In the Celebrating Male Allies Series from Fairygodboss, we share the stories of male allies who are helping elevate women in the workplace and pave the path to gender equality.
Since men still hold most positions of leadership today, we believe it’s critical that they raise their voices to help advance women at work — whether that be by participating in women’s Employee Resource Groups, making sure their female colleagues have a seat at the table and more.
Our next male ally is Joseph Archila, Head of Talent Acquisition Program Office at Marsh & McLennan. We interviewed Joseph about his efforts to improve gender diversity at work.
Tell us a little bit about your role at Marsh & McLennan. What are your key business priorities and why do you think gender diversity is important in the workplace?
At Marsh & McLennan, I lead several teams of talented professionals who are responsible for developing creative recruitment marketing programs to elevate our brand and social voice. I deliver data analytics that help the Talent Acquisition team measure key metrics, understand performance and track the ROI of our investments. I also play a large role in harmonizing our processes, technology and tools around the globe.
Our goal is to deliver a positive candidate experience, be easy to work with and bring the best talent into the firm.
In addition to these priorities, Marsh & McLennan is committed to building a diverse workforce around the world and improving gender balance. It’s no surprise that a Forbes 2018 study reported that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue.
I personally believe that gender diversity is important because it’s the right thing to do. Diversity in the workplace is a competitive advantage for the economy, contributes to improved innovation and creates a more productive and healthy society overall.
What is one of the biggest obstacles to workplace gender diversity that you see?
One of the biggest obstacles today is the lack of awareness that so much can be done at an individual level to address this problem.
In your opinion, what’s the first step men can take to be stronger allies?
First, start by recognizing that we are a long way from achieving gender parity. Men should lean in and make it a priority to learn more about gender diversity in their organizations and understand how they can get involved and support the cause.
They should also take time to self-reflect and think about how they present themselves each day, the way they interact with female colleagues and talk about issues.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to ambitious women in the workplace?
Raise your hand and volunteer for challenging work, even when you don't feel confident. Let's face it — most of us struggle with confidence at some point or another in our career journey, so know that you’re not alone.
Why is your company a great place for women to work?
Marsh & McLennan is committed to gender equality and to transparency in reporting our progress publicly. Our inclusion in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index certifies Marsh & McLennan’s leadership in the advancement of women and support for working families. Today, 54% of our workforce is female with 33% in managerial or above positions, so there is more progress to be made.
Every day, we work to advance equality, inclusion and opportunity for all — within our company, among our clients and business partners and wherever we may have a presence in the world.
We oppose policies and practices that make some people less than others. We study the barriers that restrict opportunity and use what we learn to remove them.
We’re proud to have received a number of awards for our work in advancing diversity in the workplace. In 2018, for example, we were awarded:
Forbes: Americas Best Largest Employers
Military Times: Best for Vets Employees
Human Rights Campaign: Best Places to work for LGBTQ+ Equality
In January 2019, our President and CEO Dan Glaser also signed on to the U.S. chapter of the 30% Club — a campaign for greater representation of women on corporate boards and in other leadership roles.
In 2014, Mercer, a Marsh & McLennan business, founded When Women Thrive, a global research and solution platform designed to help organizations drive growth through the active and productive participation of their female workforce. Mercer has since partnered with EDGE Certification to enable companies to accelerate the progress of gender equality.
That same year, Oliver Wyman, another one of our businesses, launched the Women in Financial Services report. The latest edition sets out to answer: what will deliver the next wave of change in gender diversity as we enter a new decade?
Finally, Marsh & McLennan’s Colleague Resource Groups have over 200 local chapters around the world and have active groups in categories including racial and ethnic diversity, women, LGBTQ+, military veterans and more.
Tell us about one of your female role models. How has this person made an impact on your career?
This may sound like a cliché, but my mother was a tremendous influence in providing me with education and career guidance growing up as a child. She had children as a very young women and even though she wouldn't change a thing, she shared how it impacted her ability to pursue a career of her own.
She was also extremely smart and skipped a grade in high school — something very rare and difficult to achieve. I think because of that experience, she made going to college and getting my degree a must. Her advice was always to put education and work first and know there is plenty of time later for fun.
She knew that if she focused on working hard, doing the right thing and paying it forward, the reward and advancement would come in abundance. I credit her advice and guidance as an important part of my success today.
Lighting Round: What are your passion projects? What do you do when you’re not working?
By nature I am a problem solver and love to fix things — things in my home, electronics, cars and of course complex business challenges at work. I find it extremely rewarding and the process helps me to learn and grow.
More recently, I am focused on raising our company’s social voice and brand presence so the emerging workforce can see the company is progressive and a great place to work from an early career through the most senior levels. There are limitless growth and diverse career opportunities for almost any position you can imagine. Someone could truly make a lifelong career at Marsh & McLennan.
Lightning Round: If you could have dinner with one famous person -- dead or alive -- who would that be?
The great inventor, Thomas Edison
Lightning Round: What’s your favorite book?
99% True: Almost a National Bestseller by Paul McGowan
Lightning Round: What’s one food you could eat every day for the rest of your life?
New York City pizza
Is there a male ally at your company who you’d like to nominate? Send them a link to our questionnaire here.