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Trianon Scientific Communication

Championing Gender Equality Together: Engaging Men as Allies.

Championing Gender Equality Together: Engaging Men as Allies.

Allyship: engaging men in gender equality

This speeach has opened the event that revealed the results of the survey "Allyship: engaging men in gender equality" on November 7th, 2023 by the Brussels Binder.

Tonight, we embark on a journey that highlights the profound impact of volunteering.

The former US-President Bill Clinton once said:

"Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale, and it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds."

These words are the guiding light of the Brussels Binder.

As a volunteer myself, and now, as the President of BB for the past 18 months, I've always envisioned that fostering men allyship becomes one of the cornerstones of our strategy.

With the unwavering dedication of incredible individuals like Rodica Avornic, Indre Krivaite, Aimée Duprat-Macabies, and their devoted team of volunteers, we've set in motion a plan, a vision for change.

From left to right: Indre Krivaite, Rodica Avornic, Aimée Duprat-Macabies

Our journey unfolds in three essential parts:

Part 1: Find a partner that is already working with like-minded organisations, and who is talking with men to understand why they are not advocating for more gender equality and even more gender diversity more loudly.

And we found Robert Baker, CEO of Potentia Talent Consulting Limited, Vice-Chair of European Women on Boards, trustee of UN Women in UK, our moderator tonight.

Part 2: We convened workshops to craft compelling arguments, not only to encourage more men to participate in events like tonight but also to empower them with the knowledge that gender diversity is not fundamentally a women's issue, it is also a men’s issue. Our partnership paves the way for enlightenment.

Part 3: We listened to the voices of men. And a survey was launched, last summer for 6 weeks. The results of which we will unveil tonight.

The survey's analysis and the subsequent report were crafted independently by our remarkable volunteer’s team, under the expert guidance of Robert.

While we express our heartfelt gratitude to Google for their support in making this event a reality, it is vital to emphasize that the results we present are the product of dedicated independent volunteer efforts.

But before we delve further, let's clarify what it means to be an ally.

Remember that men and women can be allies, to men or women. But today, we will focus on men allyship.

5 big steps are necessary to become a true ally.

Step 1: To become an ally, we must acknowledge our privileges.

Privilege is not something we earn, but a status inherited at birth.

Privileges have nothing to do with what you do, but everything to do with who you are. It is not something you worked towards, it is something you get because of whom and where you are born. But what we do with that privilege is crucial.

Step 2: To become an ally, you must recognize inequities and take concrete actions to level the playing field.

To show up as ally require an active and consistent effort to use your privilege and power to support and advocate for people with less privilege.

Sometimes, taking action may sound tricky or uncomfortable but not taking action sends a signal that you are not aware of the injustice around you, or that you think it is OK, or even that you don’t care.

If you are not sure what to do, ask yourself: Is there an action I can take that is responsible even if it is not perfect?

Step 3: To be an ally, be consistent.

Allyship is not about getting one action perfectly right. It is about acting consistently in ways that add up over time.

It is about committing in acting in the long terms.

Step 4: To be an ally, focus on impact.

Allyship is about supporting and advocating for people with less privilege, it does not mean talking for the people with less privilege but taking an initiative to make things fairer.

That means that you need to focus on impact, and not on how your actions make you look or feel.

Step 5: To be an ally, listen.

The most difficult when you are an ally is not to push for solutions that sound right to you, but the most difficult is to listen to people with less privilege and following their lead.

It is also acting on how you want to be perceived, such as posting on social media that you are supporting people of colour and not acting when you see racism in your daily live.

It isn’t always easy or straightforward. You won’t get it right all the time. But it is so important that you continue to try because allyship really matters.

On the other hand, one of the most powerful allyship actions are the one no one sees.

Like privately recommending a colleague with a traditionally marginalized identity for a job or a promotion.

I see in this room men and women that I know for a fact are allies of other men and women. And I want to tell you that I see you. Thanks to you a ripples-effect has started. Because you step up, other people from your network have stepped up too.

By practising allyship, you motivate others to do so, and if we have more allies in the world, I am sure we can shift towards a world with more equity.

Today, our focus is on men's allyship towards gender diversity, and we are honoured to have a distinguished panel of speakers, including:

Marc Angel, Vice-President and ‘Champion of Equality’ in the European Parliament

Gail Rego, Social justice activist, intersectional storyteller, trainer, career coach and ex co-founder of Work Ally

Aurélie Mulowa, Founder of Belgian Entreprenoires

Thierry Geerts, Country Director Google Belgium and Luxembourg

Each of these panellists brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the event, making them invaluable contributors to the discussion on allyship and gender diversity. Together, their diverse backgrounds and insights will help shed light on the multifaceted nature of the challenges and opportunities in this critical endeavour.

The results of the survey were presented by Rodica Avornic, Indre Krivaite...

...And the discussion was a success!!!

You can download the survey results here:

MEn Allyship Survey_BB
Download PDF • 824KB

Picture of the panel discussion
From left to right: Robert Baker, Dr Audre-Flore Ngomsik, Marc Angel, Gail Rego, Thierry Geerts, Aurélie Mulowa


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