When Gatekeepers Become Allies, Everybody Wins

19 juni 2023 • 3 min read


On June 12th, AND Digital had the privilege of sponsoring an exceptional event titled 'Men as Advocates for Women's Visibility.' Renowned as a ground-breaking initiative in the Netherlands, this event drew over 200 participants. Our focus was to enhance women's visibility in the corporate world, enabling them to attain and sustain leadership roles. The narratives shared by our Founder and CEO Paramjit Uppal and other 'male allies' underscored their essential role in championing gender equality.


Male Allies: The Agents of Change

The event spotlighted 'male allies,' particularly those in strategic positions, sharing their transformative experiences. The significant role they play in accelerating gender equality is backed by research which reveals a threefold increase in the impact of gender equality initiatives when they actively advocate for women's visibility.


Unleashing the Power of Allies

The workshop given by AND Digital Inclusion Lead Richard Kuti initiated a dialogue about 'Gatekeepers' who are individuals who control access to resources and opportunities and may inadvertently reinforce gender biases. However, the game changes when these gatekeepers evolve into ‘male allies’.

Male allies utilise their privilege and influence to amplify women's voices, advocate for inclusive policies, and challenge prejudiced attitudes. They commit themselves to learning about gender issues, attentively listen to women's experiences, and promote gender equality in all spheres of life.


Allyship: A Business Imperative

Investing in gender equality is more than a moral commitment—it's a strategic business imperative. Richard Kuti, our speaker, made this case with powerful statistics and insights, including the staggering global per capita loss of $23,620 due to gender inequality in earnings. He also underscored the proven correlation between gender diversity and profitability—companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to outperform their peers. This is particularly relevant in the tech sector, where women represent a mere 26% of roles. Gender equality initiatives can close this gap, stimulating diverse thinking and leading to improved consumer understanding and service.


AND Digital: A Beacon for Equality

AND Digital's journey towards gender equality provides an instructive case study. We rely on data to inform our actions, using tools and projects like AND She Can and Gender Pay Gap Reporting. Our leaders and culture bearers align with and shape our vision for the future. Armed with this shared understanding, we've established a robust action plan to address these challenges, consistently tracking our progress.


Strategising for change

The participants of Richard’s workshop engaged in an animated brainstorming session on allyship strategies and gatekeeping tactics. The goal was not to craft a one-size-fits-all solution but to build a community of allies; each committed to promoting gender equality in their unique way.


An Empowering Charge for Transformation

In conclusion, the resounding message was clear—gender equality is beneficial for everyone, and when gatekeepers evolve into allies, we all win! Participants were encouraged to reject outdated gender norms, redefine traditional notions of masculinity and femininity, and champion inclusive gender dynamics. We must value authenticity and foster change! 


The event made a profound impression, illuminating the significant role male allies play in promoting women's visibility. This invaluable insight will shape the culture at AND Digital, bolstering our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity. As we grow, we pledge to keep this commitment to equality at the heart of our mission, mindful that our impact can be threefold when gatekeepers become allies.


We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the organisation BrandedU, and especially Nancy Poleon, for organising this remarkable event. Our appreciation extends to our esteemed guests from VodafoneZiggo, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Canyon Bicycles GmbH, and A Bigger Circle, as well as our co-organizers, The HEINEKEN Company & HeadFirst Group. Lastly, we want to thank all participants for their outstanding contributions to this vital conversation.

Would your organization be interested in a conversation about enhancing inclusivity and diversity? We are always open to discussing this important topic!


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