Want to help create inclusivity in the workplace?
Want to hear regular tips you can implement?
Are you part of the Ally movement yet?
Here, red10 ‘s Sumi Gidwani encourages us to become Allies, taking small but determined actions each day.
What does it mean to be a Better Ally?
To be an Ally, you are stepping up in support of colleagues who are identified in another group i.e. race, gender, disability etc..
According to Mckinsey, 70-80% of employees believe that they identify as allies and want to be allies. However, the challenge can often be a lack of action. In a highly recommended newsletter called ‘Better Allies’, Karen Catlin provides a weekly update of 5 simple actions to create an environment where people feel welcomed, supported and respected.
She explains that you don’t have to be a member of a diversity group to have an impact on inclusivity, everyone has a responsibility to create the environment and atmosphere they want to work in.
What have I recently learnt about allyship?
A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this informative newsletter called Better Allies, and I signed up with curiosity of what I could learn. Now, every Friday in my inbox I receive an email which contains 5 practical nuggets of advice, that challenge me to think, question and contemplate my everyday actions.
It has helped me to understood that allyship is about thinking ‘what can I do to support marginalised people from barriers they face day to day?’
This action can take many forms from how I speak or communicate with others to small tangible actions which can create more opportunities and possibilities to be inclusive of those around you.
In a recent newsletter, Karen talks about well intentioned statements we use when people are facing difficulties or traumas. Often you hear statements like ‘You’re so strong’ or ‘I don’t know how you do it’ which can show empathy but as Karen explains, it usually places responsibility for overcoming difficulty back to the individual.
How about if we said, ‘I am really sorry you have had to experience that. Is there anything I can do to support you?’ I have learnt that the awareness of the language we use and the way we respond is so important to being a true ally.
As a consultant at red10 , I truly feel such alignment with allyship in the work we do for clients and how our tools and facilitation techniques can increase opportunities to create inclusive and safe environments which is akin to being an ally.
How do I put this to practice?
Recently I worked with a team alliance who recognised that they needed a feedback mechanism to understand their current reality and how they could move forward. I supported the team with a red10 product called ‘Feedback on a page’ which gives every individual in the team a safe space to share what’s working well and what they would do differently within the team.
The process allows everyone to have equal opportunities to speak up, which they may not normally have in a team meeting. We often use this collated data to support the team and leadership to create meaningful actions. As described by Karen Catlin, lack of feedback can be a barrier to advancement and progress for individuals and organisations.
Karen also mentions in another newsletter that ‘asking permission’ for feedback is also very important, to ensure people are in the right state to receive. Therefore, having facilitated processes or creating some ground rules for feedback sessions is crucial in the work we do.
Equally, during informal settings it is important to ask the question ‘would you like to hear my thoughts or receive some feedback?’
There are so many more examples I could use and some practical tips I have learnt, but I encourage you to take a look at the weekly article ‘Better Allies’ and share with us what you feel you could do to be a better ally, or reach out if you feel we can support you to create further allyship in your teams.