To accelerate change, we need to stop treating gender issues as women’s burden. Organizations need to enable women and men to make cultural changes, enlisting them to work together as partners in eliminating the corporate norms and structures that perpetuate gender gaps.
But while many men want to support inclusion efforts, some are unsure how to get involved and many assume they have no role in the conversation. In this issue of C-News we’ll highlight strategies that organizations can use to help resolve barriers to men’s participation in building inclusion.
Over the past year, MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), the only community dedicated to men allies, has released a number of new resources to assist men who are working for equality. Among these are an infographic, Stand for Equality which provides a map of how MARC can help; a Call to Action with four concrete ways for men to make a difference; and the Actions Men Can Take tool.
Participate in an Upcoming MARC Leaders Workshop
This 1.5-day program enables emerging and senior male leaders to develop critical inclusive leadership strategies, sharpen awareness of inequalities, unconscious bias, and privilege, and hone skills to make lasting impact. Contact us and check the sidebar for dates and details.
Make the Case That Inclusion Benefits Everyone, Including Men
More inclusive environments lead to many benefits for men:
Stronger working relationships and teamwork
Increased retention of high-potential talent
More opportunities to bring their whole selves to work
Start with the equity issues men identify with. For example, men might be more inclined to take on the issue of parental leave because increasing numbers want to have a greater level of involvement in family life. Once we get them to the table and part of the conversation, we can address many more issues.
Leverage Men's Belief in Justice and Fairness
Catalyst research found that men who believe in the importance of justice and fairness are more likely to be aware of gender inequality. Look for the men in your workplace who value fairness and put the tools to act in their hands. A perfect example is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose cabinet is 50% male and 50% female. Catalyst will present him with a special commendation for his leadership in advancing diversity and gender equality during our Catalyst Awards Dinner on March 16 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Provide Opportunities for Men to Learn
Catalyst research also shows that one of the barriers to men’s involvement in the effort for gender equality is their fear of making mistakes. With this in mind, strive to create an environment of learning and growing rather than one of shaming men who don’t “get it” right away.
Encourage Men to Work With Other Men
Set up men who are active and committed to inclusion as mentors for other men who have not yet become outwardly active. Provide opportunities for engaged men to join panel discussions, ERGs, and national meetings to highlight their commitment to the issues.