Why Every Male Leader Needs to be an Ally to Women in the Workforce

Sponsored by RingCentral, Inc.

Photo Courtesy of RingCentral.

Photo Courtesy of RingCentral.

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When Anand Eswaran was choosing where to continue his career, RingCentral became the clear leader. The company is changing how other companies collaborate, but he says its values and beliefs are what made it obvious RingCentral was something special. 

According to Eswaran, now RingCentral’s President and Chief Operating Officer, this company has “an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion – a company where every team member feels comfortable bringing their best and authentic self to work – no matter age, cultural background, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.” This is important to Eswaran not only because it aligns with his beliefs and values, but also because it means working with the best talent in the industry. 

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“We miss out on so much potential through bias and judgement,” he said. “We all have something to offer – equally. We are better as people, businesses and civilizations because of diversity.”

As a business leader, Eswaran works every day to build an even more inclusive culture across his teams. That means having hard conversations and ensuring everyone is heard. 

“I strive to create an environment where people feel comfortable having uncomfortable conversations – which I believe is key to getting inclusion cemented as part of the DNA,” he shared. 

He also works to ensure diverse representation on his team through conscious recruiting, hiring and promotion decisions. He says he has “only seen incredible positive impacts with that – for me personally and for the business.” 

To him, inclusivity doesn’t just make sense morally — it’s exciting because it means great business. 

“I am excited by the tremendous opportunity to truly make a difference – for our employees, partners and customers,” he said. 

Other male leaders at RingCentral see similar value in their efforts to be strong allies to women. 

Vice President of Global User Experience Michael Peachey has a global team that is over 50% women in each office, and he says even in the United States offices, over half of his team pursued higher education in another country. While many leaders would see this representation as a box that’s been ticked, Peachey continues to practice allyship in his recruiting practices.

“We constantly practice and rehearse our values of inclusion and collaboration, out loud and in public. Our recruiting is focused on fit above all else,” he said. “As designers, we actively work to recognize and uncover the unconscious bias we each have that affects our work. We recognize that men and women negotiate differently on comp, and bring that awareness into the conversations at hiring time, promotion time, etc. We’ve learned that talking about stuff brings it into awareness, where it can be addressed.”

He also practices being an ally in his everyday leadership style, where he believes in leading by example and building up female leaders. 

“If we get this right, then 40+ people will grow to become terrific leaders, living the same values and teaching them to their own teams, and so on and so on,” he shared. 

His best advice for male leaders who want to be effective allies?

“Ask what people need, rather than assuming you know. And, most importantly, recognize that you are not nearly as woke as you think you are. The answer is to recognize your unconscious bias and actively question those biases.”

SVP Product Management, Office and Collaboration Jose Pastor has a similar approach: he models the behavior he expects of other men and leans into sponsoring women.

“I am a firm believer in mentorship... make sure that development efforts for succession have strong female representation… [and] it is really important for me to support and develop early and mid-career women. I believe that these are formative years in the workplace and mentoring them to support their skills and grow their talents is key to developing them and the people who will model after their behavior.”

Because of these efforts, Eswaran is “convinced RingCentral will continue to be a great place to work for women.”

Pastor agrees. 

“We believe that all kinds of diversity of background, education and perspective is important in coming to the best outcomes.  In addition to this broad spectrum respect, we have really fantastic female role models and male leaders who support women at all levels of the organization.”


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