Men Are Welcome, Did We Mention That?

Apr 8, 2019 | Your Community

Question: Who can attend a Kayo Conference Series Summit?

  1. Birthplace: Earth
  2. Race: Human
  3. Politics: Freedom
  4. Religion: Love

Answer: Everyone. 

Yes, we run events that are designed to attract women leaders – for example the upcoming Kayo Women’s Energy Summit – and we invite mainly women to speak. But that’s not because we are trying to be exclusive. 

We target women specifically because women in male-dominated industries often lack strong networks to support them. In Energy, for example, fewer than 10% of executives are women. Often women find themselves the only woman their firm, the only woman at the conference, the only woman in the boardroom, the only woman anywhere to be seen – this makes them feel like outsiders. It’s not easy playing the game from outside the inner circle. We wanted to make it easier and fun for them to build a network, so that they have more business prospects, better career opportunities and can feel that sense of belonging that we all crave. But that definitely doesn’t mean we are trying to leave men out.

Daniel LeBay, Partner at Vinson & Elkins, Moderates our REIT Panel at the Women's Real Estate Summit

Even in male-dominated industries, loads of men support their female colleagues and want to do business with their female clients. If they don’t have colleagues or clients that are women, most men have a mom, a sister, a wife, a daughter that they want to see succeed. They can relate, and they do want to help.

Networking Opportunities for All at the Kayo Women's Private Equity Summit

At the Kayo Conference Series, we’ve seen so many examples of men championing women at our programs:

  • Nominating colleagues and clients to speak
  • Speaking and sharing their expertise
  • Pushing for their firms sponsor our events
  • Asking good questions and being an attentive audience member
  • Attending, and, as one of the few men in the room, feeling what it’s like to be a bit of an outsider

A recent note from a man interested to attend one of our women’s investing events.

“Should I sign up for this as a company looking for Private Equity? AND… Should I sign up as a man? Having six sisters, a mom, a wife and a daughter I am all about empowering women. And while I am ‘comfortable and secure enough as a guy’, I just don’t know if I would be welcome (not in a rude way) since it is a women’s conference.”

Yes, please come! We all need to see the faces and hear the voices of female leadership. In case I have not been clear in the past, let me say that again. 

Men are always welcome. All are welcome.

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No one should walk alone on their path to success. Women, men – we are all just human beings following our passion, trying to make a contribution and looking to find a sense of belonging along the way.