Everyone's winner: Gender inclusion not at the expense of men

News articles
Topics Inclusion Gender
International Women's Day

This International Women’s Day, DCA is calling on all organisations to step up their inclusion programs by encouraging men to help make gender equality a reality.

DCA’s CEO Lisa Annese said research shows that inclusion benefits men and women alike.

“It’s time we dispensed with the idea that gender inclusion initiatives only exist to benefit women at the expense of men.

“Our Inclusion@Work Index clearly found that everyone benefits from inclusion. This means men have nothing to lose and everything to gain from creating workplaces that are more inclusive and equitable for women,” Ms Annese said.

“Our research revealed that Australian men are less supportive of their organisation taking action to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, yet they benefitted just as much as women from their organisation doing so. We found that inclusion initiatives actually boost male employees’ job satisfaction, success and security as much as, and sometimes even more than, female employees!

“Clearly, more needs to be done to engage Australian men in the diversity and inclusion change process.

“While it might be a somewhat controversial view, if we want to see a gender equal world we need to recognise that we can’t just keep focusing on women alone – we also need to engage men and enable them to see that gender equality is not a zero-sum game.

“As designers of the workplace system, men are part of the problem of gender inequity, and so it follows that they are also a crucial part of the solution,” Ms Annese added.

Suncorp’s Chief People Experience Officer Amanda Revis said it was important to have initiatives focused on building an inclusive culture to support everyone, both women and men alike.

“We focus on building an inclusive environment to support our diverse workforce and leverage the diversity of thought, backgrounds, and experiences that brings. This creates innovation, a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs and improved business performance,” Ms Revis said.

“The Inclusion@Work Index findings support what we have known for some time, that gender equality benefits men and women. We’ve introduced gender-inclusive policies and procedures to ensure all genders are included (e.g. flexible work, parental/carer leave, pay, promotion and development).”

DCA urges organisations to use the DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index findings to encourage men to support gender equality initiatives.

This International Women’s Day, reach out to the men you know and share the good news that gender inclusion and equality is a win-win, for women and for men.

Key Inclusion@Work Index research findings

Graphic representation showing that Inclusion@Work research found that both men and women were more satisfied, engaged, felt respected and able to contribute in organisations that actively sought gender inclusion, compared to organisations that were inactive in this area.

Men are less supportive of inclusion than women

  • Men, especially Anglo, older and without caring responsibilities, show less support for inclusion. While the majority of surveyed men (69%) supported diversity and inclusion, their level of support was lower than that of women’s (82%) and other demographic groups. This relatively lower level of support was more evident among men from Anglo-cultural backgrounds (65%), men who were older (66%) and men who had no caring responsibilities (68%).

But inclusion is actually good for men and women

  • Greater inclusion for men and women. In organisations which were trying to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, a similar percentage of men and women strongly agreed that they felt respected at work (32% of men, 29% of women), accepted by their co-workers (40% of men, 34% of women), able to contribute to discussions (28% of men, 25% of women), and recognised for their contribution (24% of men, 21% of women)
  • Greater wellbeing for men and women. In organisations taking D&I actions, similar proportions of men and women were very satisfied with their jobs (45% men, 43% women) – and significantly more so than men and women in organisations where no action was being taken (12% men, 18% women).

Our Engaging Men report also found men benefit from gender equality.

  • Men gain when the women and girls around them have lives which are safe and fair; their wellbeing improves when the constraints of narrow notions of masculinity are relaxed; men benefit from active involvement as fathers in their children’s lives; with progress towards gender equality in workplaces, men will enjoy workplaces with greater productivity, creativity, and diversity because of the wider pools of talent and fairer processes on which they are based.

A Synopsis and Infographic with other findings of the DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index can be found in the Research area of this website.  DCA members can also access the full report and video recording of the launch presentation of this work.

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