Ten Tips for Engaging Men on Gender Equality
Initiatives aimed at engaging men on gender equality have gained popularity in recent years, yet most of these have been designed without taking the evidence base into account.
In response to this, Diversity Council Australia (DCA) recently commissioned a report, Men Make a Difference: Engaging Men on Gender Equality. Associate Professor Michael Flood and I partnered with the council on this work.
A major goal of this report was to review the existing research about gender, men and masculinity, and what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to addressing gender inequalities—and then design individual and organisational change strategies.
Critically, the report provides evidence-based guidelines to ensure that individual and organisational gender equality initiatives involve women and men as active and equal partners.
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The Ten Principles for gender equality
- Get the foundation right. Ensure gender equality initiatives involve women and men as active and equal partners.
- Get the framing right. Treat gender equality as a business issue, not a women’s issue.
- Go wide. Make visible and target all key gender equality areas (i.e. paid work, power and decision-making, financial security, personal safety, interpersonal work relationships, caring, and community involvement).
- Get the messaging right. Appeal to men as well as women.
- Engage a diversity of men. Include men in different organizational roles and levels, and with a variety of demographic backgrounds (e.g. ages, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations).
- Educate about how to lead change effectively. Provide resources for your initiatives, be visible and persistent, and ‘walk the talk’.
- Make the connection between work and home. Implement initiatives that encourage gender equality in care giving.
- Make the connection between work and communities. Frame gender inequality as a societal/community problem.
- Build individuals’ confidence and capability around the topic of gender. Provide opportunities for both men and women to change their mindsets, assumptions, and behaviors.
- Encourage men and women to challenge and change gender-biased organizational policies and practices.
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Post by Graeme Russell who is a researcher and consultant based in Sydney, Australia. For over 40 years, he has had a research, policy and consulting focus on gender equality, diversity and flexibility and works mainly in private sector organisations, particularly at senior levels to challenge and change mindsets and behaviours.
Originally posts in MARC