Advocates & Allies for Equity - How to Get Involved

Help create a more inclusive culture at Ohio State by getting involved in the Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative.

Men sitting in chairs in a circle at an Ally facilitation

To help create a more equitable environment and advance the professional interests of women faculty and staff and other underrepresented groups in your unit/department, we invite you to participate in the Ohio State Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative. This program is designed to bring men further into the gender equity equation by building a cross-campus network of male Allies who share an understanding of the effects of implicit bias and systematic privilege and to introduce specific practical actions to help men better support women at the university.

Advocates, senior male faculty and administrators who already have a substantial record of supporting women staff and faculty, will lead the program. To begin with, Advocates will lead facilitated conversations or facilitations with other men to expose them to ways of better identifying and behaving as Allies in gender equity. These groups will share evidence-based knowledge, skills and strategies to effect positive personal, departmental and institutional change.

By summer 2018, more than 200 men have become Allies by attending an Ally facilitation. The following departments/units have hosted Ally facilitations:

Aviation StudiesLima campus
Engineering EducationMicrobiology
Earth SciencesElectrical and Computer Engineering
Office of Distance Education and Elearning  Computer Science and Engineering
Ohio State Airport John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Newark campusFisher College of Business
Marion campus 

Get Involved

You can support this initiative by:

  • Helping to schedule an Ally facilitation in your unit/department. Both men and women can participate by requesting a facilitation.
  • Becoming an Ally by participating in a facilitation and committing to actions that advance equity and inclusion.
  • Becoming an Advocate.

Learn more about each of these options below.

How to Request a Facilitation

If you would like your department/unit to participate in helping to change the culture at Ohio State, submit an Ally facilitation request below. Both men and women can participate by requesting a facilitation. The Women's Place will email you within 7 days after you submit your request and guide you through the simple process of scheduling a facilitation for men in your department.

Request a facilitation

How to Become an Ally

Allies are men willing to identify themselves as allies of women faculty and staff. They become Allies by attending and participating in a facilitated conversation with other men, which is lead by the Advocates. These facilitations will expose the men to evidence-based knowledge, skills and strategies.

After participating in a facilitation, Allies commit to the following actions: to understand the issues, adopt specific approaches and behaviors, and ultimately extend the benefits of privilege and influence to women and underrepresented minorities in their departments/units and beyond.

If you would like to become an Ally, contact Sara Childers, The Women's Place assistant director.

How to Become an Advocate

Advocates at their orientation

Advocates are committed to increasing their understanding of gender bias and its impact on the academic careers of women. They must attend a two-day workshop to help them begin their work. Then they work with the program advocate coordinators, Tom Gregoire, dean of the College of Social Work and Vish Subramaniam, professor and chair in the College of Engineering, to develop facilitation materials for male faculty who are interested in becoming Allies. Once vetted, an Advocate is expected to offer facilitations regularly and follow up with informal meetings to discuss case studies.

Advocates also work with the Advocates & Allies Advisory Council (AAAC) composed of women staff and faculty. The AAAC’s role is to select and advise Advocates, provide feedback to them, and help them understand and remain in touch with the experience of women and underrepresented minorities in our academic climate.

The term of appointment is for 1 year with optional renewable terms. Advocate time and task commitments include the following:

  • Attend a 1.5 day orientation workshop
  • Participate in periodic (possibly bi-monthly) meetings with fellow advocates
  • Lead two separate Ally facilitations, which run about 2 hours each, per academic year
  • Read supplied materials relevant to campus climate, gender equity, bias, etc.
  • Create an action plan, which includes reading, reflection and personal actions, to contribute to equity for women at Ohio State
  • Consult periodically with members of the Advocate and Allies Advisory Council
  • Advocate for equitable treatment of women faculty and staff on campus

Note that there may not be an opening for new Advocates at this time, but your application will be collected and reviewed when there is an opening.

Apply to become an advocate