Rotman student clubs, WIMA and WIMen co-hosted a design sprint with Deloitte and GATE to design a workplace for “everyday men” on March 07, 2019; over 14 teams and 45 students participated.
The starting point for this design sprint was Deloitte’s report, “The Design of Everyday Men,” which investigates men’s relationships to work, family, and masculinity in a world where default gender roles are changing.
The insights from this study and other background materials inspired the teams to innovate how work is organized in order to create space for new forms of masculinity, and greater equality for all, based on the following problem statement:
How might organizations enable and reinforce men to bring their whole selves to work?
All of the teams proposed exciting ideas to overcome the barriers in organizations that are prohibiting men from bringing their whole selves to work. However, only three teams were nominated for the finals. Their ideas are outlined below:
#ShowMEn platform–A digital, integrative platform that would encourage men to bring their full selves to work by giving them a place to share personal photos and stories, as well as participate in team reward initiatives (e.g., fundraising challenge on Mother’s Day). This platform would encourage open communication and mentorship across departments, teams, and leadership. (The winning idea!)
The year of the shark–An internal campaign that would seek to eradicate “dinosaur” behaviour within senior leadership and the C-suite (e.g., upholding traditional views regarding work-life balance and paternity leave) and encourage “shark” behaviour that would embody more inclusive ideas on what’s acceptable and expected at work in terms of gender roles. It would include awareness, recognition, and accountability components.
The journal of corporate f@!* ups–An e-newsletter that would be distributed organization-wide aimed at enabling men to feel comfortable sharing and embracing failure at work. It would include three components: 1) compelling stories of failure by fellow employees, 2) reinforcing mechanisms, and 3) role modeling by senior management.
The winning team comprised of Tanya Adityan, Kyle Christian, Yi Shi, and Asli Zayim. For their prize, they will spend an hour on the trading floor with Derek Flood, RBC’s Head of Canadian Equities. As their prize, this winning team will get a tour of Doblin’s D.Studio and a lunch with the co-chairs of Deloitte’s Inclusion Advisory Council, Pat Daley and Ken Fredeen.
In addition to our finalists, 11 other teams pitched their ideas. These teams identified three areas of opportunity to help encourage men to bring their whole selves to work. Many of the barriers men face at work stem from traditional notions of masculinity and success; these include isolation, fear of failure, lack of mental health considerations, and fear of retribution for prioritizing work-life balance.
Thank you to all of the participants, coaches, and judges for being a part of this great event!