Stéphane Garlot: Giving men a credible voice in the conversation
For PwC’s Stéphane Garlot, the real value of HeForShe is that it gives men a credible voice in the conversation about gender equality.
“It’s not an easy topic,” explains the director based in Paris. “When I talk to other men about gender equality, many of them say things like ‘but it’s not the fault of men’ or ‘there’s more to diversity than gender’. Suddenly we’re not talking about the real issue anymore.”
As Transformation leader for PwC France’s legal arm (PwC Société d'Avocats), Stéphane is familiar with denial. “Whenever you try to change something, you should always expect some resistance.”
And gender equality in the workplace is something that definitely needs change, according to Stéphane. “In our world today, it’s normal for there to be fewer women in leadership positions than men. But to me, that’s not normal.”
Diversity of cultures has been part of Stéphane’s career since he joined PwC Australia as an intern in 1998. He then moved to the UK firm as a consultant specialising in US tax before moving back to France in 2000 to work on US and French tax.
Last year, he was a speaker at PwC France’s Aspire to Lead event in Paris, a forum for students around the world on women and leadership. He now mentors two female students he met at the event, demonstrating his strong support for HeForShe.
Achieving gender equality isn’t an easy problem to solve, but Stéphane is committed to playing a part. His advice to anyone who’s thinking about getting involved is: “just do it. In 20 years’ time, we won’t be talking about gender equality like we do today; it will be a fact of life… so now’s the time we can make a difference!”