5 Things You Can Do to Inspire Feminism in Your Male Workforce

by Mar 8, 2017

Feminism has become a popular term these days, especially within the last couple of years. Some women despise the word while others live by it. And where are men in all of this? Do they agree in equality? Do those that do have implicit bias harboring inside of them despite their outward beliefs? Inspire feminism in your male workforce!

At its core, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Let me repeat that: Feminism the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

Equal work deserves equal pay – it’s that simple.

Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy said he agreed with that statement and signed the Equal Pay Act. Unfortunately for women, it seems this doesn’t really matter as the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be alive to see it happen. I’d hate to think only my grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren will be the first to see equal pay.

How do we push equal pay into our lifetime? We have to get men on board. We need to convince them we deserve it.

Until men break those stereotypes they have of vulnerable women who aren’t as capable as men, there is no room for feminism. Men must open their eyes to a world where men can cry and women can be bosses without being called bossy. Misogyny is a trap for everyone. Letting it go will set us all free.


Inspire Feminism in Your Male Workforce

Below are 5 tips for breaking barriers to equal pay:


Raise awareness about feminism

Ignorance is the enemy. Many people, specifically men, have a false perception of feminism. Perhaps the ol’ image of the bra burners is still stuck in their head. Feminism is truly about making things equal, not about making women more like men.


Rotate responsibilities

Not all men are fond of physical work, and not at all women want to document meeting minutes. Alternate responsibilities for common tasks to ensure that tasks aren’t handed out based on gender.

When I worked for a start up tech firm, I was the only woman in the office. I was hired to interview and hire new employees (and create an HR Dept) as the company expected to grow with its recent $5M investment. Of course I was tasked with answering the phones, I  can only assume because I was the only woman, and I refused. I pointed out that it made more sense for the guy serving as executive assistant to do it, based on his job title. And I won that battle.


Encourage fathers to take time off for their family.

Women are often encouraged to take time off or work less hours after they have a baby, but shouldn’t men be too? After all, the law provides for both men and women to take paternity and maternity leave, respectively. Yet it’s taboo for a man to take his full paternity leave, and that’s just silly. It’s equally important for a man to bond with his child.


Be aware of your implicit bias

According to Sheryl Sandberg, the creator of the LeanIn movement, “Women are still underrepresented at every corporate level and hold less than 30% of roles in senior management. And women hit the glass ceiling early: They are far less likely than men to be promoted from entry level to manager, and they continue to lose ground incrementally the more senior they become.”

And there are so, so many articles just like this one highlighting the discrepancies between men and women. You have to be aware of your own bias, and even if you are a woman, know that you likely have them too. You might say to yourself that you believe women deserve equal pay, but the nature of implicit bias is that it is implicit – you don’t know it’s there. Admit to yourself that it could be, and start being a part of the solution.

Also encourage everyone to talk openly about gender stereotypes and bias. The more you talk about it the less it’s the elephant in the room.


Set goals

Take a look around your workplace. How many men versus women are in leadership positions? Do the women in those leadership positions make the same as their male counterparts?

If you have less women than men in leadership roles, it’s time to set some goals for yourself to even it out. If the women in leadership roles make less than men, it’s time to even the score. Unless the men have vastly more experience (we’re talking 10 years or more), they shouldn’t make more, period.



#BeBoldForChange #IWD17 


Let’s create a plan to build a positive workplace! | Invite Catherine to speak | Check out our webinar library

When it comes to DEI, language matters…and it’s constantly evolving. Are you using the right terminology in your organization? Download our DEI Terminology Cheat Sheet and see how you stack up.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

Can a Wage Increase Make Employees More Productive?

In California, the upcoming minimum wage boost for fast food workers to $20 starting April 1st has ignited discussions about its potential influence on worker productivity.  Currently, the median hourly wage for fast-food workers in the U.S. is $13.43, while in...

Why Every Leader Needs to Worry About Toxic Work Culture

Employees quit their jobs for different reasons, and a major one is because of a toxic workplace environment. In fact, researchers discovered that between April and September 2021, toxic culture was the main reason why employees decided to leave their jobs. A toxic...

Civility Partners at 15 Years!

2024 marks an incredible milestone for us—our 15th-anniversary celebration! Yes, you read that right—15 years of making a positive impact on over 270 organizations served, thousands of employees, and millions of people worldwide! Thanks to the vision of our founder...

Driving Organizational Success Through Behavior Change

How can you make your workplace more exciting and successful?  Organizational success is not solely dependent on strategies or cutting-edge technologies. Instead, the key driver of success lies within the organization itself—specifically, within the collective...

How Much is Your Culture Costing You?

Creating a positive workplace culture isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a key player in the success of any business. It goes beyond token gestures like wellness days and promotions; it's fundamentally about how you treat your people, the support you extend to your team,...

Are you bamboozled by your company’s culture?

Your first day at a new job is a lot like embarking on an adventure. You step through the doors, eager and optimistic, your mind filled with expectations set by the promises of the company’s values and mission. For some, these principles are more than just words on a...

The Brave Leader’s Edge: Vulnerability in Leadership

How many times have you cried in front of your team? How many times have you admitted to not having all the answers or feeling unsure about the direction ahead? In the traditional realm of leadership, these instances might have been considered taboo or signs of...

3 Organizations that are Combating Technology-Facilitated Abuse

The reach of technology is astonishingly broad. It's awesome how it brings us all closer, but when it's not handled well, it can cause some serious problems too. From monitoring phone conversations to tracking someone's every move through GPS, access to emails, texts,...

Five Essential Tips for Effective Workplace Communication

Effective communication is like the secret sauce that makes a workplace go from good to great. Whether you're a team player or steering the ship as a leader, honing your communication skills is a game-changer. According to Grammarly, poor communication in the...

Craft a Thriving Culture for 2024 and Beyond!

The turn of the year often marks a time for personal resolutions, but what about resolutions for the workplace? According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade -- dropping from 36% of engaged employees in 2020 to 34% in...