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3 Powerful Ways Men Can Be Allies to Support Women's Success

vector image of men and women at work

Ready for some good news? 

Companies are starting to meet women where they are. Since founding EvolveMe, we’ve seen progress for women in the workplace over the last several years.  Leaders are recognizing how women are juggling caregiving and other responsibilities, which demand more flexibility. 

But women still face unique challenges at work that keep them from advancing – like microaggressions, “mansplaining,” and the famous glass ceiling.

We know from our work helping companies attract and retain top female talent that when men and women understand each other better, organizational decision making and company performance improve. 

A bright note is that we’re seeing increasing numbers of men showing up at EvolveMe workshops sponsored by women’s Employee Resource Groups – ready to learn alongside their female colleagues. 

Now’s the time to go one step further.

What's needed now is for companies to invest resources in allyship – in men stepping up to be wingmen, not bystanders, in the push for workplace equality and inclusivity.

It’s a win-win ripple effect. When women succeed, everyone benefits. Think more diverse ideas, greater creativity, and enhanced team dynamics. And, by being allies, men are role-modeling what’s possible for gender equality for the next generation.

But research shows that even the best intentions don’t necessarily translate to lived experience. But how can men translate good intentions into impactful actions? 

True allyship demands action, awareness, and commitment from men at all levels, leveraging their power and influence. 

At EvolveMe, we’re changing the narrative about women and work. Let's move forward - together!

Here are 3 powerful ways for male colleagues to step up as true allies:

 1. Amplify, don't appropriate:

A 2022 Harvard Business Review study revealed that while 90% of men reported crediting women for their contributions in meetings, only 40% of women actually experienced this. Let’s turn this around!

Action: Men can amplify women’s voices by being active listeners, asking clarifying questions, and championing women’s expertise in meetings and discussions. They can elevate their ideas by attributing them directly and allowing them to elaborate.

2. Challenge the status quo:

McKinsey & Company reports that women hold only 1 in 5 leadership positions globally. Gender bias plays a significant role in this disparity.

Action: Men can become active bystanders who speak up against microaggressions, unconscious bias, and discriminatory jokes. They can hold others accountable for creating a safe and inclusive space by reporting inappropriate conduct to HR or relevant authorities.

3. Advocate for change beyond words:

A Grant Thornton International report shows that while 77% of men believe they actively promote gender fairness, only 41% of women agree with this perception. This shows the gap between intention and impactful action.

Action: Male leaders can go beyond expressing support and actively advocate for policies and practices that promote gender equality, such as supporting initiatives for pay equity, parental leave expansion, mentorship programs for women, and unconscious bias training. 

Remember, far from a “one and done,” allyship is an ongoing journey. All professionals must be open to learning, acknowledging their biases, and seeking feedback from each other. When in doubt, be curious and ask questions! 

True allyship fosters an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.

Want to gain more tips about how to support women at work? Sign up for EvolveMe's Newsletter with inspiration and actionable tips to move you forward. We promise you’ll take away one gem you can use from each edition!


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