Forte Connect
Men as Allies

Starting Your Male Ally Journey

We heard from our partner companies that the Men as Allies Corporate Toolkit was a great resource, but that there was a desire for more – an off-the-shelf program, akin to a “Men as Allies-in-a-Box.” Working with our partner, PNC, we created and launched a program to meet those goals.

The nine-module Men as Allies (MAA) curriculum encourages men to reflect on gender in the workplace, develop gender acumen, and model allyship behaviors. The program includes facilitator guides, presentation decks, worksheets, access to survey support, and even consulting hours.

Want to give it a try?

Get started as a male ally

Here’s an exercise of four things that male allies can do right now to start exploring the impact of gender in the workplace:

1. Identify and approach 3-5 women in your life – at least one from your workplace and at least one relative.

Explain your interest in gender equity – close the gap for women’s advancement, align with company values, etc.

2. Ask them the following questions:

  • How has your gender impacted your work?
  • Is there anything you wish men better understood about the experience of being female?
  • What are your hopes and/or expectations for my involvement in operating as an ally for women in the workplace?

3. Reflect on your findings by identifying patterns on:

  • Positive impacts of gender on work
  • Negative impacts of gender on work
  • What women wished men knew

4. Brainstorm everyday actions.

What can you do to become more inclusive of women and impact gender equity? Commit to doing at least one thing every week.

What did you discover?

We know this exercise drives change.  A few male ally responses we’ve heard to this activity include:

“I have stopped interrupting. I don’t know how much I did it before —I’m trying to stop doing it with both women and men, but particularly with women…it’s one relatively small move with a huge impact. We can try to make every conversation a safe space.” 

“I’ve stopped using the term “guys” on calls. I also now make a conscious effort to make sure that others who see the work of my female peer know that the good work was done by her so she gets credit for her efforts and is recognized as an important contributor.”

What’s next

Creating a male ally group at work can be challenging. Forté’s MAA Corporate Program provides organizations with the tools necessary to launch a successful Male Ally Initiative including curriculum, consulting, and community. Our best practices community allows access to other organizations who are implementing similar programs. Get more information on the Men as Allies Corporate Program.

Happy Allyship!

Amy Orlov is the Vice President of Programs at Forté, a role in which she exercises her passion for inspiring people by introducing them to new ideas and deep networks. Amy is constantly finding new ways to leverage and extend Forté’s current, extensive programming to provide additional impact on women in every stage of their career. Amy holds a Master of Education from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Government and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.

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