Andy MaguireAndy Maguire is HSBC’s Group Chief Operating Officer leading operations, technology and corporate services for the bank.  Andy also leads HSBC’s chief operating officers who are responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the bank’s operations.

Andy began his career with Lloyd’s Bank, where he worked in retail, corporate and private banking. He then worked for 20 years as a consultant specialising in large transformation programmes in Europe, the Americas and Asia, latterly with Boston Consulting Group. At BCG, he was the head of the Banking and Customer Services practice, managing partner of the UK and Ireland, a member of the firm’s global executive committee, and from 2010-14 he led BCG’s relationship with HSBC.

Why do you support the HeForShe campaign? For example – do you have a daughter or have witnessed the benefits that diversity can bring to a workplace?

Doh! It’s the boys (men) who need to change/be changed :-))…plus a much smarter, more successful wife and two punchy daughters…oh and it’s half the world – we need to.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

If men don’t change then things won’t change…or at least very slowly.

How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?

Perfectly welcome but often trepidatious…afraid of saying the wrong thing/using wrong language.

Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?

Tough…men have/have had networks for years, decades…ever, so it’s just a minor re-balance.

What can businesses do to encourage more men to feel welcome enough to get involved in the gender debate?

Create ‘safe place’ to have conversations – it’s not (supposed to be) a test.  Take pressure off saying right/wrong thing.  Simple prompts…”think about your sister/daughters” etc.

Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?

Yes – currently eight of my 12 mentees.

Have you noticed any difference in mentoring women – for example, are women less likely to put themselves forward for jobs that are out of their comfort zones or are women less likely to identify senior roles that they would be suited for?

Women are more self-aware/realistic i.e. focus on what they aren’t perfect on/at versus their strengths – as a result, less qualified/capable men apply/think they can do a given job.  Typically, in my experience, women are perfectly able to identify/target senior roles.