July 16, 2018

How men can help bring gender equality to the tech sector

By ITU News

Gender equality in the predominately male technology industry will require the support of men as well as women. So how can organizations encourage more men to play an active role in advancing gender equality?

ITU and UN Women sought to address this question in a recent discussion in New York in support of EQUALS, a global partnership for gender equality in the digital age.

‘How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?’ – Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

Participants, including representatives from UN entities, businesses and civil society, shared updates on existing projects, highlighted lessons learned, and identified opportunities for further collaboration to engage men to promote gender equality in the workplace.

The efforts support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commitment to advancing gender equality, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5.

As Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, has said: “Gender equality is key to ensuring that no one is left behind, and is intrinsic to the success of each and every SDG.”

Here are 10 suggested actions from the discussion that organizations can take to advance gender equality in the tech sector.

  1. Conduct unconscious bias training.
  2. Commit to not having all-male panels.
  3. Create a safe space for discussing issues related to gender equality.
  4. Call out non-inclusive behavior, such as interrupting women in meetings.
  5. Recognize intersectionalities and that not all women have the same experience.
  6. Acknowledge that women can exhibit sexist behavior, too
  7. Create gender-neutral employee benefits and encourage men to take parental leave.
  8. Encourage senior leaders to set positive examples.
  9. Highlight the business case for more diverse teams.
  10. Dispel gender-related myths with facts.

Check out the full compilation of takeaways here.

The session also crowdsourced a list of tools, initiatives and articles on the topic. Suggested resources include the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Parity Report, “The International Men and Gender Equality Survey” from the UN Women and the work of the Male Champions for Change Global Technology Group, among others.

The conversation reflected UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s call to action when she launched the HeForShe campaign to promote gender equality at the United Nations Headquarters in 2014.

“How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” she asked. “Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too.”

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How men can help bring gender equality to the tech sector

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