Pulse March / April 2018 - Page 39

former isPa board Member, todd Walter, explains how everyone in the industry will benefit from initiatives like Women in leadership. P: How can men in the spa industry also get involved with this initiative? J: Men can encourage their companies to partner with Lean In and make a pledge to gender diversity and equality. Men in senior positions can mentor women and ensure mentorship programs offer equal opportunities to both genders. Also, men with female partners can ensure they show up as a 50/50 partner in the home as women generally still take on more housework and childcare responsibilities than men. Men can also stand up against gender discrimination when they see it happening. P: How can supporting women in leadership roles enhance the wellbeing of the entire spa industry? J: Studies show that companies with women in corporate leadership positions correlate with better performance, likely as a result of policies that actively work to eliminate discrimination and facilitate women rising through the corporate ranks. Empowering women to see themselves rising to the top of their careers can only benefit our organizations and the people within them. P: Because of their traditional roles in society, many women face different challenges than men do when it comes to their careers. How does this initiative help women overcome these challenges? J: When congregated into Lean In Circles, women discuss the challenges of work-life balance and the concept of “leaning in” to your career. Circles also discuss the importance of sitting at the table and being present. When women discuss and learn about these important topics in a small group of their peers, they feel gEt iNvolvEd start your oWN Lean In circle by downloading the kickoff guide at pulse.experienceispa.com. Pulse: Why is this initiative important to you? W: Because i strongly believe in what it promotes and stands for: gender diversity and equality in the workplace. This initiative encourages a framework and forum in which women can support each other as peers in addressing business challenges and issues. todd WaltEr cHiEf ExEcutivE officEr P: How has your involvement with isPa shown rEd door sPas you the impact of women in leadership roles? W: We are fortunate to already be part of a progressive industry. During my 12-year affiliation with iSpa, i have enjoyed getting to know literally hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Without question, having been part of a gender- balanced group has shown me the importance of hearing and learning from different perspectives, and having those different perspectives represented and respected has led to better, more well-rounded decisions and solutions. P: Why do you think this initiative will benefit everyone in the spa industry—male or female? W: The Women in leadership initiative facilitates and encourages a framework of support and encouragement for today’s, and future, female leaders. i can’t help but feel excited about our collective future as we encourage anyone and everyone who is interested in helping to s hape the path forward. more comfortable, engaged and empowered. That’s why utilizing the Lean In organization’s framework works so well. P: Many people see initiatives like this as having an “us vs. them” mentality. Why is this opinion wrong and how are you working to overcome it? J: Lean In is not encouraging women over men, but equality, which is what we should all strive for in our companies and homes. Companies do better with gender diversity in the leadership team so this clearly benefits everyone. n FoR WoMEn: do you want to become more involved with the Women in Leadership Initiative? Here are a few tips from Jones to get started. 1. visit the initiative page at globalwellnessinstitute.org to download resources on starting your own circle. 2. Gather a circle of 8-15 women to meet online or in person once per month. 3. Register on leanin.org and join the chapter gWileanin. 4. Get in touch with any member of the initiative committee and let us know about your circle. FoR MEn: Men in the spa industry are welcome to get involved in the initiative as well. Start by supporting women in your workforce or head to leanin.org/together/inspiration for ideas on how you can get started today. March/April 2018 ■ PULSE 35