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Lately, we’ve noticed that a lot of men are here, participating from the sidelines and observing while not (or at least not overtly) chiming in. This not only makes sense, but it’s also to be expected. For the men here among us are of a new time and even a new breed. You’re the ones who are inclined to support inclusivity, and as such, you’re not the ones who are most inclined to dominate the conversation.
But we need your voice. We need you speaking up and pitching in. We’re aware that men’s voices have long been predominant across all industries, but that in no way means it’s time for them to be silenced. Quite the contrary, it’s simply time for them to be used differently.
With that in mind, here are five ways men can support inclusivity…
1) Let Women & Minorities Know You Have Their Backs
It’s as simple as that. It requires a presence more than even a gesture. It’s the simple, unadorned, truthful declaration that you’re in the cause, out to lend support, and looking to be a driver of positive change. That alone, far from being inconsequential, will lend others major comfort and inspiration. In many cases, women and minorities don’t automatically assume that you’re looking out for their best interests, much less eager to assist them in preserving and enhancing their positions. Simply letting them know as much can bring about great change.
2) Ask Women and Minorities How You Can Help
That’s where it all begins—with a question: Is there any way I can help you? And beyond that: How can I help you? Let the feedback of others guide your path. Allow those whom you ask to shed light on areas and points of emphasis that you might have missed. Be open to being educated so that you can be of value and of service in return.
3) Inspire Other Men Who Haven’t Joined the Cause
Like we said, you’re of a new time and a new breed. Most men have not taken the steps that you have. As such, take a look around at your social and professional circles, and begin identifying potential candidates to walk in lockstep with you. Catch those candidates up on what you’ve been doing and introduce them to simple steps (participating in this platform included) for getting involved. By the opposite token, keep an eye out for those who would obstruct or invalidate notions of inclusion. Don’t take it upon yourself to convert or educate them but be strong in maintaining and asserting your own relationship to the cause. Lead by example; if they’re with you, they’ll join you. If they’re against you, they’ll have to confront your strength when making waves.
4) Pass the Torch to Younger Generations of Men
Beyond the ones who will join you and the ones who might clash with you are the ones whose identities aren’t yet as fully formed. I’m speaking now of the young ones, the ones with less accrued insight, maturity, and wisdom, the ones whose personalities and positions are not yet wholly defined. Whether you’re 25 or 65, you can always reach out to younger men and catch them up on the work we’re doing here. Then, once they’re caught up, they can be invited to come along. After all, no matter your age or theirs, it’s the young who will be carrying the torch after we’re gone. Be sure that the cause is in the best of hands.
5) Disagree, Debate, and Dissent
The best ideas often come from the fiery friction between opposing points of view. Inclusivity, while it ultimately curves toward peace, isn’t about making sure that you’re agreeable. On the contrary, if you’re too agreeable, your utility will be questionable—along with your motives. Your voice is a strong one; use it respectfully yet truthfully. Air your skepticism. Challenge the newcomers to the fold. Make it known that you exist in complexity and aren’t just a symbol of the tired status quo. Your fellow movers, and the movement itself, will thank you for it.
Pink Petro may be a “pink” organization, but it stands for overall inclusivity. Diversity and inclusion are the only way we’re going to solve some of the biggest challenges our world faces today, like climate change. EVERYONE has a place at this table. If you’re a member, engage with us on the app. If you’re not a member, join us. You can also carry the conversation over to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Or, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page.