Actions for Men

Men have a pivotal role to play in creating inclusive workplaces. Catalyst research suggests that a critical aspect of this role is to be an example to other men.

Below, we have listed some actions that men can take to develop their capacities as agents of change and as influential role models to male peers. Acting on these behaviors can make a difference in your workplace and begin to create a critical mass for change.

1. Be Open About Your Commitment
Be open with other men about your commitment to creating a workplace that is gender-inclusive and invite them to join you.
2. Talk About the Cost of Inequity
Talk to other men about the costs of gender inequity—for both men and women—in the workplace.
3. Use Your Flex Benefits
Use work-life flexibility benefits, if you have them (e.g., paternity leaves, family leaves, and telecommuting), to manage your work and personal responsibilities and don’t be shy about it.

4. Support Other Men Who Flex
Communicate your support for male colleagues who use work-life flexibility policies/benefits to manage their own work and personal responsibilities.
5. Educate Yourself
Take responsibility for your own learning. Don’t rely on women colleagues to learn about gender inequality. Use your own observational/fact-finding skills and seek out resources to educate yourself.
6. Mentor and Sponsor
Mentor and/or sponsor an emerging woman leader and encourage your male peers to do the same.
7. Watch Out for Biased Assumptions
Speak up if you notice gender-based assumptions being made about your colleagues’ needs, work interests, and competencies (e.g., she won’t want to relocate because she has a small child; he doesn’t need work-life flexibility; she doesn’t really want to be on the fast-track).
8. Learn to Spot Unfair Standards
Be attentive to whether men and women colleagues are being judged by different standards (e.g., promotion criteria based more on potential for men and more on demonstrated achievement for women, marital/parental status being considered in personnel decisions concerning women but not men candidates). Speak up if you observe gender bias at work.

9. Share the Good (and the Bad)
Share your stories of working for inclusion with other men – both the good and the bad. It is just as important to share your failures as it is to share your successes so that everyone can learn from the experience.
10. Get Involved in ERGs
Get involved in your organization’s gender-focused employee resource groups (ERGs), or start one if your organization doesn’t have any.

Tool PDF: Actions Men Can Take to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Did You Know?

Research shows that when men are actively involved in gender diversity, 96% of companies report progress. When they're not, only 30% show progress.

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What gender equality topic do you most want to learn more about in 2019? Anything we left out? Let us know.

Business case
Mentoring and sponsorship
Paternity leave and fatherhood
Masculinity and gender
Actions to take