Today, women are underrepresented at many levels of business leadership. To achieve gender equity, we need everyone, including male allies, to understand why it matters and how to be a true ally.
To create stronger ties with male allies, we must understand what male allies are. They recognize the challenges and biases that women continue to face and takes calculated steps to build an environment where everyone has opportunities to succeed and advance. Not every man needs a history lesson, but as time evolves, women in the workplace stigmas seem to stay stagnant.
Allyship is an ongoing journey. Here are some ways male allies can make simple progress in the workplace to show their support:
1. Power Dynamics
The presence of power dynamics in the workplace means that certain voices may be heard more than others. So even when leaders directly ask for feedback or different perspectives, many individuals may not feel comfortable providing honest responses. Our own sense of and access to power changes depending on context. Male allies should be hyper-aware of the power dynamics that exists between colleagues and take it upon themselves to intervene if they sense those power dynamics being exploited, making other women in the workplace uncomfortable.
2. Salary Transparency
Salary transparency with women in the workplace (knowing women are still undervalued) will create an open dialogue amongst similar roles to determine if in fact there is gender inequality occurring. Male allies should want to help women fight for their right to equal pay by giving them information that isn’t usually normalized to be public knowledge. When salaries are transparent, women can be more motivated to ask for what they deserve. Knowledge is power.
3. Intentional Hiring
Be intentional when hiring for leadership roles within a company and fully aware of the historical imbalances that exists between genders in executive positions. Rather than creating equal opportunities, taking it one step further and only interviewing women for a role that seeks to restore some of that balance is a great way to be a male ally. Acknowledging these disparities within leadership plays a huge factor when focusing on inclusion in the workplace.
At the end of the day, male allyship means supporting those around them. If they sense power is being abused, do they say something? Are they open about sharing their earnings to their woman colleagues curious if they are of equal to the company? Are they seeking out women to represent leadership in the C-suite positions? These are questions to address as a man and to be asked by a woman.
It's important to make definitive initiatives as a company, but also as an individual. If your core values don’t align with your current employer, this could determine your future and goals. Nowadays, more companies are prioritizing these values for women in the workplace. Male allies play a crucial factor in changing the way women are valued at work.
Are you someone looking to build their male allyship? Or maybe looking to learn how to teach others how to become a better ally? For additional career resources and relevant topics, check out Luminary for available programs and events that uplift, up-skill, and propel others forward through all phases of their professional journey!
A first-of-its-kind, Luminary is a membership-based global professional growth platform and collaboration hub created for women, women-identified, and male allies to address the systemic challenges impacting women across all industries and sectors. The ultimate career advocate, Luminary provides “real world” advice, tools, and resources to advance, build, connect, and develop through programming and networking opportunities.
With no application process, Luminary is dedicated to their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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