Men, here’s how you can support the women in your office, without protesting or painting big signs.

not that I don’t love this…

If “A Day Without a Woman” left you confused on what your role in gender equality is, here are some easy ways you can help the women in your workplace.

I’m going to take a wild card and guess that you know a ton of talented women in your life and I’m sure you have respect for the women in your workplace. With recent light on gender inequality, highlighted by the #WomensMarch and #ADayWithoutAWoman protests, you may have felt at a loss on how to show your support or what you could do, as a man, to make a difference.

We are taught true equality comes when we can ignore gender. But in society as it is today, it is irresponsible to ignore gender because it has such an impact on interactions and inequalities ,especially at work. Recognizing a woman’s gender as important to her experience is the first step to having an awareness of the obstacles she may face.

Even if you’re not the CEO or head of Human Resources in your company, there is a lot you can do, or stop doing, that will make a difference for not only the women you work with, but also your company culture. Gender equality helps everyone. Here are ways you can build inclusivity into your workplace without damaging your reputation or your personal opportunities. Let’s make it a win-win-win — for you, the women you work with or are raising, and your company.

  1. Women’s voices can get lost when they are speaking up in meetings — use your voice to draw attention to women’s contributions, so they aren’t lost.
  2. Women often take on the bulk of the unappreciated ‘housework’ of the office, it’s time to step up and volunteer. Share the workload, split it evenly.
  3. Work out a way to reward and appreciate the atmosphere tasks (ie: office snack planning, meeting note taking, care packages etc) so everyone has incentive to volunteer. Include these items in performance reviews and acknowledge their importance to your company culture which has a direct ffect on your bottom line.

4. Notice if you mansplain or interrupt the women you work with. (Just notice, and adjust — I’m not saying you do)

5. Institute a no-interruption rule while anyone — male or female — is pitching or presenting.

6. Give women the credit they deserve. Men aren’t afraid of taking credit for their work. Women have a habit of playing down their contributions. At work, the accomplishments of men are more likely to be celebrated than the accomplishments of women in the exact same positions.

7. When hiring, advertise without bias, and masculine terms. Try to blind audition — keep the focus on skills, attitude and aptitude and through away any gender bias, no matter what position.

8. Listen to the women in your office. Open up the conversation and let the women closest to you educate you on the issues they face in the workplace — or in society in general. And, most importantly, believe them.

Women don’t need to be saved, they need to be heard.

Women don’t want to silence or squash men, they just need to be given the space to grow, learn and expand.

Learn more about what you can do at #HeforShe

Check out the #HeForShe commitments and equality issues in your country. http://www.heforshe.org/en

Studies reveal that women bring new knowledge, skills and networks to the table, take fewer unnecessary risks, and are more inclined to contribute in ways that make their teams and organizations better.

Women, what do you wish the men would do in your workplace? Men, what do you wish you could say?

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