7 tips for male influencers to support women


We have all had wonderful access to webinars and podcasts and been able to hear our top thought leaders and their views on what will happen next in the post Covid19 normal. But what we should have been seeing as well is how male influencers can support women at every level. Sadly the reality is that this is not the case and that support has been inconsistent. This is not a question of ill intent. Quite often it is because they are steeped in the old ways of doing things. The workplace of tomorrow will have to change as demands for gender balance, diversity and inclusion increase.

There are a number of quick hacks for male influencers to support women. Honestly, it’s not rocket science.

1. Check your own biases

It’s really important that male thought leaders have a good understanding of their own potential biases. When they don’t, it influences their attitudes and responses. Here we are talking about attitudes to women, but it can also be race, LGBTQ, age and a whole host of issues.

2. Don’t join manels

Just don’t. Refuse to participate unless there is gender balance and overall diversity on any panel or fireside set up. You will not get diversity of thought listening to a group of middle-age,d white guys. If you see a group that looks like you – speak up.

male influencers to support women

3. Refer women panellists

If the organiser says they can’t find women, introduce them to your network contacts. If you have no women in your network then you need to take active steps to diversify it. Contact 3Plus if you need help.

4. Be language aware

Pay attention to the language you use. “Guys” is not a gender neutral term whatever people may tell you. Avoid sporting and military metaphors and substitute them with language that everyone can relate to:

  • offence /defence = proactive / reactive
  • smash it out the park = get great results
  • Takes balls =  gusty / brave
  • Man up = be brave

male influencers to support women

5. Use gender balanced and diverse images and icons

Don’t do any presentation populated with male coded images and without references to women either verbally or visually. It seems as if this is your world, but honestly we are there too.  This can be in terms of academic  or professional citations, anecdotes, stock photos and icons. Men do not have a monopoly on all world experiences.

6. Make correct introductions

Introduce and to refer to female colleagues and panellists by their correct professional title. We might introduce ” Dr. Hans Schmidt, international HR leader” and “The lovely Helen Smith” who might be equally or even better qualified than her male counterpart. See the difference.

7. Know their names

Women leaders are excelling at the moment. Male influencers should know their names and be able to reference them. Here is a list to help you:


Women can’t be what they can’t see and hear. If they are excluded or minimised the problem remains embedded. Time to change.

Tackle these issues head on with our Managing Unconscious Bias workshops. Contact 3Plus now!




If you feel passionate about gender balance and topical issues impacting women in the workplace 3Plus would be delighted to publish your work. Don't wait - send it in

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