Gender at work: Is treating people equally enough?

No, not really. Genuine allyship requires putting some skin in the game, argue these academics.

by Brad Johnson & David Smith

Too many organisations continue to miss the mark on their gender equity efforts by focusing gender diversity and inclusion initiatives solely on women, implying that if women could just get better at navigating the traditionally masculine workplace, change their leadership demeanour, or work harder at networking, then all would be well. 

This approach ignores the fact that men still hold the vast majority of senior managerial and leadership positions in most industries and it conveys to men that gender equity is a “women’s issue” when, in fact, it is a core leadership issue. 

Most women understand that men are instrumental to achieving meaningful progress on gender equality. As one illustration, a study from Boston Consulting Group recently revealed that when men are deliberately engaged in gender inclusion, 96% of women see progress compared to only 30% of women where men are not engaged. It is clear that better male allyship is essential to real progress on gender equity and workplace change.

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