These are some general guidelines to help you plan your event. Please feel free to adjust and tailor to fit your company environment. As you read through these tips, you also might think about having a series of events targeted to different audiences that explore these issues in more depth.
1. Seek out pre-event feedback to determine best approach for first event given your company culture.
Ask others who have planned or attended these kinds of events: What other events have been well attended or well received? What formats have worked best? What logistics are important to consider (e.g., convenient times and locations)?
2. Carefully choose a title appropriate for your company culture.
For example, some organizations prefer that the title highlight gender diversity and the idea of male allies and advocates. Other organizations prefer to broaden the focus to include “majority-group” (e.g., White employees) advocates and multiple dimensions of diversity (e.g., race, sexuality, religion). There is no single right way to frame it; solicit feedback from various stakeholders on the appropriate messaging.
3. Decide on your audience.
Do you want to have more than one event that targets different audiences or start with a particular audience such as employees, individual contributors, senior leaders, or team managers? Or do you prefer the first event be open to all and then sub-events be tailored as members see fit? There isn’t one right answer, but developing a plan for a series of events can be useful.
4. Invite people of all genders.
Repeatedly stress that this is an event of interest to both men and women. It is meant for all people who want to learn more about how to create team and work environments that reap the benefits diversity brings to innovation and productivity.
5. In the invite, provide a clear business rationale for the event.
Explain that the goal of male advocacy is improving the workplace environment for all employees, thereby increasing innovation and productivity.
6. Promote the event in multiple ways, both formally and informally.
Send out an email invite (see sample in this toolkit). Also post flyers, talk one-on-one to colleagues, and ask those attending to recruit others to attend. If you have trouble getting men to attend these kinds of events, ask women attending to personally invite and bring a male colleague.
7. Create excitement around the event.
Consider a creative slogan for your event. Order NCWIT resources and set up a table or area to generate interest. Consider countdowns to the event where you provide additional “teaser” information (e.g., send out email quotes or brief excerpts from NCWIT’s male advocates’ report or resources). Offer a raffle to motivate people to show up for the first event.
- Top 10 Ways To Be a Male Advocate available at www.ncwit.org/top10maleadvocate
- NCWIT Tips: 8 Ways to Increase Male Advocacy available at www.ncwit.org/increasemaleadvocates
- NCWIT Tips: 8 Ways to Identify Male Advocates available at www.ncwit.org/identifymaleadvocates
- NCWIT Male Advocates Report available at www.ncwit.org/maleadvocateindustry
Phase 1 Toolkit: