August 30, 2010 by Ilene H. Lang
Are you a Catalysto?
A Catalysto is a man who wholeheartedly supports the work of Catalyst. He is an advocate for women, a role model for other men, and a positive force for change.
Catalystos are influential. In March, at the 2010 Catalyst Awards Conference, Frank J. McCloskey, Vice President of Diversity at Georgia Power and a true Catalysto—spoke about the impact one voice can have in the fight against inequity. “If you can just get one or two of several hundred to understand [gender inequity]—that’s a success,” said Frank. “They might impact millions.”
With this in mind, I wanted to amplify the voices of the Catalystos I knew. And I’ve started with the ones closest to me—the men who work at Catalyst.
I asked them why they support our mission, and I’ve broken their responses into two blog posts. I’ve changed their names to protect their privacy.
Todd, Marketing and Public Affairs:
I come from a family predominantly of men (father and three brothers). My mother, not allowed to maintain a profession once a wife and mother (a nasty combination of religious, cultural, and patriarchal beliefs), channeled her formidable entrepreneurial and natural talents into creating sons who believed in boundless opportunities for themselves—a great challenge since we were in rigid boarding schools by first grade! She was my biggest and most unflappable fan—another challenge since I was not becoming a priest as assumed by said boarding school (and father).
I was in my late teens when my parents divorced and my mother found herself quite free to pursue her passions. She went back to her profession of nursing where I witnessed her nurture in ways I could only envision being honored to do. My own career has been very much shaped by my mother. Since her passing, I have worked solely for women and for women’s causes, and I have been extremely satisfied in those choices.
Jeffrey, Information Technology:
My wife works as a chemist and I saw that her pay is not the same as her male colleagues. Most of her supervisors are men. Hopefully, she could get paid the same someday and move up to better opportunities within her company. I do think many women out there also experience this.
Social justice has been a core concern of mine all of my adult life. As a consequence, I have been involved in one form or another with empowering those at the margins. Having worked in both corporate life in the States and having lived and worked in the developing world for ten years, I have witnessed firsthand the disparities in both access and equity so many women face every day at home and at work. I believe passionately that Catalyst's mission, and the delivery of its expertise, has the potential to ably address these issues within corporate culture, and hence, to more broadly influence women's lives across the vast expanse of their endeavors.
Vincent, Information Technology:
Since my wife and I are expecting a daughter soon, I care about the Catalyst mission now more than ever. I hope that my daughter never meets with discrimination based on stereotypes so that she can do and be whatever she wants.