The Review — 14/05/2018 at 11:00

9 Ways Men Can (and Should) Help Close the Gender Gap



This is for the men. Hello, and welcome to the conversation, the fight, and the solution!

Obviously, anyone is free to read this, but most women don’t need to be awakened to all the ways that gender has an impact on their careers.

Because they already know. And they’re already “making a million adjustments” in a working world that, for the most part, was “created by men, for men,” according to Joanne Lipman, author of That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together who was the first female deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and later the first female editor-in-chief at USA Today.

So this article—based on the book as well as a conversation with the author— isn’t about what women should do to help close the gender gap (though sure, some of the tips apply to everyone). It’s about what men—yes, you—can and should be doing to become allies.

1. Become Aware of the Gap

Before change comes awareness. It’s hard to notice all the ways gender impacts work if you’re not the one experiencing them.

So, how do you become aware? You’ve already started by reading this article. You can graduate to Lipman’s 2014 Wall Street Journal article “Women at Work: A Guide for Men,” which was the genesis of the book, or to her book itself (which has a handy cheat sheet of tips and takeaways in the back).

2. Join the Gender Conversation

In one chapter, Lipman describes a visit to Iceland to try to figure out how it made the top spot on the World Economic Forum’s ranking of gender equality (the United States was number 49). “It’s all about the men,” she concluded. “[T]hey are remarkably comfortable talking about gender, in a way that American men aren’t.”

But she has hope that’s changing. When she appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box in 2014, she remembers the male anchors of the show not really engaging in the discussion. When she went back on the show a few years later, she noticed that “this time the guys were really active parts of it,” she says. “That’s exactly the way you want life to be. It’s a sign of great progress.”

“The key is to move this conversation out of being a ‘girl’ conversation and into being an ‘us’ conversation,” Lipman says.

3. Look Across the Team on Pay

If you’re a manager with a voice in pay and raise decisions, “look across at who’s doing equivalent work and are they getting paid equivalently?” Lipman says.

That applies to initial salary decisions as well as raises. Women and people of color tend to start out with lower pay and then tend not to be able to catch up, one reason some cities and states have banned salary history questions in interviews.

If a woman is doing a great job and you give her a higher percentage raise than others, that’s great. But it might not be enough if she’s still lagging in overall pay behind colleagues at the same level doing similar work. So make sure your employees are not only moving up, but also being compensated fairly compared to each other.

4. Fight Against Interruptions

Women are interrupted more than men, even on the Supreme Court. Both men and women can help fight the phenomenon by cutting interrupters off and making sure women can complete their thoughts in meetings.

If you’re a boss, you can also create a policy. Lipman points to Glen Mazzara, who instituted a strict no-interruptions rule in the writing rooms of The Shield and The Walking Dead, as an example.

But you don’t have to be the boss to make a difference, Lipman says. “Anyone should be empowered to interrupt the interrupter.”

5. Amplify Women’s Voices and Brag for Them

Even when women are able to share their ideas, their colleagues often overlook or repeat them and get the credit.

If you want to help, do what the women of the Obama administration did. When you hear your colleague share a great idea, repeat it and give her credit. Lipman suggests something like: “Oh Chloe I love your idea of [and then repeat the idea].”

Stav Ziv – Read the full article on

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