The role of a male ally for Women In Tech

Andrew Moran
Senior Office 365 Architect
Automatic Summary

A Journey of Allyship: From the perspective of a Male Ally in Tech

Welcome to a behind-the-scenes look at the fascinating world of male allies in the tech industry. I am Andrew Moran, a Senior Office 365 Architect for Fujitsu, a former Microsoft Value Professional, and the founder of The Microsoft Spotlight Podcast. Throughout my 20 years of experience in the field, I have learned a thing or two about diversity, equality, and inclusion.

My Passion for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

My passion for promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion tracks back to my own diverse background. My heritage has always brought me in touch with different walks of life, each unique group of individuals enriched my personal and professional journey.

However, it is important to recognize the recurring imbalance in the tech workforce that often skews towards men. This imbalance stood out starkly during events, conventions, and conferences I have attended—and I knew something had to change.

Driving Diversity in Tech

My experience inspired my mission to drive more inclusion, particularly for women in tech. During social events and business conferences, I have tried to encourage female speakers and inclusivity. One of the positive outcomes of the Covid-19 era is the growing number of women in my community who have become public speakers.

The Six Pillars of Male Allyship

The journey of male allies in an organization can be traced back to these six pillars:

  1. Understanding gender discrimination and the challenges in the workspace.
  2. Actively participating in hiring and promoting diverse candidates.
  3. Listens and respects everyone's opinions in the organization.
  4. Amplifies women's voices and their unique contributions.
  5. Supports fair and inclusive workplace policies.
  6. Speaking up when injustice occurs.

By standing up to each of these pillars, a male ally can create an impactful change in the organization and the industry itself.

The Role of a Male Champion

As a male champion within Fujitsu, it's my responsibility to improve understanding of diversity, inclusion, and gender equality, and then channel this knowledge into action. Celebrating and promoting achievements of everyone, particularly women in the organization, is crucial to fostering an inclusive environment.

Mentoring plays a significant part as well – nurturing the growth and development of colleagues who are starting on their career journey. And most importantly, speaking up on behalf of anyone who might feel uncomfortable or unfairly treated in the workplace.

Microsoft Spotlight Podcast: A Platform for Inclusivity

In my quest to champion diversity and inclusion across the board and within every organization, I created The Microsoft Spotlight Podcast. Through the podcast, I have had the privilege of spotlighting the stories, challenges, and victories of 59 incredible women, 9 dedicated male allies, sharing 56 unique tales of triumph, resilience, and grit.

The Microsoft Spotlight Podcast aims to be a platform that casts a spotlight on the timeless journeys of professionals from all walks of life.

List of Available Platforms

To tune into our enlightening conversations, find us on Youtube at Microsoft Spotlight or listen on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and various others.

As a concluding thought, the notion of diversity, inclusion, and gender equality within the tech industry is not a destination, but a continual journey of progress and evolution. As we navigate this path together, let us remember that every idea matters and every voice deserves to be heard.

For any queries, or if you wish to contribute to our podcast or discussions, feel free to get in touch.

Video Transcription

Hello and welcome to this session about the role of a male alloy. Um My name is Andrew Moran. I'll do a quick introduction before I start going into the slides. So as I mentioned, my name is Andrew Moran.I am a senior office, 365 architect for Fujitsu, a little known company in Japan with a massive global reach. I am also a former Microsoft value professional for my work in the community where I used to run different uh different user groups conferences as well as doing public speaking sessions around the globe. Also, I'm the founder of the Microsoft Spotlight podcast which I will touch on later in this deck. It's a podcast that I created and I interviewed women from around the globe in the women tech space and I have 20 years experience. So it's this young fresh face that you see in, in it since I was 17 years of age. So 20 years now of dealing with people, it and all kinds of problems that may have come across. I've also put my socials right there as well. So you can catch on Twitter at the Watcher node at MS FT spotlight. And then there's also my links to my linkedin and uh linkedin company page for the podcast itself. So, first of all, why am I passionate about diversity equality inclusion?

