What does your male-to-female staff ratio look like?
If your human service organization is like most, men are vastly underrepresented on your staff.
Imagine if you increased the number of men on your staff. How much easier would it be to engage men in your programs and services?
One of the best but most challenging ways to improve the father friendliness of an organization is to hire men—ideally dads—to serve dads. Having more men on your staff will help dads feel comfortable connecting to your programs and services. They can communicate in ways that best suit men. They can provide a uniquely male perspective on masculinity, for example, and on proper expression of emotions. And they’ll be comfortable using the light-hearted humor that’s often necessary for helping men work through behavior change. They can also enhance your work with moms by providing a male perspective on the challenges moms face with the dads in their lives.
Although employers cannot label jobs as best suited to or exclusively for men, you can increase the probability that more men will apply to work for your organization.
- Create job titles that draw men in. For example, one home visiting program changed a job title from Parent Education Specialist to Fatherhood Advocate and saw an immediate spike in applications from men.
- Post jobs on employment-focused websites with large audiences of men. LinkedIn has thousands of groups focused on specific topics or areas of interest. Join fatherhood and other men-focused groups and post about job openings. The largest job-posting sites (e.g., Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and CareerBuilder) are also good places to post. While they do not focus exclusively on work in human services, they have areas where job seekers interested in that kind of work (e.g., in a nonprofit) can search for jobs and find yours.
- Include statements in job descriptions that connect men and dads to your organization's mission and its work with dads. Some men want to make the world a better place, and that includes helping dads. Highlight how your organization accomplishes this and show men exactly how they fit into that vision.
- Actively encourage word-of-mouth referrals. Talk to your fellow staff, friends, and acquaintances to see if they know of men interested in working in a fulfilling human service career.
Hiring men doesn't stop when they've accepted the job. You must foster a men-friendly organizational culture to employ men for the long haul.
- Get feedback from male staff about your organization's culture. Ask male staff whether any aspects of the culture make them uncomfortable. If you find a common theme, determine how to address it.
- Increase your organization's male-friendliness. Providing staff training on gender differences and exhibiting positive portrayals of men in photos, posters, bulletin boards, and display materials are all great ways to increase male-friendliness.
- Allow male staff to shape programs and services. When men are more invested in your organization's programs and services, they are more likely to stay to ensure successful implementation.
- Provide opportunities for male staff to interact with male clients. Offer male-specific programs (e.g., fatherhood, male mentoring, men's health, etc.) so your male staff can interact with other men throughout their workday.
These tips can help increase the number of men on your staff, providing your clients with a male perspective that will enrich interactions with the families you serve!
What does the male-to-female staff ratio look like at your organization?
How can you increase the number of men working for your organization?