Women’s History Month is the perfect time for men to step up.
Women’s History Month should not be women arguing the case for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
This is a job for men.
Hear me out: Women can share with us the hurdles, barriers, challenges and obstacles they face in obtaining true equality, but the dismantling of this lies squarely on the shoulders of those who have designed, built, maintained and benefited most from the creation of a system that hires and promotes fewer women, pays women less, and places them in environments that are harmful to their well-being physically and mentally. That would be us, men.
We, men, have work to do.
Going into Women’s History Month, while we should and must celebrate the accomplishments of women, it is all hollow if men are not working on the present as well as the future to ensure that women are not still treated and seen as less. Only men can change that.
This is men’s work.
What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than creating a better future for women? It is time for leaders to look at the practices, policies and procedures that they formally and informally have in place at their organizations to determine if and how they obstruct women from making history.
Real change comes when men change.
It’s time for us, men, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Action is our currency for change, not words – we have got to take steps big and small to ensure all have an opportunity for growth and advancement.
For too long, the silence of “good men” has been perceived as permission/approval by other men that their bad behavior and unequal treatment of women was acceptable. We have to find our voices and use them.
Speaking up that women are being treated differently is an action.
Calling other men out for their behavior or bias is an action.
Pointing out biased policies, practices and procedures is an action.
Openly giving support and praise to women for the quality of their work is an action.
Challenging compensation inequity is an action.
This is men’s work.
However, this is not all we can and should do. There is plenty of work to be done. The rules of chivalry may no longer apply but men need to hold the doors open for women. By this, I mean we have to not only hire and pay women fairly, but we also have to provide the opportunities and tools needed to advance their careers. We have to hold the door open for them to grow professionally.
Men, let’s join in the celebration of Women’s History Month by putting in the work to make the present and future for women such that they can create their own history.
Come on men, we have work to do.
Until we meet again.
CEO, Focus & Find