What is allyship?
Allyship is when an individual from a privileged group works in conjunction with a marginalized group to help remove systems that challenge their basic rights, equal access, and ability to thrive in society. Whether this is in your personal life or workplace.
Building a company culture that celebrates all employees can start with simply reaching out. By connecting with people who are different from you, you can begin to learn about their struggles and help make your workplace environment fairer and more welcoming.
We look at modern allyship in the workplace, and how you and your company can become educated allies.
What is allyship in the workplace?
Being an ally is about solidarity and social justice for marginalized people. It’s also about disrupting and changing systems that have previously disempowered them.
Practising allyship in the workplace is vital in helping to build a diverse and fair work environment where everyone’s voice can be heard.
Tips for allyship in the workplace
Be an advocate for others
A strong ally realises their influence and uses this to help others shine. This could be by recommending a colleague for an internal job position or recommending someone to take the lead in a project. Being a strong communicator within groups is essential actively listening to marginalised groups to understand what you can do to become a better ally.
Give credit when credit is due
Employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit in a year. Be sure you regularly acknowledge and thank your employees for their hard work. Talking about someone’s excellent performance to the wider team will make employees feel more valued in their work environment.
Lead with empathy, make it personal and be open to change. We all make mistakes, but the important thing is being willing to accept we don’t always have the answer to every problem. Being an ally is about learning, accepting these mistakes and showing modesty, openness, and empathy in the workplace important because it can set you apart as a trustworthy ally. It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Educate yourself to begin to recognize and name what needs to change. A strong ally will be aware that they need to push themselves out of their comfort zone to learn. There are some informative forms of education such as podcasts and books, that will help you understand how you, an ally, can help others in your workplace. A great podcast we recommend is Leading with Empathy & Allyship, a weekly podcast which tackles difficult conversations.
Allyship is key to building a supportive and inclusive workplace culture for everyone, regardless of their background — but many organisations still have a lot of work to do! Allyship is an action, and begins with understanding that we need to work on inclusion together.
We have long recognised that our own and our client’s businesses should better reflect the communities in which we operate – in terms of socio-economic disadvantage and BAME communities. We have made a huge commitment over the last 5 years and our project ‘Future Proofing Talent through Diversity’ is award-winning.
We passionately drive awareness of roles within the creative industries to a disadvantaged and diverse demographic through our partnerships with charities, schools and leading community organisations.