New Research from NYU Stern Explains Why Men Are Less Likely to Act as Champions for Gender-Parity Initiatives
Men are often not active contributors to gender-parity initiatives because they believe they do not have a legitimate voice in such conversations
From the political arena to the workplace to the home, gender-parity issues are increasingly becoming a dominant part of everyday conversations.
From the political arena to the workplace to the home, gender-parity issues are increasingly becoming a dominant part of everyday conversations. In articulating its Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations argues that gender equality is “not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” Yet, these important discussions can often seem one-sided, relying on female leadership to be the most vocal champion of the cause. Gender-parity initiatives are most effective when organizations can mobilize a broad audience to action, but men are often less apt to volunteer.
In this first-of-its-kind research, Dr. Sherf and his collaborators designed a set of correlational and experimental studies, to demonstrate that psychological standing is a crucial predictor of poor participation in gender-parity initiatives even when taking into account other possible explanations, such as prejudicial attitudes or overt sexism.
The studies reveal that:
- Men are less likely to believe they have psychological standing on gender-parity issues in the workplace than their female coworkers.
- This lowered sense of psychological standing helps explains why men are less likely to participate in gender-parity initiatives.
- Men are more likely to participate when gender-parity initiatives explicitly highlight their material stake in the conversation and the future success of the company or organization.
The paper, “It’s Not My Place! Psychological Standing and Men’s Voice and Participation in Gender-Parity Initiatives,” is forthcoming in an upcoming issue of Organization Science.