Given that men are still dominant in positions of power in the workplace, women need men who support gender equality to step up and support women at work. Today we bring you five ways men can do that.
- Basing workplace promotion and opportunity on merit, not gender– just because a man can do it does not mean that a woman cannot. Promoting a meritocratic workplace is much more productive and healthier than promoting one based on gender-based assumptions.
- Listening to women’s opinions with respect– women’s opinions are valid – learn to listen to them with seriousness. Don’t hit your internal mute button or prioritise the words of a male colleague over those of a woman. Most of all, don’t talk over women in the workplace.
- Calling out sexism and gender-bias in other men – Don’t engage in sexist office banter. No matter how many men might be ‘laughing’ or participating in office banter with gender undertones, it only serves to perpetuate the feelings of invalidation and hostility women feel in the workplace. Step forward and call it out in front of other men! Take a stand.
- Ensuring working parents of all genders are given flexible working arrangements– whether it’s paternal or maternal arrangements both should be respected equally. All parents in the workplace should be given the hours that enable them to balance their work and home lives with dignity.
- Not punishing a woman, either consciously or unconsciously, when she exhibits powerful characteristics typically associated with being a ‘man’ – Don’t ‘gender’ the act of being competent in the workplace. Many powerful attributes, are associated with masculinity, and working to disassociate these with men, makes for a more productive business environment in which women don’t feel scared or hesitant to express their full business potential through a range of behaviours and emotions.