Advocates & Allies for Equity - How to Get Involved

The Women’s Place is happy to resume Ally facilitations. In order to protect the health and safety of our community members during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will schedule facilitations in a virtual format. 
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.

As of fall 2020, more than 550 men have become Allies by attending an Ally facilitation. The following departments/units have hosted Ally facilitations:

Aviation StudiesLima campusOffice of Distance Education and eLearning
Engineering Education        MicrobiologyJohn Glenn College of Public Affairs
Earth SciencesMarion campusThe Ohio State University Airport
University Libraries   CFAES  Fisher College of Business
Wooster campusMansfield campusComputer Science and Engineering
Newark campusUniversity Marketing        Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Radiology OncologyEmergency Medicine    Electrical and Computer Engineering 
AnesthesiologyMathematicsFaculty Development at Nationwide Children's Hospital
Family Medicine  

Get Involved

You can support this initiative by:

  • Helping to schedule an Ally facilitation in your unit/department. People of all genders 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.

Train 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. 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 Advocate for Gender Equity Training workshops (check The Women's Place Events pages for offerings in May)
  • Participate in periodic 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

Register for an Advocate Training

How to Request an Ally Facilitation

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 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 womensplace@osu.edu.

If you would like your department/unit to participate in helping to change the culture at Ohio State, submit an Ally facilitation request below. People of all genders 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