Don’t be that dude. Handy tips for the male (whether academic or not)

Don’t be that dude: Handy tips for the male academic.

Because it is the decent thing to do.

1. Use the appropriate salutations when writing to a woman academic: Dr. X.

2. Don’t comment on a woman’s appearance in a professional context.

3. Don’t talk over your female colleagues.

4. Avoid making sexual remarks.

5. Make sure your department seminars, conference symposia, search committees, and panel discussions have a good gender balance.  

6. Don’t make it a habit of letting women in your department become the organisers of social activities.

7. Make sure that women aren’t being asked to do note-taking, coffee-making, or lunch order-taking more than men.

8. Don’t reinforce social stereotypes when it comes to opening doors, carrying field equipment, or other ‘special treatment’.

9. Take an equal share in housework and childcare duties at home.

10. During a talk Q&A session, be a good moderator and call on women to contribute.

11. Learn about benevolent sexism

12. Learn what mansplaining.

13. Learn what the tone argument is. Don’t use it.

14. Learn how to apologize when someone has called you out for inappropriate behaviour. 

15. Don’t leave it to women to do the work of increasing diversity. Be proactive. Actively support your female colleagues when they experience sexism.

16. Adopt teaching tools and practices that promote gender equity.

17. Pay attention to who you invite to informal work-related gatherings and make an effort to include women. 

18. Make sure you’re aware of the gender biases in scientific journal editorial practices.

19. Know when to listen. Don’t assume you understand what it’s like for women. Don’t interject with “but this happens to men, too!” Don’t try to dismiss or belittle women’s concerns. Remember that women are often reacting to  a long history of incidents, big and small.  

20. Finally, if you do all of the above, don’t expect a cookie. Your efforts may go unacknowledged or even unrecognized much of the time. Keep at it anyway, because you’re not out to get special recognition. You’re doing it because it’s the decent thing to do.