How do you find men who believe in and advocate for Gender Equity?
With the #MeToo, #TimesUp and #MentorHer movements in the daily news and national conversation, many men are asking, “What can I do to better support women and demonstrate my advocacy for female colleagues?” Gender equity in the workplace continues to be framed as a “women’s issue,” and you are only having half a conversation if men are not in the discussion! And as the author of “That’s What She Said” Joanne Lipman reminds us, half a conversation “can solve, at best, 50 percent of the problem.”
I’m often asked how to cultivate “ready now” male allies and turn them into advocates. Here are my three tips to get started recruiting and engaging men as allies, champions and advocates.
Engaging Male Advocates
1) Take the quiz! Then send it to a male colleague who believes in gender equity. The Male Advocacy Profile (MAP) is designed to help men determine where they are on the male ally continuum. The 20-question quiz focuses on the workplace dynamics of gender equity and, based on the score, we suggest practical action steps that will drive change and enhance advocacy of women in the workplace.
Take the Male Advocacy Profile Quiz.
2) Begin the conversation. I partnered with Rachana Bhide, founder of The Corner of the Court Project, success stories of male allies shared by women, to create the MAP tool.
“My approach to building male allies is to show men they don’t need to be in specific positions in their organization to make an impact,” Bhide said. “Men often don’t realize they already display a lot of positive attitudes and behaviors that make them strong supporters of gender equality. Having the MAP helps men to see their current state of allyship–whether they are new to the topic or conscious, seasoned supporters–and to make decisions on what specific behaviors and attitudes they want to change and improve. It’s all in the interest of self-development toward being the type of ally each man chooses to be, which is very empowering. We want our male allies to feel empowered, as they, in turn, empower women.”
Since each of us approaches championing women and underrepresented people at work in different ways, the MAP tool reflects these diverse, tested approaches.
3) Take action. As March is Women’s History Month, please share the MAP tool broadly with your organization. If you lead a Women’s Resource Group, forward it to your members. If you are in a leadership position, encourage all the men on your team to take the quiz. Then facilitate discussions to strategize next steps.
And take it yourself! While the MAP quiz is designed for men, the information and follow-up conversation will bring awareness to both men AND women about unconscious gender biases that may exist, encouraging honest communication and thoughtful next steps.
Stay in touch. Let me know how your conversations go and your next steps.
Image: Bigstock – vectorfusionart
Jeffery Tobias Halter the country’s leading expert on engaging men to advance women and frequently speaks at industry and corporate events. He is the President of YWomen, a strategic consulting company that helps organizations create Integrated Women’s Leadership Strategies, drive actionable business plans and strategies to attract, retain and advance women and address gender bias in the workplace. To begin conversations about gender, diversity and cultivating male allies, subscribe to his Gender Conversation QuickStarters newsletter.