Male Allyship: Pointing Men In The Right Direction
November 11, 2021
Many men desire to be allies to women in the workplace. However, a 2018 study showed that while those men may be well-intentioned, they often lack the awareness to assess when it is appropriate to act.

This Harvard Business Review article offers ways for them to be more effective advocates.

  • Self-educate to lay foundational knowledge. As inclusion consultant Jennifer Brown states, “emotional labor is part of allyship.” Building EQ by researching gender in the workplace reduces women’s burden of having to explain.
  • Improve one’s ability to recognize nonverbal cues that can lead to better situational awareness. Pay close attention to body language and facial expressions to identify when all is not well with a female colleague.
  • Be attuned to sexist words or phrases that objectify and stereotype women causing them to feel inferior or unsafe. Shift from passive listening to active listening when participating in side conversations, banter and formal dialogue.
  • To sharpen situational awareness, learn about intersections. Women of color are more likely to feel devalued, demeaned, disrespected, excluded and isolated because they are not the dominant group for their gender or race.
  • Pay attention to the “only” women in the office. A significant percentage of women have reported being the only woman in their workplaces and are 50% more likely to consider quitting.
  • Build better empathy and situational awareness by asking women about their experiences. Offering a humble and curious question to women with whom there is a trusted relationship can solidify the knowledge acquired through research.


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