What Men Can Do to Promote Gender Equality in the Workforce
Men's role in workplace gender equality
Conversations around gender equality in the workplace might seem to be women's domain, but excluding men hinders the cause. Here's how they can help.
The group of people most overlooked in conversations about gender equality in the workforce are key to creating the desired change: MEN.
Barriers to Changing the Status Quo
One of the biggest misconceptions about gender equality is the sole focus on women, while the goal is to make positive changes for both men and women. There are different reasons why men can be reluctant to change the status quo: the fear of losing status and apathy are two big barriers to changing gender norms at work, where men likely occupy the top positions (Catalyst). The power dynamics in the working world statistically favor men, from 81% of Congress to 95% of Fortune 500 CEO titles. “It’s men and boys (soon to be men) in the driver’s seat. It’s men who are obligated to help create change” (Richard Lui). The aim is to create change by including women and men to ensure productive, active engagement in gender equality for all workers.
Benefits of Gender Diversity
What would it look like if men were regularly brought into the diversity conversation? It is in both the company’s and employees’ best interest and crucial to establishing gender equality in leadership positions. “Research continues to show that diversity… yields more innovation and is tied to enhanced financial performance — factors good for all employees” (Catalyst). This leads to better companies, industries, economies, goods and services. In fact, if women hadn’t entered the workforce as they did since the 1970’s, the current economy’s GDP would be 25% smaller (Giang). A workplace that encourages women to climb the leadership ladder has shown to be beneficial for all parties involved.
What Men (Can) Do to Promote Gender Equality
This is not to say the men are not already making a difference for gender equality in today’s companies. Joe Keefe, CEO of Pax World Management LLC, prioritized women at his company by nixing quotas and committing to always having a woman in the finalist hiring pool. Now, five out of nine senior managers are women. Dan Shapiro, CEO of Glowforge, always aims to hire diverse team members because, “he can’t live in a “ridiculous world” where “half the potentials are systematically undervalued and challenged (Giang). By simply questioning inequality, these CEOs made waves of change at their companies and brought in new employees with unique visions for success. Men like this show the world what it can look like when women are equally valued at work. Promoting women is far from charity; it’s a smart business move.
The first thing men can do to make a positive change in the workplace is to listen to their female coworkers. Women are experts on gender inequality because they experience it daily, so ask women what is holding them back (a simple, yet effective tool is the Gender Parity Spotlight© Survey - www.leveragehr.com).
The next step is to take advantage of today’s world of “big data” and inform yourself about both big-picture data and the statistics of your own team. For example, find out the average pay gap and address this when bonuses are being discussed. By doing basic research on workplace sexism, you could implement new policies to limit your company’s tendency for bias (Edgecliffe-Johnson).
Finally, the men who fight for gender equality in the workplace are vocal about their belief. They are a leader for change. By exposing the problem and explaining the benefits of gender equality to all facets of a company, male leaders can recruit fellow men to be champions of feminism in the workplace. “Men need to convince the skeptics that everyone can have it all as long as we all share the grunt work” (Giang).
By: Rachel Fazzina for Leverage HR
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
23rd April 2019 at 1800 Podcast with Virgina Franco Executive Storyteller, Resume & LinkedIn Writer
25th April 2019 at 1800 EVE Programme, an initiative of Danone. Twitter Chat “Harnessing Positive Psychology for a Smarter Leadership"
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Being able to influence without authority is an essential skill for improving your leadership skills and furthering your career.read more
If you often feel stressed or nervous about interviews then check out these interview tips for introverts. You’ll have job offers coming your way in no time.read more
Negative feedback should be seen as a chance to improve, rather than a personal attack. You just need to learn how best to handle it with these tips.read more