Recruiting Men as Equity Allies

Forté Foundation builds on programs in place at ten universities.

THE FORTÉ FOUNDATION, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to launching women into significant careers, has announced its Men As Allies Initiative. The effort builds on and incorporates insights from male ally programs started on ten business school campuses as part of a growing movement to help male students participate in enhancing gender equity in business, business education, and society. Other initiatives that recruit men into equity activities include the United Nations’ HeForShe, Catalyst’s Men Advocating Real Change, and the White House’s Let Girls Learn.

Men As Allies includes a website and toolkit for male b-school students who are interested in creating their own campus initiatives to support gender equity. In addition to information about what kinds of events are successful and how to adopt gender-supportive behaviors, the website features podcasts of recent MBA graduates discussing why they wanted to get involved, what they learned, and how this knowledge has affected them in their careers; and links to research about the expectations both men and women carry into the work¬force. Men As Allies received financial support from the business schools at Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, and Georgetown University.

At least ten business schools already have programs in place designed to engage men as champions of gender equity: London Business School, Columbia Business School, Harvard University, the University of California at Los Angeles, New York University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Duke University.

“Understanding gender equity positions men ahead of the curve in school and in business,” says Elissa Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation. “This increased awareness gives them an edge in providing support to female colleagues and retaining them in the workplace. It also leads to greater organizational health, financial success, and life satisfaction for both men and women.”

Learn more about Men as Allies, HeForShe, Let Girls Learn, and Men Advocating Real Change.