PowerHouse Montana may be all about economic opportunity for women, but we are fortunate to have a few enlightened men among us who are willing to be advocates in the workplace. Men bring different skill sets and perspectives to mentoring relationships, and are essential to helping women get ahead. We interviewed some of our PowerHouse MENtors, who have made a pledge to support women in the workplace, and we hope that you’ll reach out to them and thank them for their support.
PowerHouse MENtor: Nick Dietzen, Planned Giving Officer, Montana Community Foundation
Why did you join PowerHouse?
Working with the Women’s Foundation staff led me to learning about PowerHouse early on and I have the great pleasure of working with many PowerHouses at work and across the state. I want to help connect and be a resource when called upon, it’s not a cliche that our best resource in Montana is our people.
What can men do to champion women leaders in the workplace?
Gender inclusiveness involves both men and women in advancing women’s leadership — I think that acknowledging both the historical challenges women have faced in the workplace, while also embracing the successes and achievements to date is valuable. Celebrating the future where gender equity is a norm, where female leadership is abundant is exciting, because the future is now and I feel fortunate to know that we are moving in the right direction and that current and future leadership is in the hands of capable, talented individuals in our state and our country — with women leading the way.
Have you ever had a female mentor? Have you ever mentored a woman, either formally or informally?
Yes, I have been fortunate to have strong women in my life from birth, starting with my mother and grandmothers — they helped lay a foundation in life for which I am eternally grateful — my mother in particular has been a mentor to many students and colleagues during her 30 years in education. I have had wonderful mentors both educationally and in the workplace. My previous supervisor, Candace Cain at Carroll College, has and continues to be a wonderful professional mentor as well as a dear friend. My current supervisor and Powerhouse Member, Amy Sullivan, has also been a great professional mentor — I have learned so much from these two smart, talented and generous human beings. I believe in the power of mentors. I think that most of my professional relationships are relational and less about who is mentoring who, but rather sharing knowledge, being a good resource and being available to help out whenever called upon for problem solving, creativity and knowledge. I have benefited from these relationships and hope to be of some service to those who may want to work with me as well.
Why do you think diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important?
Diversity and inclusion are absolutes both in the workplace and outside in my opinion. From an early age, I was drawn to both and developed an appreciation for diversity and inclusion in all facets — I sought more diversity and benefited personally and educationally by virtue of having great access to many different backgrounds in college. Having had many diverse work experiences, lived in diverse locales and having diverse friendships has served me well and I’m incredibly lucky. We learn from others and we learn when our way of thinking is challenged and growth opportunities are provided. Everyone should be included and respected, we may not always agree with one another, but the conversations are crucial and vital — we have a long way to go, but wherever we are going will be a better direction when we go along together.
How do you think gender inclusiveness can effectively recruit and retain talented workers?
This is an exciting time to be in the workplace. I believe that most of the talented individuals among us want to be at organizations that are inclusive and provide a great workplace culture. Thankfully, gender inclusivity will be a part of these great organizations, because great people are everywhere and they are diverse — if you’re not being inclusive that will be at your detriment and you will be left behind — in my opinion, that is a beautiful thing! We need to leave exclusivity in the dust!
What efforts do you make to create diverse, inclusive organizations?
I have the distinct pleasure of working with numerous organizations, many of which are diverse and inclusive. I know that not everyone can say that, but I am proud that I can and my way of contributing is by celebrating and publicizing these organizations to all those I come in contact with. We need examples of great organizations and the ones at the forefront of my mind are both inclusive and diverse.
What need do you have right now that a PowerHouse could help fulfill?
There is immense talent and generosity in this state. The more we work together, the better we make our communities. I hope that I can meet more and more Powerhouses and have them continue to have conversations and embrace their roles as mentors — we all can use a little help, so let’s be of service to one another and be the tide that rises all our proverbial boats.
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