Overview of Ohio State Advocates and Allies for Equity
The NSF-funded Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative formally launched at The Ohio State University in November 2016 and focuses on transforming the climate of the institution by enhancing men’s engagement in gender equity work.
The Advocates & Allies initiative offers awareness, training and engagement to improve our culture and to position us as a national leader in higher education.
Bruce A. McPheron, PhD, executive vice president and provost
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 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. Read more
The Women’s Place will lead implementation and institutionalization of the initiative along with the College of Engineering, Professor Emerita Hazel Morrow-Jones, Professor Emerita Joan Herbers, Ohio State ADVANCE, and the Advocates & Allies Women’s Advisory Council.
About the NSF Grant
The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE FORWARD grant, originally awarded to North Dakota State University (NDSU), was expanded to include other institutional partners across the nation. Grant partners will study the Advocates & Allies initiative’s effects on climate at these institutions: NDSU, The Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of North Texas, and the University of Wyoming.
The Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative continues to grow, building a cross-campus network of male Allies for equity at Ohio State. As of fall 2019, more than 450 men have become Allies by attending an Ally facilitation. The following departments/units have hosted Ally facilitations:
|Aviation Studies||Lima campus||Office of Distance Education and eLearning|
|Engineering Education||Microbiology||John Glenn College of Public Affairs|
|Earth Sciences||Marion campus||The Ohio State University Airport|
|University Libraries||CFAES||Fisher College of Business|
|Wooster campus||Mansfield campus||Computer Science and Engineering|
|Newark campus||University Marketing||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering|
|Radiology Oncology||Emergency Medicine||Electrical and Computer Engineering|
|Anesthesiology||Mathematics||Faculty Development at Nationwide Children's Hospital|
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.
To participate in the Ohio State Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative, please email us.
Advocates are senior faculty and administrative men who have a record of supporting women staff and faculty. Advocates lead facilitated conversations with other men to expose them to ways of better identifying and behaving as Allies in gender equity. These groups share evidence-based knowledge, skills and strategies to effect positive personal, departmental and institutional change.
Advocates and Allies Advisory Council
The Advocates & Allies Advisory Council (AAAC) is composed of women faculty and staff who want to help further gender and minority equity at Ohio State.
Advocates and Allies Institutionalization Committee
The Advocates & Allies Institutionalization Committee (AAIC) is composed of faculty and staff who want to further gender and minority equity at Ohio State. The AAIC’s role as outlined in the NSF grant is to broaden and institutionalize the program. The committee is working to tailor the program to the specific needs of Ohio State.
The goal of the initiative is to help create a more equitable environment and advance the professional interests of women faculty and staff and other underrepresented groups. 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.
Allies are men willing to identify themselves as Allies of women faculty and staff. They become Allies by attending and participating in a two-hour facilitated conversation with other men, which is lead by the Advocates, senior faculty and administrative men who already have a substantial record of supporting women staff and faculty.
After participating in a facilitation, Allies commit 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.
Why Facilitations Include Only Men
The facilitations include only men because a fear of making mistakes, being blamed or being judged by women can keep men from participating in university-sponsored events and discussions related to issues of gender and diversity. Offering Allies facilitations for men only provides a safe and supportive space that is vital to their success. Safety fuels participation in difficult conversations. It’s an environment where men, often for the first time, can openly explore their questions, confusions, hopes, and concerns related to “diversity issues” in their organizations.
How Both Men and Women Can Get Involved
If you would like your department/unit to participate in helping to change the culture at Ohio State, submit an Ally facilitation request below. 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.