive together in harmony.
I left our conversation with even more vigour to continue fighting not only blatant misogyny but also the toxic undercurrent of oppression we all experience every day.
I would love it if you could find the space and time to listen to our conversation in full. Then talk to the men in your life and tell them what you need - and find out if they are feeling a different kind of pressure too.
You can watch our entire interview here.