NY BOG: Stand Up - Be a Real Man

Regardless if you are a father, brother, son, partner or leader, you are given the opportunity to reflect upon your role as a man. In a new book the former sexist, Lars Einar Engström, addresses all men who are, or should be, interested in diversity and gender


The former sexist Lars Einar Engström addresses men all over the world in a new book titled “Stand up and be a real man”. The book is about business, diversity and gender and Engström talks about his own experiences from the male world:

“The higher up in the hierarchy you come the more macho you have to be in order to survive. That goes for Skandinavia as well as most other countries. All over the world we prefer a man before a woman as a leader”, says Lars Einar Engström who has worked with a number of companies and orga­nizations in Europe and in the US. Today he gives seminars at business schools and universities like Yale University, Copenhagen Business School and Stockholm School of Economics regarding leadership, gender and diversity.

According to Engström modern leadership depends on the leader’s ability to create a mixed workforce when it comes to gender:

“It should come as no surprise that companies who mirror their market and clients - which in most cases are both men and women - will survive and evolve. They cannot be run only by “middle-aged, white men. As a man I have a responsibility to think about how I behave and react when I see, hear or experience situations where women are treated badly. This may be by so-called “jokes”, sexual harassment or when a company recruits based on sex instead of competence.”

Despite all the research and reports about gender, leadership, mixed groups etc, that are published as often as David Letterman is on TV, the real work regarding changes in attitudes and behavior is something every single man - no one else - has to work with every day, in every meetings with other people, regardless of their sex, both in and out of the workplace:

“After I came out of the closet, telling my male friends that I Am a Feminist, the struggle has taken its toll. Have I had discussions with men about why, how, when? You bet!” says Engström and continues:

“Most men/managers/leaders think that gender equality is an important subject, but they just don’t have time right now. Tomorrow? Maybe. Or maybe not. But gentlemen – the time is now!”

Prior to becoming a consultant in 2001, Lars Einar Engström worked as an executive at international companies, and was based in Paris, France, working with management training and leadership development. He was connected to Insead in France and to London School of Economics. Engström has written four books, of which three have been translated into English, Confessions of a Sexist (2008), Your Career in Your Hands (2011) and Thoughts of a Sexist (2012). He writes an online column for the American organiza­tion Catalyst (www.onthemarc.org) and for the Swedish business school IHM (www.ihm.se).


By Lars Einar Engström

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