Chris Hornberger Discusses How to Bring Women into Male-Dominated Workplaces in Auto Service World

November 8, 2019

Auto Service World
by Donalee Moulton
November 8th, 2019 issue


“You can’t bring women into a male culture and expect them to feel welcome,” says Chris Hornberger, a partner with Halifax Global Inc., a management consulting firm based in Nova Scotia.

She points to such seemingly innocuous issues as social events. “How many women actually golf or are really interested in axe throwing?”

The answer may be that many women have these interests, but you won’t know if you don’t ask, stresses Hornberger. “You have to include them in the planning. Don’t make assumptions.”

Hornberger recommends training, specifically sensitivity and inclusiveness training. It is also helpful to establish an employee committee to oversee and drive inclusion, she notes. Such initiatives enable employees and employers to look at the workplace through a new lens and they reaffirm the importance a company places on both being inclusive and diverse.

It is particularly important that senior leadership be seen to be firmly committed to such initiatives. Equally important: that managers act when situations arise.

“Make sure managers are aware of what is a welcoming culture and are prepared to intervene when it isn’t,” says Hornberger.

She points out that while enhancing the work environment to attract and retain women is both important and expected, the issue is that such thinking is about more than men and women. It’s about diversity and openness. When you change the culture, change it so that newcomers, members of the LGBTQ community, and people of all races feel at home and valued in the workplace.
“You can’t continue,” says Hornberger, “to do things the way they’ve always been done.”

Read the full article in Auto Service World.

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