Well, I come from a diverse background myself. Um My grandparents are Jamaican on my mum's side and on my dad's side, they're all Irish and English. So I've got a very um diverse family background from an inclusion perspective. I've always been very much involved in different walks of life of different groups of people. Um because of my heritage and also I fall under the bracket of neuro divergence. I also have a DH D which sometimes is my superpower, but also can obviously be a blocker for myself when trying to really push myself forward. So the first thing that I want to basically do uh in this session is talk about why I became an mount ally. And one of the things I basically put together is four pitches. These are from events that I've either run or been to. And what do you notice about all four pitches? Every single picture. There is a male in there, there's only one female in one of the pictures you can actually see. So it iit has always been very much male driven, which is a massive negative for this industry. It needs to be more diverse to have, you know, better experiences from and better input from better everybody.

So I've always been trying to drive more inclusion from women at events that I've run by including more female speakers, try and promote it through different channels um for the women in tech to try and include more women. And one of the good things that I've basically seen since COVID is that because the whole massive disconnect of being in front of people, which is obviously quite a challenging thing, quite a nerve wracking thing. I've now seen a lot more fantastic women in my community start doing public speaking sessions. They started through COVID during virtual and then they've gone on to do face to face as well and it is, it's great to see. And in the last two years, I've ran a women in tech panel at a local conference in the UK called the South Coast Summit. Um and I've had women basically join that panel from most of corporate as well as people across the UK as well. And it's been great to obviously share their stories in a panel discussion and having questions as well. So how do you identify male or male allies in the organization? For me, there's six pillars. One of them is basically knowing the facts, understanding the whole reasons why there's gender discrimination, why there's challenges in the workspace and how you can basically drive that if you know someone in, in, in your organization that basically has a massive understanding of that.

But they're probably a key person for joining a male allyship within your organization next door, hire and promote. I had a massive long conversation with people at Microsoft about this. And the only way cos in my team that I work in, it's very much male dominated. There's not a female that works within the architects that are in my team, which obviously is a big shame and it's been nice to try and include more women to have more of a diverse workforce. Um, And one of the conversations that I've been having a lot recently is how you, how you basically tackle that. And the, the reason the, the, the way that I've spoke about it with colleagues is if we see people on linkedin who may be a good fit for our team, whether that's from a diverse background or from a women uh from a woman's tech background is basically an approach them and see what they're currently doing because end of the day, they might be looking for that next move, but they not might not feel confident to basically go and apply for it.

So if you go and have that conversation and see what they're currently doing, you may be able to include them into your organization quite quickly. And sometimes there's also a, a financial reward for yourselves by doing that. But obviously, the bigger the biggest reward is having a more diverse workforce. I think in my uh team itself, we've got a number of diverse people from the Asian community the black community. Um So it's, it's nice to have that, but it, you know, it needs to expand more and not including more women into that as well. My next play is basically listening and we, we need to, obviously to do father, we need to basically listen to what's happening in our organizations and basically able to drive that forward. OK. Throw them because it's important that we all focus on listening to everybody. Everyone has a valid opinion, including obviously, the next section is amplified women's voices. So I have had many conversations where I've been in a room where, you know, I could be, you know, one of many males in that room and there's only one female and that happened recently when I went to a customer meeting, we had two females in the room, one was for my company and one was from Microsoft, one from Microsoft.

I know very well and she, she can carry herself in any environment. She's been in the game for a very long time and she's a fantastic speaker. It's also important. So when they speak is obviously help amplify their voice. So if they say something that, you know, is very key and relevant push that across, make sure you're promoting that and, and you know, agreeing to what's being said, if you don't agree to what's being said then and being negative towards it, then, you know, you're not, you're not helping it, you're not tackling the issues.

Um And I had a conversation with a woman in tech recently where she was the only female in the room and she was basically challenged by a male to go, go and make tea, which, you know, she was there as a technical person having a tech, technical conversation. But this gender bias from this particular person um basically put her down as just a person there to help facilitate the meeting and make tea, which you know, is not good enough. So next up is support fair workplace policies. So in fujitsu, we have a lot of um networks. So I'm part of the women in tech network. So I help, basically support the women in that group and whether that's using my professional background as a Mao certified trainer and delivering sessions to help encourage people to push on and do more or helping, using my own platform that I've created to help amplify their voices and share the experiences that I've learned from all the different women I spoke to.

Um we it it's also good then to have obviously diverse platforms as well because obviously diversity is a, a massive thing as well. So it's very much if you got a, a male within your organization that's working with any of these particular five, then they're probably a good candidate to a male ally within the organization. And the next up is speak up. So if a woman in the room is feeling uncomfortable because of things that have been said, as I mentioned before, where conversations had with a female colleague, we should expect to speak up on her behalf because sometimes she may not feel that she wants uh made her feel that she can.

