Advocates & Allies for Equity

The Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative focuses on transforming the climate of The Ohio State University by enhancing men’s engagement in gender equity work.
Advocates & Allies graphic

What

Initiative that focuses on transforming the climate of the institution by enhancing men’s engagement in gender equity work.

Why

The university’s long-range goal is to change the culture at Ohio State to become a more inclusive and equitable environment for our faculty and staff women and other underrepresented groups. Read more

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, former Ohio State University executive vice president and provost

How

A man leads a conversation at the front of the room

Advocates — male faculty and staff who already have a substantial record of supporting women’s advancement and gender equity — contribute to this program as facilitators and change agents. They lead structured conversations that focus on how men can better identify gender bias and behave as Allies.

These voluntary discussions with participants of all genders share evidence-based knowledge, skills and strategies to encourage men to play a greater role in initiating positive personal, departmental and institutional change. All people, including transgender and nonbinary people, who feel comfortable in a setting focused on supporting men’s transformative learning are welcome to join us in the work of creating a more equitable climate for women and other underrepresented groups at the university. Read more


Get Involved

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 2023, more than 850 men have become Allies by attending an Ally facilitation. The following colleges and campuses have hosted Ally facilitations:

College of EngineeringCollege of Medicine
University LibrariesCollege of Arts and Sciences
CFAESJohn Glenn College of Public Affairs
Fisher College of Business
 
Wooster campusMansfield campus
Newark campusLima campus
Marion campus 
 
Radiology OncologyOffice of Distance Education and eLearning 
University MarketingFaculty Development at Nationwide Children's Hospital


You can support this initiative by:

  • Helping to schedule an Ally facilitation in your unit/department. People of all genders can request a facilitated discussion.
  • Becoming an Ally by participating in a facilitation and committing to actions that advance equity and inclusion.
  • Becoming an Advocate by influencing colleagues to disrupt gender bias and act towards positive change.

To get involved in the Ohio State Advocates & Allies for Equity initiative, please email us.

Email The Women's Place

Advocates
Man speaking and gesturing while standing beside screen with projected presentation

Advocates are employees who have a record of supporting women staff and faculty. Advocates lead facilitated conversations focused on male allyship to expose participants 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
A woman speaks with another man and woman.

The Advocates & Allies Advisory Council (AAAC) is composed of faculty and staff of all genders who want to help further gender equity at Ohio State.

Goal of the Initiative

Four men sitting in large circle having discussion

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 and other underrepresented groups at the university.

How to Achieve the Goal

Allies are those who are willing to identify themselves as Allies of women faculty and staff. They become Allies by attending and participating in a two-hour facilitated conversation, which is led by the Advocates. Advocates are faculty and staff 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 Focus on Men

In many workplaces, women and people of color — particularly women of color — take greater responsibility for promoting diversity and inclusion efforts by performing additional, unpaid labor. They are often the ones who mentor new women colleagues, coordinate and attend diversity trainings, and advocate for progressive changes in policy.
 
To redistribute labor and better involve men in the collective efforts towards culture change, the Advocates & Allies facilitations focus on encouraging men* to take greater responsibility for interrupting everyday and structural inequities. As the primary participants in this program, male colleagues share and learn while holding each other accountable for growth. Designed for men, these sessions aim to offer a safe and supportive space for participating in critical 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.

*We welcome transgender and nonbinary people who feel comfortable in a setting focused on men’s transformational learning to participate as both Advocates and Allies.

How People of All Genders 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.

History of Advocates & Allies

North Dakota State University (NDSU) developed the Advocates & Allies program as part of its National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE FORWARD initiative from 2008 - 2016. In 2015, NDSU expanded the grant to include the following institutional partners: The Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of North Texas, and the University of Wyoming.

The Women’s Place lead implementation and institutionalization of the program at Ohio State along with the College of Engineering, Professor Emerita Hazel Morrow-Jones, Professor Emerita Joan Herbers, Ohio State ADVANCE, Institutionalization Committee, and the Advocates & Allies Women’s Advisory Council.

Learn more