Month: June 2017

Julie’s Story: Rustin

“Undoubtedly, my most important male ally is my husband, Rustin.  A stay at home dad, self-proclaimed ‘manny,’ and my biggest fan, he is all in. Without him, our coaching business and family life would not be possible. He maintains the home, takes excellent care of our amazing girls, helps with our business, and is always there when I need that nudge or to vent about travel snafus. He’s our family’s rock.

When I originally brought my book idea to him about the important role of male allies  and how they support women for gender equality, he coined the book title ONE.  And, this title is completely fitting. Without him steering me, I would have ended up in a completely wrong direction. He’s my guard rails. He keeps me and our family grounded and focused. We’re lucky to have him.

When I think about a male ally, he’s the personification of one. Proudly sharing and celebrating women’s accomplishments, supporting his family in and out of the home, raising our children by showing them what good looks like, and instilling confidence in the women in his life. I’ve never felt a power struggle with him, he’s let be the strong woman I have always been. I have the freedom to be my authentic self.”

– Julie, Coach & Founder of Pivot Point
Indianapolis, IN

This story was adapted from Julie Kratz’s upcoming book, ONE, about the role of male allies and their support for gender equality: together through mentorship, sponsorship, management, and overall advocacy.  

More information about Julie’s work can be found at her website.

Michelle’s Story: Todd

“In the early stages of my career, I’ve quickly learned the importance of having a mentor, especially in the wealth management industry as both a female and a minority in a male-dominated environment.

I met Todd Norris while working for a local Registered Investors Independent Advisor as a Financial Advisor’s Client Service Assistant. Still being fairly new, we brought on Todd as a planner to support our team’s planning needs.

With both of us being new to the firm, I was helping Todd learn the ropes with operational procedures, while Todd educated me about financial planning. In the wealth management industry, it is hard to progress in your role without planning knowledge. Todd always graciously stuck out his hand to help me understand the reasoning behind certain planning tools, and why they were beneficial for the client. It is one thing for someone to “find” time in their busy schedule to help you, but it is another for them to “make” time. Every day I was sitting in a very fast-paced environment with no time to breathe. He always offered to help me with not only financial planning, but also with my own duties.

With Todd’s guidance, he added value to my experience and heightened the quality of my work.  Around the same time, we also convinced each other to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam, one of the most prestigious designations in the industry. While Todd was already a Certified Financial Planner, his hard-working demeanor, but laid-back personality made it easy to confide in and trust him as I always felt constantly stressed with both work and my studies. He taught me the importance of work-life balance and to worry less.

While we are not currently working together, Todd has made a tremendous impact on my career and work ethic. The industry itself can be very demanding, but with someone’s praise and support, it makes the routine demand of work more enjoyable knowing I have a male ally on my side that I can reach out to when the possible seems impossible.

In the wealth management industry where female interest staggers, I believe having a male ally to help you progress to the top is one of the hidden secrets to success, and I am extremely thankful for Todd’s support as both a colleague and a friend.”

– Michelle, Client Relationship Specialist, Pinnacle Advisor Solutions
Baltimore, MD

Vanesa’s Story: Manuel

“I first met Manuel when I started to work in Group Leche Pascual in Spain. Not many members of my team came to say hello and he was one of the first ones. That is one of the most characteristic things about him, his way of treating people. He is a very welcoming, chatty person; since the beginning, he made me feel part of the group. This was important, because it built a foundation of trust.

I was an assistant inside of a big corporation, the first big company I’ve worked for, and there were many things that were both impressive and daunting. But Manuel, with his natural personality and his sense of humour, always made me think that nothing is impossible and we have to look further, in order to find ourselves.

Soon, there became a moment when I was very comfortable within my comfort zone, but I myself did not notice it. Manuel did. And he started to offer questions and make me think about opportunities that I almost wasn’t able to see for myself… Leading me to the most convenient and strongest path, and opening my eyes when I wasn’t able to do it.

He has been my inspiration many times and the person I have enjoyed my time most with, either working or in my free time. Manuel has helped me to add instead of deduct, and for that reason it is very important to be surrounded by someone like him.
I think we’ve become a very good team through our work together, and now, through our friendship, we still are.”
Vanesa, PR and Marketing
London, UK

Shelley’s Story: Reynaldo and Keyshawn

“I met Reynaldo Spalding in 1993 when he was just out of high school. We became fast friends as I was working on a story about life in inner city Los Angeles. Reynaldo and his fellow athlete, Keyshawn Johnson, who works for ESPN now, hung out with me and offered to do just about anything I needed.

I needed babysitters. So the two of them would alternate taking care of my then 6-year-old daughter. Keyshawn went on to play football at USC and then to the NFL and Spalding, aka “Skeats” went to Iowa and then began working with Keyshawn.

Skeats ended up living with us for a while and worked his way into becoming a football coach at Mission Viejo High School. I went to his state championship banquet just after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He said it was his turn to babysit me. My daughter is now 31. How about that?”

– Shelley, Bureau Reporter, ESPN
Los Angeles, California


Shelley’s Story: Jack

Jack McCallum is a writer, formerly senior writer of Sports Illustrated.

I was a new, young reporter for SI assigned to the NBA finals in the late 1980s. I was terrified. Jack, whom I had never met, took me under his wing, showed me the ropes (who to talk to and how and where and when) and, most of all, showed me how to treat people. He was the most laid-back male ally I know — Hawaiian shirts and humble. During the next few finals, he gave his courtside seat to our intern, who was younger and greener than me, which was wonderful to see.

He is a hero in the NBA world and continues to be an inspiration to me as a budding author. I’m at the 2017 Finals right now and guess who I saw? Jack McCallum. Still at it strong.”

– Shelley Smith, Bureau Reporter, ESPN
Los Angeles, California


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