But also you may not feel that you can as well because you don't want to step on her toe to her toes. But honestly, I mean, I had this a long debate with um this particular person. If a particular mouse stepped up and helped her, she would have felt and left that room much better. In the in the end, she had to had to get up and walk out of the room and then the particular person had to then go and apologize for the the negative in towards her. So please speak up on behalf of women if they are being unfairly challenged in meetings that you may be attending. So what should a male champion do within your organization? So as a male champion within fujitsu, it's all about education. So educated myself on the company itself, the different business units, understanding our policies, whether that's from the women in tech diversity inclusion, um equality, making sure that I understand each, each particular area in great detail. So I can then basically join meetings within my organization and promote that and also then go and speak outside of that as well. Next up is celebrate. It's, it's massively important to celebrate and promote achievements um of everyone within the organization from every walk of life.

So for a lot, obviously, this is about women at the moment. So, you know, celebrate their achievements in the organization. So one of the women in our women business network who joined it as just a champion and they've been promoted up into a lead role because of the work that she's been doing in our community group. So it's very important to also speak out and promote these people. Because the one of the things that I um speak a lot about on my podcast is also having that person to basically look up to and add a particular guest on that saw a particular other guest that had on as their Beyonce, uh their, you know, their superstar that they would basically want to emulate.

And if you have people like that within your business, it's massively important. And within fujitsu, a lot of the senior leadership roles within my section are filled by women, which is obviously a great thing to have. Next stop is mentorship. So mentor your colleagues. So if there's anyone in your business that wants to basically push on and do more, then step in there and help out because, you know, I've, I've been in this now for 20 years, I've, you know, done so many different things, speaking around the world, I've got a lot of experience to share with people coming into the organization.

I mean, I've started at the very bottom, working at a private hospital and I was basically dealing with um consultants patients and also football uh football players as well in the UK for a particular team. And from that, it gave me a big education understanding how to look after people in the IT market and then basically push on from that as well because, you know, one of the things that I like to basically class myself as, as a social comedian, but I can basically walk into any room and be able to address people at the right level, no matter who they are, they could be at the very bottom as an apprentice or they could be a very top as a senior vice president.

I know that I can basically go in and have a conversation and I have a lot of things that I use to basically break ice as well. So, mentorship is very important um for basically helping to promote people from lower down the tree to basically move up as well and finally on champions. And again, it speak up, it's massively important that you speak up as a champion and promote colleagues in whatever they're doing.

So we've had insitute at the uh recently, we've had a lot of webinars that I've basically supported because I'm basically using my technical background to help support that. And I basically speak up on behalf of my my female colleagues within my own team. To come and join this because it's, you know, it's massively important, it's educational for, for yourselves, but not only for yourselves for the business as well. So it's really important that basically we share a positive message um and kind of address that gender equality, um imbalance that is basically happening with every organization. It's not nice to see. And so from, for myself, I've had challenges where I've been challenged as a diverse person.

Um But now also falling under the bracket of neurodiversity as well. It's, you know, we have to speak up on behalf of that. And then one of the reasons why I only know that I'm neuro diverse was actually from speaking to a woman. Um on my podcast, we have the same ideas, the same mindset and a lot of things that we basically approached in life and that would basically from speaking to that female um on my podcast also basically then led me into going and get myself checked as a not a diverse person. I'm getting out next day. So they are the, the key things that I basically believe that we all should do. Um As Mount Alloy is um I'm happy to be challenged on that. If there's any uh questions, please put it into the chat. Um But, you know, it's basically everyone's responsibility to make sure that we're promoting people within our organizations effectively and professionally as well. Now, what I want to basically move on to next and we've got like six minutes to that is basically, I run a podcast as I've already mentioned. So this is one of the reasons why I got massively involved in women in tech because I want to basically set up a podcast talking about Dede and I, and everyone has to be um represented.

