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 article in this series, you may want to start here.

As I outlined in the first article in this series, I was once part of the problem. I was in denial of my own beliefs. I was a worse leader and human for it. But that didn't make me a bad person. It made me a person ignorant of the realities of the world outside my privilege–a privilege that for generations provided systemic advantages to people like me. More specifically, it disproportionately provided (and still provides) systemic advantages to men, and even more so to white men.

This list, while far from comprehensive, should dispel any doubters at this juncture.

  1. Male and female hiring managers are 50% more likely to hire a man over a woman.

  2. Men are more likely to apply for jobs where they only meet 60% of the qualifications, while women typically only apply for roles where they meet 100% of the qualifications.

  3. Men are less likely to mentor women colleagues. Only 60% said they feel comfortable in one analysis.

  4. Women are not consistently asked to be mentors, yet 71% say they would if encouraged or asked to.

  5. The gender pay gap is REAL! In the U.S. the pay disparity ranges from 3% to 51% less for women than their male colleagues performing the same job duty. The U.S. average hovers consistently around 17%.

  6. Parental leave is highly stigmatized, even with recent progress in the U.S. This paradox even comes with a fancy name: The Motherhood Penalty.

  7. Women with children make on average 11% less than women without children.

  8. Over 70% of all sexual harassment experienced by women is reported to have occurred in the workplace.

  9. After reporting sexual harassment to their employers, a mind-numbing 75% experience retaliation.

Men, this is where we come in. In our current system, we hold the cards, and we have a disproportionate amount of power. That power can be used to protect our highly-guarded power, or it can be used to empower others in a way that allows us all to thrive together. A rising tide lifts all boats, after all. Here are a few things we can do today to identify and replace systemic disadvantages.

  1. Look for disparities between men and women in overall gender-mix, seniority, promotions, and retention.

  2. In addition to employee engagement surveys, try including perception surveys as well.

  3. Examine your recruiting process. One good start is to replace gender-biased language in job descriptions. This tool is a great start.

  4. Where practical, use automation and AI in the process. Be cautious though, as AI can learn biases based on human input.

  5. Forget the marginally effective gender-bias training, and invest in a meaningful program that places men and women at the center of gender allyship.

  6. Standardize your mentorship and allyship programs across the business.

  7. Increase leadership training and development opportunities for women in your organization. Be sure to include male allies.

  8. Stop trying to be the savior and "fix" a problem you and I are not equipped to understand. Stop talking. Listen. Learn. Amplify. Support.

Again, less than comprehensive, but hopefully a strong start of where to begin. As with racial injustices, this is a complex, systemic issue–one that will take a diligent effort to unravel. It can be done. It must be done. And guys, it's on us. We have the power. We have a voice. We have the opportunity. We are an important part of the solution.

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.

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