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The importance of a male ally: Here is how you can be one

Wednesday January 5, 2022, By Janani Sampath

Male allies are not just mentors or guides for women at the workplace. A male ally brings about a change at the workplace by setting benchmarks and owning the responsibilities to make the workplace more inclusive and equitable.

A male ally is a crucial link in bridging the gender gap at the workplace as they take women along the path of career growth and set the precedence. Befittingly, Avtar, in association with Seramount, recognizes male allies through the Male Ally Legacy Award every year. Men as Allies program by Avtar aims at roping in men in the conversation of creating a workplace devoid of bias and obstacles that can hamper the growth of other genders.

Here is how you can be a male ally and commit to a gender-fair workplace based on trust and respect.

Listen to other genders: This is possibly the most crucial step. You may have the intent but admitting that you are not aware of the challenges faced by other genders reiterates the commitment to make a change. Listening to their stories, experiences, and struggles without judgment or biases can put you in the position to empathize.

Understand privilege and power: Reflecting on your position of power and privilege can offer the much-needed inspiration to trigger conversations around homophobia or transphobia at the workplace. It is essential to know how this power or privilege has impacted your lived experiences. You can start by being the safe place for these conversations to begin.

Create safe and inclusive places: Call out bias and inappropriate language, using your position as a leader to bring about inclusivity. When you lead by example, you also have to highlight what is wrong—how biases can impact the growth of other genders and how inappropriate language can exclude a person knowingly or unknowingly. It is all about taking the entire team along the journey of inclusivity.

Be the change at home: What you do at the workplace can change the system. However, what you demonstrate at home can change society. Set an example for others to follow by bridging the gender divide by advocating the change you wish to see at the workplace. An effective male ally at home can also change the lives of the women folk by being an equal partner in unpaid chores. It ensures their well-being and good health.

A male ally takes steps to ensure that intentions translate into actions. You are not just being the change you wish to see but also are creating systems that support the growth of every marginalized group.

Author Profile

Janani Sampath
Janani Sampath
With close to 15 years of experience in journalism across beats in multiple mediums, Janani Sampath is senior content writer and assistant editor, Diversity Digest.
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