1. Encourage paternity leave
As reported in the WSJ, tech company Olark had its CEO and COO take paternity leave at the same time, and the business didn’t suffer. By doing so, these leaders sent a strong signal that taking paternity leave is supported and encouraged by the company.
Why is this a big deal? Well, it turns out that in an 11 nation study, few men took more than just a few days of parental leave without an explicit endorsement to do so. By not taking it, what are the men saying or thinking about people who do take leaves for family needs?
Instead, let’s support and encourage parental leave of all kinds. And share these tips from that article about how to be make the most of it:
- Plan ahead to delegate work and set boundaries around parenting time.
- Take at least a month off if possible to maximize the benefits.
- Don’t plan to accomplish much beyond infant care and basic chores.
- Spend time as a solo caregiver, to build confidence and a stronger bond with your child.
- Use the time away to work out a satisfactory sharing of chores with your partner or spouse.
2. Report harassment on behalf of victims
Chloe Grace Hart, a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Stanford University, ran a national survey to understand how reporting harassment impacts a women’s career. In an article in Fast Company, she wrote about the results, which showed survey participants were reluctant to promote Sarah, a fictitious woman who had reported sexual harassment. (By contrast, other participants, who weren’t told Sarah had reported sexual harassment, did recommend a promotion for her.)
“Simply by following the rules–using her company’s designated procedure to report the sexual harassment–Sarah’s career advancement was jeopardized.”
Allies, here’s how we can help people like Sarah. When we witness harassment, ask the victim if we can report it on their behalf. So their career won’t suffer simply by filing a report themselves.
3. Push back on asking job candidates for personal info
In the U.K., resumes tend to include photos & personal info. If this sounds like a recipe for bias, you’re right.
In a recent study done in the U.K., applications from young white men were:
- 1.8 times more likely to be selected for interview than ones from 50-year-old white men
- 2.3 times more likely to be selected than those from 50-year-old white women
- 2.6 times more likely to be selected than those from 50-year-old black men
- 3 times more likely to be selected than those from 50-year-old black women
If your company requests a photo or personal information (regardless of where you’re located), push back. It’s an important step in creating a less biased and fair interview process.
4. Provide menstrual products in *all* restrooms
The city of Brookline, MA announced that they’re providing free menstrual products in both male and female bathrooms — as not all people who have a period identify as female.
Does your company do the same? If not, ask the powers-that-be why not. After all, if a small city (with tax-payer funded budgets) can do it, why can’t you?
5. Post transcripts for your podcasts
Got a podcast? If so, follow this best practice for people who can’t listen to audio: provide written transcripts for your shows. (Thank you to Ian Coldwater for this idea.)
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