In the legal/finance/marketing/retail “After the Elephant” discussion of “Identifying the Elephant in the Room: Critical Communications Strategies in the Face of Sexism’,” host of Late Night Health Radio, Mark Alyn, moderated the conversation with guests: Alan Lewis, vice president, advocacy & governmental affairs at Natural Grocers, Denise Lamberston, founder and chairwoman of LMS, and Ryan Honeyman, partner and owner of LIFT Economy to respond and discuss session four of the sexism seminar series and challenge other leaders in the industry to do some deep work to make meaningful and fundamental changes when it comes to sexism within the natural products industry. The discussion included some key takeaways and memorable moments including:
Lewis noted that respect is necessary for both men and women when having these conversations in addition to setting boundaries and also mentioned that many men may lack respect because they fear that, “if they are vulnerable, they will suffer at the hands of other people, specifically men.”
Lambertson has noticed, from her experience in the natural products industry, that men are less likely to invest in female entrepreneurs because there is concern that women must split their time between work and being a caretaker at home. Instead of continuing with this belief, businesses need to change their ideas of what “work” looks like and create an environment that is attractive to all people with different needs.
Honeyman expressed that he was happy to see both men and women from all different backgrounds as part of the conversation on sexism because everyone is affected by it, not just women. He also noted that, for him, respect is a “baseline necessity” and believes we need “not just respect, but creating belonging” for everyone moving forward.
Each guest noted that respect seemed to be a common theme for this panel. Because respect is viewed differently by everyone, Lambertson noted that we need to ask ourselves “How can we set benchmarks for what respectful behavior is?
Session Four Action Items:
Have respect for yourself and others.
Take responsibility for actions.
Take sexist complaints seriously.
Change views on what work looks like.
Practice pitching with a trusted person.
Avoid “discomfort giggle” with investors.
Be your authentic self.
Handle aggressors in the moment.
Back up marketing targeted to women with real action.
Watch After The Elephant Here: