3. Examine Your Beliefs
Uncover any unconscious bias that you might have. Do you prefer training with one gender over another? Do you correct one gender more than another? Do you use different language (good/effective vs. beautiful/flowing) to describe people’s aikido based on gender? Do you know what implicit bias is?
7. Put Women in Leadership Roles
Give women a true place of power at the table in your dojo or organization. Know the difference between having a woman serve in a President position vs. a Secretary or Admin role. We all benefit from the diversity of women’s voices in leadership roles.
2. Put Out a Welcome Mat
Make sure your website and promotional materials includes pictures of women doing Aikido. Is there also a publicly stated equal opportunity/non-discrimination policy on your website? Consider adding inclusive language that lets all members know they will be valued equally. Examples
4. Create Space
Both physically and figuratively. Do you have adequate facilities like changing rooms for all genders? Do you assure that women can train without unwanted attention? Without unwanted corrections from their training partners? Create a space for women to just train without harassment or condescension.
6. Listen Deeply
Create both formal and informal opportunities for your dojo or organizational membership to talk about their training experiences and desires. What inspires women in aikido? What challenges do they face? Everyone has a story to tell.