Embracing Cultural Change in Our Community:
Resources for Gender Equity and Culture Change

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: We use these terms often, but most of us still have a lot to learn. At Zoo Advisors we’re still learning and engaging our colleagues in thoughtful dialogue as to how we can be more intentional in our actions and how we might open the conversation to diverse perspectives.

Since our founding, we’ve championed these concepts, with a particular focus on women in leadership and how we can advocate for and support AZA women. More recently, we’ve been thinking about culture change and how challenging it is to really tackle systemic change around diversity, equity and inclusion and how we at Zoo Advisors can help.

At the 2019 AZA Directors Policy Conference we continued the dialogue on gender equity and culture change, and we invite you to join the conversation. Here are just a few of the things we’ve been reading (trust me, there’s a much longer list we’ll be happy to share!); we hope you’ll send us your “go to” resources in this area. To join the conversation, just email David or Kathy.

If you’d like to know more….

CULTURE CODE: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
Daniel Coyle; Random House Business, 2018

Engaging examples from diverse teams and cultures; including Navy SEALs, San Antonio Spurs, Pixar, Google, IDEO, and others describe successful (and unsuccessful) performance factors for team-building and the three principles for building culture.

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together
Joanne Lipman; William Morrow, 2018

The title of the introduction offers a glimpse of what lies within: “Men Aren’t the Enemy”—and the rest of the book doesn’t disappoint, with concrete examples of addressing bias in the board room, avoiding the “invisible woman” role of juggling work-life balance, and asking for a raise or promotion. Useful strategies not just for women.

The Long Shadow of ‘Help Wanted—Female’
Wyndham Robertson; The New York Times, November 29, 2018

Fifty years ago, before changes in employment (and other) practices brought about by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, newspapers posted ads recruiting a “gal Friday” to make coffee and answer phones—but what happened? A short opinion piece noting the status of women CEOs and how long it might take to reach a goal of even 10% women in these positions.

How Men Can Become Better Allies to Women
W. Brad Johnson & David G. Smith; Harvard Business Review, October 12, 2018

An interesting article that introduces the idea of a gender equity “continuum” and the “wimp penalty.” The authors describe six strategies for men who want to be better allies with women (lots of this is just good advice for leaders, whatever gender they identify with….)

How to Create a Company Culture that Embodies Your Core Values
Mike Kappel; Forbes, July 25, 2018

This article deals with integrating core values in your culture and ensuring that culture reflects values—how to “live” your values and how to embed them in your business. Not much detail, but a quick snapshot of an important topic.

Why Women Aren’t CEOs According to Women Who Almost Were
Susan Chira; The New York Times, July 21, 2017

Loneliness, performance, failure, the zero-sum game and the C-Suite. Data and examples from surveys (Korn Ferry and LeanIn.org, and others) and the corporate and political worlds—lots of food for thought for any gender pursuing greater equity and advancement.

Serena’s Not Alone. Women are Penalized for Anger at Work, Especially Black Women
Maya Salam; The New York Times, September 13, 2018

Double jeopardy: racial and gender bias on the tennis court and in the corporate office; references a study of women in color in STEM fields (ref. “Double Jeopardy?: Gender Bias Against Women of Color in Science” by Joan C. Williams, University of California, Hastings College of the Law.)

A Proposal for Lasting Change in Workplace Culture
Terri Boyer; Morning Consults, October 27, 2017

This opinion piece looks at gender equity, #MeToo, and creating systemic change. Ms. Boyer describes five steps to systemic change in our workplaces—and cautions that it’s not an easy process, but that it can be done. (Note: The Zoo Advisors team is personally acquainted with Ms. Boyer, founding director of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership at Villanova University—she’s an amazing resource.)

Women in the Workplace 2018
Alexis Krivkovich, Marie-Claude Nadeau, Kelsey Robinson, Nicole Robinson, Irina Starikova, and Lareina Yee; McKinsey, October 2018

Companies report that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. The proportion of women at every level in corporate America has hardly changed. Progress isn’t just slow. It’s stalled.