Why Male Role Models are Crucial for Gender Equality

  • Posted by: BCI
  • Posted date: Mar 6, 2024
  • Category: Blog gender

As we approach International Women’s Day under the theme “Invest in women: Accelerate progress,” we should consider the importance of investing in role models not only for girls but also for boys in promoting and implementing gender equality.  While empowering girls with strong female role models is essential, it’s equally vital to ensure that boys have positive male role models who champion gender equality, fostering an inclusive and equitable society for all.

Speaking out against exclusion

I recently came across a LinkedIn post that reminded me why male allies and role models are essential to combatting gender inequality. The Association for Women in Cryptocurrency encourages men to challenge the prevalence of all-male panels, or “manels,” in conferences, events, and discussions.  Advocating for greater diversity and representation at events is not new, and several of my male colleagues often refuse to participate in manels and challenge organizers to create inclusive spaces. Social media is littered with calling out — naming and shaming — events excluding women altogether — my favourite is a Hungarian manel discussing women’s equal rights on International Women’s Day. However, initiatives like the #unmanelyourpanel serve as essential catalysts for change, reminding us of the power of collective action in creating a more equitable environment.

I don’t know much about the Cryptocurrency field, but I suspect it is heavily male-dominated. The #unmanelyourpanel movement is not just about calling out the problem; it’s about driving tangible change. By holding event organizers accountable and pushing for gender diversity in panel discussions, men can set a precedent for future events and conferences. Such initiatives create a ripple effect that extends beyond individual panels, inspiring systemic change in how we approach diversity and inclusion in all areas of society. It’s crucial to remember that achieving gender equality requires the involvement of everyone, regardless of gender. Investing in and seeking out male role models who champion equality can create a more inclusive world where all individuals can thrive and succeed, regardless of gender.

Investing in Male Role Models

Male role models can play a crucial role in shaping the next generation by positively influencing boys.  In the United Kingdom, the Labour Party recently announced that a Labour government would help schools train young male mentors and influencers to combat sexual harassment and counter toxic online misogyny. Labour’s shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, said, “we can’t just leave it to young women to call out unacceptable behaviours or report issues that are happening. It’s really powerful if men all step in and make clear that kind of sexist or misogynistic behaviour is not acceptable, and they don’t tolerate it either.”

The importance of male role models in promoting gender equality cannot be overstated. Boys look to men for guidance on what it means to be masculine and often emulate the behaviours they see modelled by male figures in their lives. By showcasing positive examples of masculinity that embrace empathy, respect, and equality, male role models can help shape boys into allies and advocates for gender equity. Investing in role models for both girls and boys is instrumental in accelerating progress towards gender equality. When strong female role models empower girls and boys are guided by male role models who champion gender equality, we can cultivate a generation of individuals committed to creating a more just and inclusive society.

Related Posts

Selected Clients & Partners