I’ve been asked what men can do to support women in the workplace. Here are a few things you can do to be an effective male ally of women:
- Bring self-awareness into your gendered relationships at work.
- Be aware of your unconscious negative bias towards women due to outdated, negative societal and cultural stereotypes. Not all women want the same things.
- Join women’s events and listen to their stories to increase your awareness of women’s issues.
- Mentor females in your business.
- Sponsor females in your business.
- Speak up when you observe everyday sexism and microaggression in the workplace.
- Be visible and vocal in your support of gender parity in the workplace.
- Invest in the women on your teams and give them equal access to developmental opportunities as you do the men.
- Seek women’s opinions on your team, invite them to join meetings and discussions and attribute their ideas to them, not to the men who decide to mansplain views already expressed by women.
- Value and promote competence over ego and confidence when identifying future talent.
- As a leader, be courageous enough to call out toxic masculinity in the workplace, so others can feel empowered to do so too.
- Be transparent about your personal need for flexible working and work-life balance.
- Role model healthy masculinity in the workplace by being transparent and vulnerable when needed.
- Create an environment for honest discussions about inclusion.
- Accept that women will be experiencing the workplace differently.
- Be consistent in applying the policy to all groups.
- Distribute exciting projects and office housework equitable between your male and female team members.
- Give women constructive and actionable feedback. Beware of bias when giving feedback.
- Give women a chance. Remember: Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance, equity is being on the planning team.
- Be ok with getting it wrong; if you are not making mistakes, then you are not growing or trying hard enough.
Please share this list with the men you work with.