Men’s Guide To Workplace Equality

5 minutes

In the bustling office of a tech startup, a team leader found himself surrounded by a predominantly male team. Even when brainstorming ideas for their new project, he couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was exceptionally wrong. It wasn’t until he attended a diversity workshop that the realisation hit him hard. The number of female employees voicing their opinions was astonishingly lesser than male employees. He knew that it was time to address this concern and create an inclusive work environment. 

In today’s society, achieving an effective gender balance is a shared responsibility that needs the participation of both men and women. When men become the pioneers of gender balance, it creates a supportive workplace environment like no other. When unequal opportunities and biases are eradicated from a workplace, it is bound to succeed and become an unstoppable force. 

In this article, we explore how men can take the lead and drive equality in the workplace. We also understand how men pioneering equality can be incredibly beneficial to the workforce. 

Raising awareness and challenging stereotypes

The first step towards an inclusive workplace is raising awareness about the gender imbalance. Initiatives like workshops, seminars, and team meetings help in challenging deeply engraved stereotypes. These awareness programs can also help everyone understand the impact of gender imbalances. 

Educational workshops and flexible, risk-tolerating structures in organisations should focus on debunking myths that instil bias in the minds of thousands of employees. For instance, let’s take a look at Rutgers Business School, Newark. This educational institution provides various programs in its structure that empower women in the field of business. Also, showing real-life examples of successful women breaking barriers and powerful men being the flag-bearers of equality can pave the way for challenging limiting notions. 

In today’s time, social media and advertising play an important role in shaping societal attitudes as well. With the help of the media, encouraging the portrayal of gender diversity can help promote inclusivity. 

Creating inclusive work environments and making it a norm

Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of all individuals, irrespective of gender, can contribute to a more inclusive environment for women. The mistake of praising men as ‘champions’ or ‘forward’ is that it puts women in the inferior role of rewarding male colleague’s basic courtesy.

Instead, being supportive and creating an inclusive working condition for employees, especially women, can be made into a normal mode of conduct in the workplace. This helps change the perspective of people and creates an inclusive work environment that benefits everyone who works closely with each other.

According to Harvard Business Review, inclusivity initiatives by men are 2-3 times more effective than those involving only women. But generally, men tend to take up responsibility only after their leaders show them the path. Thus the leadership community should take centre stage to establish ground rules for equality. This, in turn, would lay the foundation for an inclusive working environment.

Making balance a management skill and promoting allyship

Turning balance into a tangible and measurable skill in the office space can create wonders. Training managers to preach the effects of gender balance and promote allyship among team members can be a turning point for the organisation. When leaders show the way and emphasise the advantages of such implementations, team members always find it easier to follow in their footsteps.

The men in the workplace can take the initiative to become an ally for their female counterparts and become a safe space for them to turn to. A study conducted by McKinsey and Company proved that organisations, where male leaders promote equality, were likely to be performing 35% more than their less diverse counterparts. This camaraderie among the team members and fellow employees can change the outlook of the workplace and encourage more people to implement these strategies. 

According to experts, making gender balance a management skill and implementing ways to do the same will yield results that can be astonishing. The alliance formed among colleagues can help turn any difficult situation into a positive scenario where everyone turns in to help. 

Engaging men to drive gender equality involves several steps from creating awareness to debunking stereotypes. A report by the World Economic Forum highlighted that only 7% of the world’s CEOs were women. Thus, there is ample room for change in the leadership representation regarding gender equity efforts. These organisational changes can go a long way in improving the working environment and helping colleagues support each other in times of need. Encouraging men to lead gender equity not only helps their female counterparts but also helps them by being the change toward a greater cause. With powerful men by their side, women are bound to overcome the trope of ‘it’s a man’s world!’.

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