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Changing the Game by Inciting Awareness • November 2019
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Want to be a Male Ally for Gender Equity?
Some Tips and Advice

 
Underrepresented in many industries as well as leadership positions in business overall, women need allies to promote gender equity and women’s empowerment. And some of their most important allies are m-e-n. However, while many men want to be allies, they often don’t know what to do. 
 
Organizations like Promundo -- working to promote gender equality by engaging men and boys -- answer the question of what to do. Their Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) program, for instance, targets women’s economic empowerment, improving women’s access to natural resources in part by engaging men as partners. Similarly, their Bolsa Familia Companion Program also cultivates men as allies for women’s empowerment by working with men to prevent the perpetuation of harmful gender roles and norms.
 
Peruse the November newsletter to discover ideas for how men can promote gender equity and women’s empowerment in the workplace. And it’s not just the “right” thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do if you want to increase economic growth; improve organizational performance; and enhance your organization’s ability to attract and retain employees. Just another way to change the game!
 
Women today are constantly being told to assert themselves. Stop apologizing, demand your raise, act like a man. A rhetoric has been born that women lack the confidence in the workplace that men inherently have and—if she could just be more like him—then she, too, can succeed. Studies show, however, that women do not lack confidence or assertiveness. Instead, it’s men who are overconfident and under-apologetic. In order to achieve full gender equality, female standards of behavior --  like humility, cooperation, and                                                                                   active listening -- should be normalized and                                                                                   aspired to.

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Rania H. Anderson and David G. Smith

More gender balanced companies enjoy greater success, including higher financial returns and more innovation and organizational commitment. Sponsorship is a critical way to cultivate gender balance, but research shows that over 70% of executives have mentees who match their race and gender. With white men disproportionately
in top leadership positions, that means women and minorities don’t benefit from sponsorship
like their male counterparts. Companies need to
better develop sponsors, teaching them what the
best sponsors do like identifying high potential
diverse talent, determining the best “stretch roles”
for mentees, and providing support and productive
performance-based feedback.
 
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Organizational culture is a critical driver of gender diversity in the workplace. Watch this short video to learn five ways men -- at all levels -- can improve their organization’s culture to promote gender diversity at work. So simple!


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Are you—or do you know—a man who wants to engage in gender equality discussions, but isn’t quite sure how? For many, these discussions seem like verbal minefields. To help men prepare  -- and avoid a dreaded “mansplaining” fiasco -- this video offers valuable insights that virtually guarantee a productive conversation on gender equality. Watch it and start the conversation!
 
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