The purpose of this research study was to identify and examine, from both men’s and women’s perspectives, the specific behaviors and strategies male allies use to successfully support the advancement of women in workplace settings. From a survey of 243 men and women, the team gathered qualitative survey data that were analyzed to identify the strategies and behaviors used by male allies. Top responses included developmental relationships, human resource (HR) processes, leadership development, recognition (both public and private), treating women as equals, and challenging sexist behavior. Some differences existed between perceptions of men and women in terms of the most critical ally behaviors. These research findings have scholarly and practical implications in future efforts to work toward greater gender parity.
Although classic congruity models of gender discrimination (e.g., role congruity theory,
lack of fit) predict negative outcomes for both women and men in gender-incongruent
domains, the literature has focused almost exclusively on discrimination against women.
A number of recent studies have begun to address the question of whether and under
what circumstances men can also be the targets of gender discrimination. However, the
results of these studies have so far been mixed. Therefore, the question of whether men,
like women, also suffer discrimination when in gender incongruent roles and domains
remains unclear. The goal of the present paper is to integrate and critically examine
the burgeoning literature on gender discrimination against men in order to assess
whether the symmetrical predictions of congruity models are supported. Through this
close analysis and integration of the literature, I aim to identify remaining gaps in the
research on gender discrimination. In particular, I propose that researchers of gender
discrimination would benefit from expanding their scope beyond that of paid work.
Engaging Men in Gender Initiatives is a series about men. When it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts—
especially initiatives to eliminate gender bias—Catalyst believes that men have a critical role to play. Yet too
often men are an untapped resource in such gender initiatives. To address this gap, this series offers advice
to change agents on effective ways to partner with men in ending gender inequalities.