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After #MeToo, What’s a Good Guy To Do?

On the heels of Father’s Day it needs to be acknowledged that we need great role models. It doesn’t matter whether they are dads, moms, colleagues or friends. Beyond role models, we need allies. We also need to better our support for each other in new roles as allies.

As I reflect on my life as a father of a teen-aged daughter and my role leading human capital, I have a vision for my contribution as a role model to my family, community, company and industry. My vision is one where we will see and help make happen the following:

  • There will be more women in positions of leadership on executive teams and boards of successful organizations. I believe there is a positive correlation between diverse teams and success and we will learn how to make this information more clear, mainstream, and actionable to others.

  • We need to be able to show the clear links and correlation between diversity and profitability. This is one of my goals. We will not be doing this alone.We will partner with peer companies, industry associations and academia to continue to deepen our knowledge base.

We’re serving an extraordinarily diverse customer base at Medigram, as well as the hospital systems we serve, and to be successful, we believe we need to mirror our customers as much as possible.

According to research from Glassdoor, 67 percent of job-seekers studied said a diverse workforce was an important factor to them when considering companies and job offers.

I noticed a significant uptick after #MeToo came with some people really testing how far they could go in the workplace. Some egos want to prove they are untouchable. Though, there is a bright side. There are many men who genuinely want to be part of the solution, but don’t know how. We need a playbook for how we can really help. Like many great guys, they don’t understand because they honestly act in their own personal good faith, working to be fair. I have bad news for these guys, it’s not enough to be good or fair yourself. It’s time to commit oneself to being an ally and really putting skin in the game.

I’ve been in meetings with women where other people are presuming I’m in charge just because I’m the man at the table. I’ve had to point to my female colleague and explain that she is actually the decision maker, not me. That’s been one way of being an ally and I look forward to creating objectives and key results as an ally for my own personal development that I can share in the future. These objectives will include developing modern, world class human capital policy and expectations for behavior.

According to a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY, companies studied that had at least 30 percent female leadership had higher net profit margins (6 percent) than those with no women in senior ranks. Similarly, Catalyst recently reported that companies with higher levels of gender diversity were linked to lower levels of employee turnover.

For Policy, my team will be addressing compensation and best practices around how people are paid.

Behavior standards will address anything that contributes to a hostile work environment, the burden of “housekeeping tasks” and making sure the latter don’t fall along gender lines.

At Medigram, we get to work from a clean slate. Organizations that have been around longer can have decay in their culture manifested as striking inequities. There may be a presence of an intractable culture. They may lack either financial resources, political will, or execution capabilities to address this historical decay. With an experienced team leading an early stage company such as Medigram, we get to design our pay and other policies from scratch without that baggage. A bonus is that this kind of modern culture supports other mission critical functions such as agile technical development, security best practices, and the list goes on. They will be equitable and absent the legal risk lurking as landmines in many companies today. We’re inspired by recent talks and blogs given by leadership at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, the largest of its kind in the world. The framework for a roadmap to these objectives became attainable since hearing a recent talk by the Executive Director, Don Heider. He spoke at a recent conference, Gentry Women in Tech and as a preview, Ann Skeet published a blog titled “The Ethical Ally”.

Cross-sector Leadership is needed on the important topic of fairness in the workplace and how male allies can lead. This outstanding post by Ann Gregg Skeet, Senior Director of Leadership Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, provides incredible principles to leaders; those dedicated to equity. We believe there are many kind, well meaning men looking for guidance. Here’s what we’re doing and maybe it can help you.

1) Read this post. If you’re in a position to affect workforce policy, incorporate sections into human capital leadership standards policy & procedures.

2) Decide and actually mentor 2 or more rising, yet Senior executive men on the topic. Explain that both young workforce members and boards of directors want male allies in leadership.

3) Help them identify #3 objectives from Ann’s suggestions. Track with all of their other OKRs.

4) Provide regular feedback. Celebrate their courage & successes.

The road to heck is paved with good intentions. This is how you operationalize good intentions.


Eric J. Roth is Head of Human Capital and Business Operations for Medigram since April 2019. For the prior five years, Eric led the human capital function and talent strategy for Mede/Analytics, Inc., a leading health care software-as-a-service company that saw significant growth and several successful reorganizations and acquisitions during his tenure.

Prior, Eric served as Vice President, Human Resources for Edelman, Inc., the world’s foremost global PR firm, and as Regional Manager, Human Resources for Paul Hastings, LLP’s US western region and Asia offices; a leading global professional services firm specializing in employment law.

Leveraging over 20 years of multi-industry human capital experience, he specializes in attracting and retaining top talent; charting, tracking, and measuring key performance metrics; and driving the success of an organization’s most important asset, its people.

Eric earned his M.S. degree in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University with High Honors in 2003, his B.A. degree from San Jose State University in 1994, and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Out of the office, Eric enjoys time with his family and traveling.

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