1. Collect Data
Determine the gender proportions of your dojo. What are the rank proportions, number of instructors, and seminars taught by gender? Ask questions. Do you know why certain genders start Aikido? Why and when they quit? Create a survey. (Get free help from Dojo Show)
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?
5. Support Women Teachers
Do women teach at your dojo? Invite women to teach seminars. Make sure there is proportional representation of women teaching at organizational camps. Create opportunities for women teachers to sit on exam panels. Link
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.
8. Be an Ally
If you are in the majority, use your position of power to assist and amplify the voices of women. Add your name to a petition. Write a letter. If you observe unfair or sexist behavior, call it out. Gender equity affects all of us. Link
10. Do No Harm
Make sure you have a publicly stated and shared code of conduct with zero tolerance for sexual harassment as well as a clear and safe grievance procedure. If necessary, consider if there are any skeletons in your closet and make amends. Apologize and make things right.