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Gender equality is a win-win for men too

I attended a great talk by Michael Kimmell recently at Ernst & Young. Sociologist Kimmel is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world. He’s the executive director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, where he is also a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies. An activist for gender equality for more than 30 years, he was recently called “the world’s preeminent male feminist” by the Guardian. Please do have a look at the video in our newsletter to see him in action.

Research by Catalyst and others, Kimmell reveals, has shown conclusively that the more gender-equal companies are, the better it is for all workers and the happier their labour force will be. They have lower job turnover, lower levels of attrition and an easier time recruiting. They have higher rates of retention, higher job satisfaction, and higher rates of productivity.

Gender equality is also good for men. It is good for the kind of lives we want to live, because young men have also changed enormously, and they want to have lives defined by great relationships with their children. They expect and welcome their partners working outside the home and be just as committed to their careers as they are.

The more egalitarian relationships, Kimmell concludes, the happier both partners are. So for men, as well as women, gender equality is not a zero-sum game, but a win-win.

Caroline Sheridan

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