GENDER EQUITY: THE ROLE OF MEN AS ALLIES (TOP 5) is a series of short-form articles and short stories intended to invite men to the gender-allyship table in a constructive, inclusive, and honest manner. While much of the content is often directed specifically to men and the need for allyship, we all have a role in gender equity.
If you haven't yet read the first four articles in this series, you may want to start here.
For obvious reasons, I really couldn't start this series with this particular topic, but alas, gents, your time has finally come. It's time for you to be told the deepest truth of them all. Men, you matter now more than ever!
It's true. There has never been a time in our history where our role in the workplace matters more. We are uniquely equipped to solve one of the greatest problems of our time. We have skills, access, privilege, opportunity, and means to be the heroes we've always wanted to be. But unlike the movie or comic book heroes, this great moment requires us to amplify and empower the superpowers of others. It requires us to listen, learn, support, and reinforce the talented and capable women in our workplace. We can literally make the world a better place because of it. That's pretty damn heroic if you ask me!
Without reciting the data and details of the first four articles of this series (read them here), I'll summarize by reinforcing that women are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions, and it is the role of those in power (predominantly men) to change that. Not because it feels good, or meets a quota applied by social pressure–that would be ridiculous. It's our role because it's right, just, appropriate, equitable, fair, honest, and just plain decent. Oh, and organizations with more diversity in senior roles tend to greatly outperform their competition. So, I guess you could just do it for the fame and glory in your industry if that's all you have in the gas tank. I'm betting you've got a whole lot more in the tank though. I'm betting you're ready to fulfill the greatest role any leader can aspire to: Empower those around you to achieve more than they would be able to without you.
Guys, we have been preparing for this opportunity our entire lives. Most of us have been taught to believe that a moment will arrive where everything we've learned and accomplished would be met with an obstacle only we are equipped to overcome. This is that moment. This is our time–not to shine in the spotlight, but to lift others into it. It is time to be the leader, coach, mentor, and ally the world needs, right now!
I won't fool you into thinking it's going to be easy. It won't. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to meet resistance. Some of your work "buddies" aren't going to understand. Sometimes you're not going to understand. And that's perfectly acceptable. You're going to be great! Need a little more reassurance? Here's a wholely incomplete list of the advantages you possess to make the job a little easier:
You have access and authority because of your gender.
You can work comfortably without the fear of sexual harassment.
You have never felt unsafe because of your gender.
If you fail in your job or career, you can feel sure this won't be taken as a sign that people of your gender shouldn't be doing this type of work.
The decision to hire you will never be based on assumptions about whether or not you might choose to have a family sometime soon.
If you choose to have children, you're not questioned about how having a family would hurt your ability to do your job.
If you have children and a career, no-one will think you're selfish for not staying at home.
You can be assertive at work without being labeled "bitchy" or "bossy".
Your ability to make important decisions and your capability, in general, will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
You can look up to plenty of professional role models of your gender in your field.
When you ask to see "the person in charge", odds are you will face a person of your own gender.
You can be confident that day-to-day language always includes your gender. "All men are created equal," mailman, chairman, the man in the street, etc.
You make more money than your professional counterparts of the other gender.
You are in the perfect position to amplify and empower the talented and capable women around you through allyship. You are in the perfect position to achieve the highest aspiration of all great leaders. You are in the perfect position to do the one thing we want most–make a meaningful and lasting impact in the world. Not only are you in the perfect position to make it happen. You are the only one capable.
Not all superheroes wear capes.
Through my company, I've worked with countless men on their journey to achieving great career success. In every single instance, we've crossed the gender allyship path. And, in every single instance where I was met with hesitation or concern, I received an overwhelming expression of gratitude for the work we did together. I know it can be done. I know it must be done. Are you ready?
Now is the time to implement a meaningful program that brings men and women together to help your organization thrive as a result of reduced friction between genders and empowers men and women through allyship. In partnership with Dr. Victoria Mattingly, we developed the perfect customizable solution for your company.
About the Author
Devin Halliday is an award-winning sales leader, with a diverse background and passion for people. He hosts the Belonging Factor Podcast, where he elevates the dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and of course, belonging. He is the author of Belonging Factor: How Great Brands and Great Leaders Inspire Loyalty, Build Community, and Grow Profits.
Devin is the Founder and Chief Belonging Architect at Rudiment Solutions, a people empowerment company that works with individuals and organizations to thrive in all things people, process, and profits. Devin proudly served in the U.S. Navy.
He's explored the people, places, and cultures across this beautiful planet. He's been amazed. He's been humbled. He's been outraged. But mostly, he's been inspired to share his lessons with audiences worldwide.