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Now is the time to focus as hard on inclusion as diversity. By inclusion we mean the sense of belonging and being valued which everyone should expect but that has to be worked at to achieve. Inclusion for anyone who feels excluded by the majority culture. Without that feeling of belonging and sense of being assessed fairly for their contribution, many of your diverse hires will get demoralised, disengaged and they will disappear, taking with them your opportunity to improve performance that relies upon successful teamwork.

Yet, gender inclusion in particular is all too often thought of as a women’s issue. Men are rarely part of the conversation when they need to be part of the solution.  That’s because the many ways in which women don’t experience equality of opportunity are not obvious to men.  Fundamentally, the idea that women working alongside them have experiences that are different to their own, most of the time, does not even occur to men.  It is not deliberate, it is not even thoughtless, it is a void of thought.  That’s why we have called this book The Accidental Sexist.

The Accidental Sexist is a practical handbook (not a manual!) written for men who want practical ideas and tips they can follow as individual managers to create an inclusive workplace and to set up a male ally group in their department or organisation.  You will learn:-

  • Why gender inclusion is so important for organisations

  • How to talk to men about inclusion and making an organisation more welcoming to women

  • What men say (and think) about including women in the workplace and how we can build on men’s motivation and address points of resistance 

  • How to set up and run a male ally group


  • How individuals can change their behaviours in small ways to make big differences

  • How managers can solve challenges in keys areas such as hiring, promoting and developing the careers of women

It would be great if this book is read by women too. Women who have thrived as well as women who have experienced ‘career death by a thousand paper cuts’. 


This book is based on the experience and insight of Gary and Stephen, two senior leaders who set up a successful global male allies network co-authored with Jill, a researcher and expert in inclusion - in the spirit of working alongside rather than ‘helping’ women. Women have obviously also been influenced by deep-rooted social expectations of the roles of men and women and inclusive cultures need to be built by us all, together.

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