If you set a goal to build a house, would you use only half the tools in your toolbox? Of course not. To reach your objective, you would certainly utilise all of your resources.
The same should be true in the workplace. Professionally, your team is your greatest asset. To achieve growth, we must leverage the full power of these teams. But, when voices from the female perspective are continuously excluded, we lose out on the ingenuity that diversity brings.
Gender equality is openly discussed now more than ever before, but the impact of these conversations isn’t adding up. In fact, the gender pay gap in Australia has actually widened.
We conducted research to investigate this contradiction. Our survey of 1,000 Australian men in white-collar positions confirmed that 80% of men “agree gender inequality affects us all, and that something needs to be done”. The conversation is on the table, and awareness is at an all-time high.
So why aren’t we seeing progress?
Our research found the missing link: nearly half of men stated they felt fatigued by gender equality initiatives.
Despite well intentions, men have checked out. But without male engagement, progress is stunted. We know this because 96% of organisations that deliberately include men in their gender equality initiatives see progress, compared to only 30% of those who don’t.
If we want to access the essential growth that diversity offers, we need to get men on board. Our Better TogetHER program is designed to do just that. The free, online program invites men to actively participate in achieving a gender equal workforce by helping participants to become allies.
So, what is an “Ally”?
An ally is any person who uses their power to actively promote and advocate for those who may hold less power by using their words, behaviors and practices to advance a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Absolutely anyone can be an ally, but allies show up in 2 different ways. You can either be a Passive ally or an Active ally.
Passive allies have good intentions, and are part of the 80% of men who believe the issue of gender inequality exists, but don’t take action to do something about it. They are the fatigued, the checked out.
An Active ally, on the other hand, is someone who believes that inequality exists and takes active actions daily to speak up and progress gender equality in society by challenging systems, policies and practices. To be an active ally is to make continuous efforts to integrate allyship into your everyday life with simple and practical behaviours that make a real difference. We’ve broken down these actionable steps for you in the Better TogetHER program.
Why should Allyship start with you?
Our research found that male employees are certainly aware that their individual comments on gender issues impact the workplace atmosphere. 65% of men reported that “when colleagues make gender stereotypes or comments that are inappropriate in terms of gender equality, these occurrences have a negative effect on the workplace”. By speaking up with prejudiced attitudes, key individuals are able to dictate the social climate.
The same is true in the reverse.
Active male allies positively influence the workplace environment by promoting a culture of awareness and support for gender equal standards. Allies don’t simply impact one person or interaction at a time– their actions induce a butterfly effect by setting new standards for inclusion and inviting others to follow as they lead by example.
What can you do to be a better Ally?
To take the first step in becoming a better ally, begin with curiosity. Educate yourself by accessing resources available to you that will help you gain knowledge of the ways gender inequality exists in the workforce. The crucial next step is to take what you have learned and put it into action, embodying the active allyship practices that will create valuable impact.
Committing to becoming a stronger ally in the workplace is a valuable element of continuous improvement, and by enrolling in Better TogetHER, you can take the first step towards building out your professional toolbox with a broadened perspective. Enrol now for exclusive early access and learn more about our research that informed the program’s development here.
If you’re dedicated to fostering gender-equal workplace cultures, regardless of where you are on your journey – even if you’re at the very beginning, we encourage you to connect with us.