The Women's Forum for the Economy and Society

What will women’s empowerment mean for men?

We often talk about what women’s empowerment might mean for women - more opportunities and flexibility in the workplace, financial independence, and improved quality of life. But what will women’s empowerment mean for men? For husbands, fathers, sons?

At PwC, we believe women’s empowerment means more choices for both women and men – choices which can have intensely positive ramifications for our social and economic fabric worldwide.

We believe that if we can candidly answer this question, the final barriers to women permeating the top ranks in critical mass may begin to fall away.

PwC, in association with the Women’s Forum and CNBC Creative Solutions, asked delegates and speakers from the 2011 Women’s Forum in Deauville, “What will women’s empowerment mean for men?”

Here’s what they had to say:

 
Dennis Nally on women’s empowermentDennis Nally on women’s empowerment
Dennis Nally on women’s empowermentWatch highlights from the 2011 Women's Forum in Deauville
What did delegates have to say on the subject of women’s empowerment?What did delegates have to say on the subject of women’s empowerment?
What did delegates have to say on the subject of women’s empowerment?What did delegates have to say on the subject of women’s empowerment?.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Jeremy Adam Smith share their insights on women in businessSylvia Ann Hewlett and Jeremy Adam Smith share their insights on women in business.
 


Dennis Nally

Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International introduces the question, “What will women’s empowerment mean for men?”.

Insights from delegates at the 2011 Women’s Forum

Delegates from the 2011 Women’s Forum, including Moira Elms, Global leader for Brand and Communications, PwC, share their thoughts on what women’s empowerment means for men.

Insights from delegates at the 2011 Women’s Forum 

Delegates from the 2011 Women’s Forum in Deauville share their thoughts on what women’s empowerment. means for men.

Insights from our guest speakers at Deauville

Our guest speakers from the 2011 Women’s Forum in Deauville, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Jeremy Adam Smith, share their insights on women in business.

Highlights from the 2011 Women's Forum in Deauville

PwC, the Women’s Forum and CNBC joined forces at the 2011 Women’s Forum to ask “What will women’s empowerment mean for men?” Watch what people had to say here.

Informing the debate
We’ve selected some interesting facts and figures to spark your thinking on this topic.

Excecutive committee diversity and performance EU 15 employment CEOs who plan to change their policies to attract and retain more women

We also asked men and women from around the global PwC network to give us their views on what women's empowerment will mean for men. Here's a selection of some of their comments:

Wendela Elsen, PwC Japan



"One mistake that we make is that, when we talk about women's empowerment, we tend to focus on women only. What we should think of is empowerment of the individual irrespective of their gender. Empowerment of the individual means that we create a society where both men and women can make choices in life based on their own abilities, preferences and circumstances”
Vishnupriya Sengupta, PwC India



"Fathers can depend on self-sufficient daughters, husbands do not have to abide by roles ascribed by society, while sons can perceive their multi-tasking mothers as role models. Not because gender roles have been reversed, but rather because they have been exploded. Men need not be from Mars, and women from Venus. Mars and Venus can unite to form a stronger, better and harmonious planet where there is no strife, no conflict, with one gender trying to rule over the other."
Nithya Ramachandran, PwC UK



"By empowering women, there is a paradigm shift within a community (whether at home, in the workplace or in a society). The shift sees women as independent and contributing members of society who ensure that their communities and environments are enhanced. This not only raises the bar for their male counterparts, but helps set a positive example for the males in their lives (e.g. sons, husbands, brothers, colleagues)."
Emily Woods, PwC Australia



"While a lack of empowerment for women still exists, men will continue to feel society’s pressure to provide for their family, just as women will be more likely to stay at home.  Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are typically making important decisions about their career. Shockingly, this group also have the highest suicide rate in Australia. If society empowered women so that the gender gap was closed, it is hard not to believe that this group would feel less nervous about the choices they were making and consequently be happier. "
Emmanuel Anumbor, PwC Nigeria



"The world acknowledges that the family is the basic building block of society. Women bear most of the responsibility for meeting the family’s basic needs, yet are denied the resources and freedom of action they need to fulfil this responsibility. Empowering them would translate to happier and more prosperous families, and inadvertently more resilient, happier societies and nations.”
Fahad Anwar, PwC India



"If the world has more women who are empowered, it simply means the world has more people who can improve it. Instead of men competing with women, men and women will be competing with other men and women. The bar will be raised for everyone."
Michael McGowan, PwC Australia



"What do I believe women's empowerment will mean to men? I firmly believe that we cannot empower women without empowering men and vice versa. I am confident that the result of empowering women is that men, like my son, are empowered to explore all aspects of who they are and manifest the mixture of what would, traditionally, have been known as masculine or feminine traits that feels right to them. Empowering women not only allows the potential of the female half of the human race to manifest, enriching everyone in the process, it also empowers the male half of the human race to manifest their full potential as well."
Koushik Majumdar, PwC India



"I am married to a lady who is balanced in her approach towards life. She manages her job and the home equally well. She has brought that elusive happiness and fulfilment to our family. But what has vexed me, is why I (educated, intelligent), expect her to take more responsibility of household despite having a similar stressful job! Maybe it is very difficult to shirk off the legacy which many of us are fighting every day to create a just and fair new world!"
Alina Shaposhnik, PwC Israel



"I believe women's empowerment gives or should give men the opportunity to be better fathers, better husbands, better colleagues, better employers, and overall – better human beings.  I see more than a few of my male colleagues and friends spending more time with their children during the week than the time my father spent with me as a child; avoiding long hours staying at the office and sharing child raising burdens and joys almost equally with their wives. They sure enjoy it, allowing their wives to spend more time on professional and career development, as well as leisure activities. The children of such men also benefit from an increased fatherly presence and growing in a positive sharing environment."
Vania Henry, PwC UAE



 "In 2008, 43.3% of Emirati women with a university degree were unemployed, compared with 6.8% of men. Empowering women will mean that society will actually use the brains and emotional intelligence of all these women and that men will need to get involved in areas where they didn’t have to before. In a society where women and men have their say, things are more balanced because they incorporate the diversity women AND men bring. Ideally, it will mean that women will not need to make a choice between work or family, and that men will be offered and valued for taking time off to look after their family."
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