Knowledge Center

Actions Men Can Take to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Catalyst believes that men have a pivotal role to play in creating workplaces in which both women and men can thrive. Our research suggests that a critical aspect of this role is to act as an example to other men. This tool outlines some actions men can take to enhance their understanding of the barriers to gender inclusion in the workplace and to learn how to serve as role models for their male peers.

Acting on just 10 of these behaviors—the ones that you feel most able to take action on—can make a difference in your workplace. See the top five examples below and download the full tool to read the rest:

  1. Accept that it is your responsibility to help end sexism in the workplace—even though it is not your fault that sexism exists.

  2. Tell other men about your commitment to creating a workplace that is gender inclusive.

  3. Listen to women colleagues when they attribute certain work experiences to sexism without being defensive, offering alternative explanations, or otherwise invalidating what they say.

  4. Be attentive to the subtle ways that some men may unconsciously cause women colleagues to feel diminished (e.g., interrupting women colleagues in meetings, validating/giving more weight to views expressed by men relative to those expressed by women). Avoid these behaviors and encourage male peers to do so as well.

  5. Do not laugh at or tell sexist jokes.