Justin Baldoni is best-known for playing the hunky baby daddy Rafael Solano on TV show Jane the Virgin. And while he’s typecast based on his looks in nearly every role he plays, he’s using his insider knowledge of what it’s like to look and feel like a sex object to do something important: empower men to break free from their own societally imposed behavior expectations, while taking responsibility for the way their privilege plays into the perpetuation of gender inequality.
His long-term vision is that women and men both can simply live as good, equally strong human beings who are in touch with their hearts and their minds, which is best exemplified by favorite quote:
“The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and female. So long as these two wings are not of equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
At TEDWomen, Baldoni invited men to reject traditional paradigms of masculinity, to be accountable for – and conscious of – their actions, and to be vulnerable, express emotions, and disrupt the patriarchy. “I believe the only way that can happen,” he said, “is if men learn to not only embrace the qualities we’ve been told are “feminine” in ourselves, but to be willing to stand up for, champion, and learn from the women who embody them.”
Check out Justin Baldoni at TEDWomen 2017:
Brave new man.
He spoke about how it’s not about telling men they’re wrong or bad, it’s about meeting them where they are. It’s about taking the qualities that have typically been deemed “male” – like strength, bravery and confidence – and inspiring men to use those attributes to go deeper into themselves. To be strong enough to stand up against inappropriate boardroom conversations, to be brave enough to bridge the gender pay gap, and to be confident enough to defer to a woman when her idea is better.
“Fellas,” he said, “the glass ceiling exists because we put it there, and if we want to be part of the solution, then words are no longer enough.”
4 resources to leverage to break glass ceilings in the workplace:
- 9 Ways to Remove Gender Bias from Interviews
- 10 Ways to Remove Gender Bias from Job Descriptions
- 5 Ways to Address the Gender Pay Gap at Your Company
- Pledge your commitment equality by taking the Equal Pay Pledge on Glassdoor.
His new show Man Enough, launching soon, was created to explore “what it means to be a man today.” The series will cover topics ranging from dating and relationships to body image and sexual harassment.
Baldoni told the Hollywood Reporter that “there absolutely needs to be an episode of our show that has to do with sexual assault or harassment or the broken accountability system that we as men have when we don’t stand up for other women when we hear locker room talk and things like that.” Women shouldn’t have to risk everything to come forward and say #metoo.
For more about what companies must do to break down biases and build a diverse and inclusive company culture, download Glassdoor’s Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace