Uncommon Ground

Don’t be that dude

Several years ago, Dr. Acclimatrix (@Acclimatrix) published a list of “Handy tips for the male academic.” I just happened to run across it again this morning, and I thought I should pass it along. The advice she offers is as timely now as it was then. As she says:

Gender equality has to be a collaborative venture. If men make up the majority of many departments, editorial boards, search committees, labs and conferences, then men have to be allies in the broader cause of equality, simply because they have more boots on the ground. And, as much as I wish it weren’t so, guys often tend to listen more readily to their fellow guys when it comes to issues like sexism. I’ve also found that there are a lot of guys out there that are supportive, but don’t realize that many of their everyday actions (big and small) perpetuate inequality. So, guys, this post is for you.

The list includes 20 distinct pieces of advice. I’ve tried to follow all of them, but these are the ones I’m working on hardest right now:

3. Don’t talk over your female colleagues.

5. Make sure your department seminars, conference symposia, search committees, and panel discussions have a good gender balance.

6. Pay attention to who organizes the celebrations, gift-giving, or holiday gatherings.

7. Volunteer when someone asks for a note-taker, coffee-run gopher, or lunch order taker at your next meeting.1

15. Don’t leave it to women to do the work of increasing diversity.

19. Know when to listen.



1 I’m findint this one particularly difficult. I am really lousy at taking notes at meetings, or at least I think I am. Maybe that’s just the excuse I give myself.

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