So first of all, I started by basically looking at particular themes that I wanted to cover off. So diversity, women in tech. But basically what happened in the end, my podcast is now on its 58 episode, it got released today. Um And it's generally been all women on the podcast. So we have had 59 different women on my podcast. I've had nine M allo join me as well. Um We've shared 56 individual stories and from some of them stories about have massively like through me and my co-host completely, I killed her because we didn't expect her to have that conversation. We've spoken to women that have basically battled through breast cancer. Um We've spoken to women that have obviously neurodiversity, dyslexia also through to a particular woman who um literally canceled on us. Um A few hours before an episode was going to record. So they're not having health issues and what actually transpired, she was actually having a stroke.

So she basically um she canceled on us, come back to us and went looks really sorry. Um This is what happened. So we had a massive long conversation and to be fair to this day, it is probably one of the best um pop episodes that I've recorded cos I had so much fun speaking to this woman from South Africa. She was just an absolute scream. Um And as I say, we've done three special episodes there. We did one for International Women's Day. This uh this year, we did mental health last year, which again was a, a big thing for me because I was talking about my own um battles with mental health, you know, diversity, the challenges I experienced in my own family, as well as sharing it from a written at Microsoft and things that she's had challenges with.

And also another. And then through our 50th episode, we did the whole Women's Hit Alloys episode just one second. Well, I basically invited a lot of males that I knew from the community just to basically answer one particular question and I basically stitched that all together.

So this is just a quick screen grab. I mean, I say this, this is only a small number of the women that have been involved. And I say we've had so many brilliant guests on and if you haven't heard of my podcast, please do go and check it out and listen to these, some of these stories, cos one of the key things that I always try and promote on the podcast is I'm casting the spotlight on their life on their story and because it's their story, it's timeless.

No one, no one can ever take away what they've done and what they've achieved. We can only basically promote and talk about it. So, as I say, there are some great episodes on there and I've got um people from Microsoft corporate speaking, which is sometimes quite difficult to get involved. Um So it's, yeah, it's just AAA brilliant podcast that II I love doing and I, I always sit here and record it and basically say I'm happy to basically sit here, continue doing it until I'm old and gray and having to wear my slippers because it's just so nice hearing how people have basically dealt with different challenges um with the last couple of minutes.

The most important thing is where you can find us. So my podcast is available on all the usual platforms are available on youtube. So go check us out at at lot of spotlight and also on obviously Apple, Spotify, Google and a few other icons there as well. Um Yeah, I just saw that comment there about mental health. Yeah, mental health is a massive thing and I mean, if I open up um honestly and openly about it, um I've experienced um my own uh cousin basically to take his own life during COVID because he couldn't obviously handle being locked in. My brother-in-law, took his own life after a marriage breakdown. Um I've had my own challenges um and one of the episodes I've just released today, um was a woman who basically was involved uh in, in the NHS. She created a massive power app to basically help triage patients through mental health to identify if they need to be seen sooner. Because the problem I was having was taking 12 weeks to triage people with this app. It took it down to 3 to 4 weeks. So it's that, that episode for me just listening to it was massively important because I've been a person that's been triaged by that application. So I've got to learn a little bit more about it.

So if there is any questions, please reach out now because I am very much towards the end of the time. Like for this, uh what would you say to people? What would you say to people? Why should I promote an idea if it's stupid or badly presented? Could I get pushed? Good, good ideas. Should all work good, good and bad ideas. Everyone, everyone has an opinion there, there is never in my mind. There is never a bad question because if you don't understand something, how are you always meant to know what the answer is? So what would you say to people who say, why should I promote an idea? Cos it's stupid or bad, what would I say for tomorrow? Because the idea is someone's basically sat there and thought about it, you know, no idea is a bad idea. I mean, I thought running my podcast um was a bad idea to start off with. Um It wasn't until I basically started speaking to different people in the community about what I'm currently doing, how I'm doing it. Then I actually realized the actual impact it was actually having on people within my Microsoft community that are working. Is there any other questions? No? OK. Um What I will say if there's anyone who's obviously listening to me rambling on and would like to be involved in my podcast as a guest. So please do reach out to me. I'll, I'll put my email address uh in the chat. Um Just drop me an email.

I'll say I'm happy to have, you know, as many guests on, as I say, up to 58 episodes released, I've still got another couple of episodes um scheduled for recording. Um Yeah, please just, you know, reach out to me. I am very much happy to have conversations with anyone who wants to discuss women in tech also because mental health as well. So thank you everyone for joining this session. I think I'll run over by a minute.