Mark Trivedi is a transformational leader who pushes boundaries and goes beyond the status quo. As a devoted father of two teenage girls, a man who learned about kindness from his mother, a sponsor, and a mentor of businesswomen, this dynamic change agent has garnered the respect and admiration of his peers.
Here are Mark’s insights on how we can build bridges between genders.
Men Supporting Women’s Advancement
Identify key people to connect with and understand their strengths as well as opportunities for their acceleration. It’s important for women to be proactive too. “I found that women who take the opportunity to come up to me at an event I’m attending, or a forum after a meeting, have been impactful. They become folks I’m now aware of. It’s taking control of your career in a more active way.”
Addressing Bias When Witnessed
Mark recalls a time when he was at another organization and witnessed a male colleague in a room full of men questioning the need for a women’s network. He had to address it in the moment. “We as men have to have a no-tolerance policy when it comes to that sort of behavior. Little things like that may seem innocuous; they all build to the collective bias that can happen in the workplace. It’s important to call them out so people will stop behaving that way.”
Attend Women’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs)
“I attend and volunteer at a variety of women’s events and BRGs (Business Resource Groups). I recently attended a ‘Women on the Move’ event where we had thousands of women and dozens of men in attendance. Aside from the sheer education that I received around particular subjects, I find that being in a situation where I’m fully outnumbered is quite humbling.”
Women Supporting Men’s Engagement
“Women I’ve surrounded myself with have given me great counsel on how the things I’m saying and doing can be interpreted. If I said something or have done something that could be construed as disrespectful to anybody, I’d love to know about it. I think people who want to do the right thing are open to that kind of feedback.”
Becoming more understanding of one another is a sure way to promote empathy in the workplace.
Building an inclusive environment is about forging human connections so people feel valued. “It’s super important that I find ways to feel comfortable and engaged with the people I work with – learn their histories and sensitivities.”
I am of Indian descent. Early on in my career, I was unable to get a position in my field with my legal Indian name. I changed the name on my resume to “Mark.” Interviewing with the new name, which was more relatable to corporate America at that time, helped me get an offer quickly. It was definitely a moment of personal dilemma to decide what part of my identity I was going to compromise in order to obtain a corporate job.
Describe your family, especially your two daughters.
I am outnumbered. I have a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old daughter. Meera is the oldest, and Reina is my youngest. I want them to be true to themselves and not have to compromise who they are. I want them to be kind to themselves and celebrate their successes.
What was the best advice you received from a sponsor or mentor?
One of my female managers suggested that I learn the “why” and try to understand people’s motivations–to do the right thing, and show them that I care by understanding what their sensitivities are.
If you have any free time, what do you do?
I’ve been gardening for years and I do it with my daughters as a way to spend time together. We make dinner from the foods we grow. We are trying to get more sustainable where we can actually live off the things we’re planting.