By Wez Hawes, executive creative director, Innocean Australia
This might disappoint you, but this article has nothing to do with the headline. Soz. If I’d outlined what I really wanted to discuss, the vast majority of men would simply scroll on by.
You see, when the words ‘gender equality’ are mentioned, statistics show that men switch off and mentally disengage. Be honest, did you attend that recent equality talk? Log on to the seminar? Reply to that International Women’s Day email? More likely, you grabbed a cupcake and slopped off back to your desk.
They all saw you by the way.
Here’s the thing: women have been raging for years about how everything is fcked. With good reason. However, every gender equality campaign, article, and initiative is women speaking to other women in an estrogen inducing, cupcake scoffing echo chamber.
When the harsh reality is, gender equality is a male issue.
Let’s face it, we are the problem. Yes, even the ‘not all men’ brigade. We’re the ones who have to change, be better, lean in, listen, and not talk over our female colleagues. We’re the ones who can effect greater change by raising our sisters up, giving them a platform, a voice, a shot, space to express themselves, the opportunity to lead.
The next era of gender equality is upon us and it’s time for the women to put their feet up and send the men to work. We created this shit show after all.
Gentlemen, guys, dudes, fellas, bros, I’m sure there are many reasons why you haven’t got involved before. The word count of this article isn’t high enough to dive into them; that’s what therapy is for. All I’d say is that you don’t need to be a Mumbrella certified ‘Male Champion of Change’ to make a difference.
Here is the first really simple action you can do – and it only takes a few minutes. The impact of which will significantly improve the industry we all work in and love (most of the time).
ShEqual is a gender equality organisation currently assessing attitudes towards gender equality and issues deeply rooted within our industry. By getting more men to partake in this survey, you’ll be helping them understand how you feel about the issue within your work, workplace, and industry. Your own experiences and points of view will all also help shape how they move forward.
I’ll mansplain exactly what we want you to do.
1. Click here to take the survey. It’s anonymous.
2. Share it far and wide.
3. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join in and actively engage further. My brethren – and female members – will be delighted to finally have more men in the room.
Finally, if you’re an industry leader contemplating writing an article similar to the one the headline promises, maybe don’t. Instead, ask yourself if those column inches would be better utilised by a female colleague to give her a platform to write something far more interesting and worthwhile.