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Men in the Mix How to Engage Men on Issues Related to Gender in the Legal Profession

“A new report from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession called “Men in the Mix: How to Engage Men on Issues Related to Gender in the Legal Profession,” looks at how male colleagues can become allies in the ongoing journey to reach gender equity. The report is based on research gathered from focus groups held in New York, Dallas, and San Francisco that revealed useful insights about why some men are more actively engaged in issues facing women lawyers than others. “This report fills a critical gap in previous work on gender equity issues – exploring the reasons why some men don’t get involved to the degree they could,” said Maureen Mulligan, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. “The findings of Men in the Mix provide inspiring takeaways for overcoming the obstacles to men’s engagement.”

Among the findings:

  • 83% of male respondents said fear of not fitting in or saying the wrong thing keeps them from actively supporting gender equity efforts
  • 63% of male lawyers and 90% of women lawyers said creating safe spaces at firms and legal organizations is the best way to encourage men to discuss issues of gender equity
  • 62% of male lawyers cited “not being invited” as the reason they have not joined the effort to advance women lawyers’ equity in the profession

“Men can and do play a critical role in promoting equity for women in the legal profession. More than ever, we need men to be allies for women lawyers, and this report provides helpful, concrete strategies for them to do so,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. The Men in the Mix webpage includes the report and a toolkit with dialogue scripts and a sample PowerPoint deck to assist organizers when hosting a Men in the Mix event.”

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