Actions for Women

Men have a pivotal role to play in creating inclusive workplaces. But too often they are missing from workplace diversity and inclusion efforts, or only peripherally involved.

What can women, specifically, do to encourage and cultivate men’s work to address inequality? Catalyst research indicates that there are many ways to support men’s increasing engagement on these issues.

1. Be the Change
Be the change you want to see—make sure that you are role modeling the inclusive leadership you want to see from men, and don’t forget that working with men on these issues creates learning opportunities for you as well.

2. Challenge Your Assumptions About Men
Challenge your assumptions about men’s intentions, ability, and willingness (or lack of) to take an active role in creating gender equity.

3. Seek to Better Understand Men
Recognize that men also experience bias and have aspects of their identity beyond ‘maleness.’ Just like women, men experience societal expectations around gender and what it means to be a man—which may be challenging.

4. Invite Men In
Intentionally invite men to join workplace initiatives focused on equity and inclusion.

5. Be Prepared for Men to Make Mistakes
Men are going to make mistakes—mistakes are part of the learning process.

6. Partner Up
Develop partnerships with men on equity and inclusion efforts.

7. Challenge Men to Do More
If you know men who value equity and inclusion, hold them accountable to living those values—challenge them to be more involved.

8. Help Men See Their Privilege
When you witness well-intentioned men reproducing inequalities or abusing male privilege, call them out in a non-accusatory manner.

9. Mentor Men
Mentor male colleagues to develop their awareness of gender and racial dynamics and bust stereotypes by providing them with examples of successful women and racially diverse role models.

10. Work With Men of Color
Listen to men of color's experiences—men of color can be strong allies in creating inclusion, which cannot exist without engaging people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Tool PDF: Actions Women Can Take to Support Men's Engagement

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.

We can help. Check out our programming, resources, and events. Join our community or email us to learn more.


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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