Authentic allies : fostering male allyship within STEM
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Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) remain underrepresented. Recruitment initiatives have shown an increase in women entering the field; however, harnessing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts are ongoing to address systemic barriers to retaining and promoting women in STEM. Using action research methodology, my study focused on how WISE Planet (the sponsor) can foster male allyship within STEM. Male and female research participants who currently work or have worked in STEM within Calgary, Alberta, provided insight into their work experience. I collected data through an anonymous online survey and dialogic methods of a virtual focus group or virtual interviews with photo elicitation to explore the concept of male allyship within STEM. My research received approval from the Royal Roads University Ethics Review Board and the University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board. My study’s key findings are that male allies are needed; however, male allyship is not well understood and requires a learning mentality. I recommend that WISE Planet implement an experiential year led by a dedicated male allyship group focused on identifying and recruiting genuine allies, developing a male allyship framework and toolkit, and implementing gender-interactive activities.