Do you see gender inequality?

Do you see gender inequality?

A lot of men don’t seem to ‘get’ gender inequality

…yet.

We struggle to see what so many non-men can see so regularly and so plainly.

Firstly, because there is male privilege, we probably don’t see the inequality as easily as those without the privilege.

But here’s the thing – even when it’s pointed out to us, a lot of men refuse to engage or do anything about it.

There are psychological forces at play.

Abraham Maslow in ‘Toward a Psychology of Being’ describes this perfectly:

“Every human being has both sets of forces within (them). 

One set clings to safety and defensiveness out of fear, tending to regress backward, hanging on to the past, afraid to grow… afraid to take chances, and afraid to jeopardise what (they) already (have)…

The other set of forces impels (them) forward toward wholeness of Self and uniqueness of Self, toward full functioning of all (their) capacities, toward confidence in the face of the external world at the same time that (they) can accept (their) deepest, real, unconscious Self.”

Acknowledging the inequality that exists between the genders, and accepting that all men continue to benefit from male privilege, inevitably forces men to confront their fears –

Perhaps I don’t deserve to be where I am.

Perhaps I’m not as good at this as I think I am.

Maybe I will lose what I have.

These are very difficult barriers to overcome, and so a lot of men will protect themselves against this perceived ‘threat’ with a fight, flight or freeze response.

And that ‘threat’ response can be triggered by even the most benign stimulus – like an Australian of the Year who doesn’t smile for a photo.

 

Blokecoaching is a program we have designed for senior male executives to understand male privilege, patriarchy and prejudices, and continue progress towards achieving gender equality within organisations.

Working as a cohort as well as 1on1 with a certified organisational coach, helps men to address the realities of the patriarchal system, tackle the unconscious forces within us that compel us to protect our male privilege, and provide encouragement to come to terms with who we really are and find courage to move forward.

It’s a confronting program. Losing privilege is hard.

It’s an emotional journey. And we will support men through all phases of that emotional journey from denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.

If your organisation’s gender inclusion strategy seems to be plateauing or if your organisation is struggling to make progress towards gender equality, perhaps it’s time to invest in developing the men.

How much did my gender or my other characteristics, give me an edge?

How much did my gender or my other characteristics, give me an edge?

“People who think that have claimed the greasy pole on their own misunderstand how much luck had a part to play and how society, directly or indirectly, also helped them rise.”

~ Minouche Shafik.

You can read Minouche’s full article here.

 

For me, a couple of years ago I had a realisation – I’m not sure that I would be where I am today if I were not male, not white, not heterosexual, not western, not speaking English as a first language, not able-bodied… the list goes on, with almost all of my demographics being favoured by society.

It has been easier for me to conform to the system. Easier for me to get ahead and succeed.

But growing up, and until recently I lied to myself that my successes were wholly earned by me.

Yes, I worked for my successes. But did I work as well – or better – than the woman to my right or the indigenous colleague to my left, in order to obtain my success?

How much did my gender or my other characteristics, give me an edge (consciously or unconsciously) in an interview or a pitch to a client?

🏃 It’s like running a race, where my competition has hurdles in their lanes but my lane is clear.

Of course, I’m going to run faster than most of my competition. A couple of people – despite their hurdles – are still able to run faster than me.

My privilege – my arrogance – tells me that we were all running the same event.

But ask anyone else in the race, and they will tell you about the hurdles in their lane.

Not only do I not see their hurdles but upon hearing them complain about the hurdles, my immediate bias was to challenge their assertion that the hurdles existed in the first place or they are barely noticeable.

In my unconscious mind, they are just disappointed that they didn’t win, and perhaps looking for special treatment.

And those that do win – despite the hurdles – are then providing evidence in my mind that those hurdles don’t matter.

Sadly, that was me until recently.

With this insight, I want to help more men to become aware of and understand their privilege and use this awareness to address the hurdles that have been placed in other people’s lanes. Hurdles that we may pretend – selfishly – don’t exist, in order to preserve our own mantra that we earned our success.

#Blokecoaching is a program we have designed for senior male executives to understand male privilege, patriarchy and prejudices, and continue progress towards achieving gender equality.

Chat to me about whether this program would be a good fit for your organisation.

Understanding and Interactions

Understanding and Interactions

“We, men, sometimes don’t understand something because we don’t live it”

~ Jorge Rosillo, CEO and General Manager, Galapagos Ecological Airport as part of the UN Global Compact to Target Gender Equality in support of the #HeForShe movement.

 

Men, we need to try to understand – while appreciating that we will never completely understand. Nor can we assume that a bit of understanding gives us permission to stop listening.

But through our efforts to understand each other better, we will be kinder to each other.

Understanding someone never leads to hate or more hurtful behaviour towards that person.

Understanding almost always leads to treating that person with more respect, love, and kindness, and offering support.

More men need to engage in gender equality.

Engagement is not merely attending and clapping at a Women’s event.

Engagement is not deluding ourselves that we are blind to gender, and so treating everyone the same is equality.

Engagement is not merely liking a post on LinkedIn.

Engagement is not staying silent, being a passenger, and letting others do all of the work.

Engagement is not thinking that other men are the problem.

Engagement is:

✔️ actively listening to improve our understanding.

✔️ proactively discussing our cognitive struggles, our prejudices and our learnings, and what to do with this awareness.

✔️ consciously reviewing and revising processes, policies, behaviours and ‘norms’.

✔️ seeking feedback and advice about what we can do better in this area, and taking action.

✔️ leading and driving the progress, rather than waiting for the change to happen.

If more meant would just start doing what most women have been doing for decades to improve gender equality, then maybe – just maybe – together we may be able to fix it.

And wouldn’t that be incredible?

If your organisation wants to take some big steps to engage more men in your gender equality discussion, reach out to me to chat about whether Bloke Coaching may be a good fit.

Bloke Coaching is a program for male executives to understand male privilege, patriarchy, and prejudices and work proactively with the other genders to fix the systemic barriers that perpetuate gender inequality.