Daddy when I grow should I apply for a job at your company?

I heard a story where a manager was asked if they would want their daughter to work at their company, the answer was no. Realizing this truth he decided to address the reasons why he would not want her to work there, the culture, the pay gap and the bias. How do we get more men to take action? And then what action can they take regardless of what level they are in their organisation? Well the first part is essential, which is getting men to want to help change and be part of creating gender equality. The unanimous belief across a speaker’s panel I heard from last week at a Catalyst event was “Make it personal”. If they have daughters discuss whether they would like to see their daughter work there, and would be fair to give her a 30% decrease for doing the same job as her male counterpart? There was some interesting statistics in the financial review last week headlining AECOM for their approach, the link is here and worth a read to hear what companies are doing or not doing to address the pay gap. http://www.afr.com/leadership/one-mans-pay-rise-gets-other-women-salary-bumps-at-aecom-20151123-gl5sde

The second part is what action can men take regardless of where they sit in the company. At the Catalyst event that supported their program MARC, Men Advocating Real Change. They discussed and provided a list of tips, some of which I will share below as this may be a conversation you will have with the men in your life and some practical tips is always useful:

  1. Accept that it is your responsibility to help sexism in the workplace even though it is not your fault sexism exists.
  2. Research shows that to be effective in changing the culture you must set an example to other men, tell other men about your commitment to creating a workplace that is gender inclusive.
  3. Listen to women colleagues when they attribute certain work experiences to sexism without being defensive.
  4. Be attentive to the subtle ways that some men may unconsciously cause women colleagues to feel diminished (interrupting in meetings, and giving more weight to ideas expressed by men)
  5. Do not laugh at or tell sexist jokes.
  6. Do not shame or humiliate men who do not fit in your notion of what a man should be.
  7. Do not use references such as “chick”, “bitch”, “girl” or other terms that demean or otherwise diminish women colleagues. Confront others that do.
  8. Use work-life flexibility benefits, if you have them (e.g paternity leave, family leave and telecommuting? To manage your work and personal responsibilities.
  9. Include more women in your professional network, and let male peers know about the benefits of having a gender diverse network.
  10. Examine why there aren’t more women in your workgroup if it is male dominated.

The above is just 10 of the 29 tips taken from the Catalyst tip sheet called “Actions Men Can Take to Create an Inclusive Workplace. If you want to find out more please go to the website www.onthemarc.org