Why Men Should Support Gender Equality
Gender equality is not a zero-sum gamemore...
Death By A Thousand Cuts
- Women frequently picking up signals that men don’t realize are being sent through facial expressions, body language and voice tonality, indicating men are uncomfortable, unsure, and even dismissive of women they come in contact at work with.
- Having to constantly jump over an invisible hurdle that women cannot ostensibly handle the requirements of an important task or job assignment, until they prove it. Men, on the other hand, are given the benefit of being able to perform their duty until they prove otherwise. This unrecognized double standard often creates a dynamic with women to over-achieve expectations.
- Extending a significant amount of energy to get men to recognize the talent, ability and contributions women make to the organization... if this acknowledgement is ever made.
- Having inadequate access to critically important training and developmental opportunities necessary to compete for future advancements.
- Lacking access to important relationships, information, and decisions forged in bathrooms, golf courses, hunting and fishing trips, sporting events, and after-hour cocktails. Alternative forms of access for women who do not participate in these activities are seldom provided.
- When a women is selected for a developmental or new job assignment, it often is expressed that leadership is willing to “take a chance” with this person. For the male counterpart, it’s seen as “making a significant investment” with the individual.
- Frequently working with men, who in the normal course of business, will not be alone with women. This includes meals, car rides, travel and behind closed doors.
- Women are likely not provided meaningful and on-going job performance and career feedback because the male manager wants to avoid “drama.”
- When women are promoted into positions that historically have been held by only men, management support and mentoring oftentimes become non-existent. The individual is left to “sink or swim” on her own.
- Routinely being asked to take meeting notes or given the responsibility to organize business functions and social events.
- Constantly being talked over, looked through, and generally ignored by men in meetings. Should a woman ever assert herself, she is likely labeled as “aggressive” and “pushy.”
- Continually managing the various types of relationships men want to tag you with, other than as a professional and equal to them. This includes being their mother, wife, daughter, sister, and girlfriend.
- Overcoming the belief by men that women place greater importance on gender equity than professional responsibilities. Concurrently, whenever a concern, question or the topic of workplace gender equity does come up, being expected to speak “on behalf of all women.”
- Should a woman ever have the courage to proactively raise a concern regarding gender equity, the issue is likely denied or minimized as an overreaction. And there’s a good chance that this person is perceived as whiny, needy, or possibly the cause of the problem in the first place.
- Working with men in significant leadership roles, who react to gender equity concerns as an inconvenience, are seldom part of any solution or hold others accountable for corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Personally having conversations with or hearing men express the opinion that they do not believe women are treated unfairly, that the playing field is level, meritocracy should be the sole determinant of promotions, and men are now the ones at a disadvantage and being discriminated against in the workplace.
- Personally having conversations with or hearing men express the opinion that women with children are being selfish to pursue a professional career or that they should be in a less demanding or part-time job in order to spend more time at home with their children.
- As a result of pursuing a career and being a mother, women are frequently seen by men as needing male supervisors to decide for the woman as to whether or not a certain work assignment, promotion, or relocation opportunity is in her best interest.
- Being present in meetings when men speak or joke about their wives’ spending habits and credit card charges. This includes listening to constant sports and military jargon as part of the business vernacular, inappropriate jokes and language, and stories of male sexual “conquests.”
- Men being rewarded for compliance and silence when obvious inappropriate male behavior occurs.
- Despite having formal diversity and inclusion initiatives, men generally remain inactive and not supportive of company-sponsored activities and efforts.
- The absence of identifiable skill sets and robust workforce planning initiatives directly connected with leadership development and succession planning processes at a time when glaring gaps in female representation throughout the ranks of upper management exist.
- Men being rewarded for compliance and silence when obvious gaps remain for women in the areas of compensation, hiring, developmental assignments, and job selection processes.
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