Allyship in the Workplace

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.

Be human 

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 

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.

Inspiring Future Workers

Right from the beginning, Impact has been committed to our community and in particular students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, because believe that it’s important that we give back to our future generations.

 

Soon after the pandemic was over, we quickly began to reemphasise our long-lasting commitment to our community partners and in particular the local schools which we have built up a good relationship with.

 

Over the past 5 years, we’ve developed a particularly strong relationship with Pimlico Academy and our team has utilised their skills and experience to assist students in many areas of their future development. Including hosting mock interviews and working with the school’s career development team to offer work experience to their sixth-form students.

 

Most recently we have been working with the students on their confidence and skills as they approach the time in their lives when they will be looking at joining the world of work.

 

Earlier in the summer, Impact hosted a collection of students at Impact HQ and conducted mock job interviews with each student. And more recently, 5 of our consultants attended the school to conduct a CV and career workshop session for several of their classes.

 

Our team showed the students how to write a brilliant CV, provided in-depth interview tips and conducted a general Q&A on starting out on a successful career journey.

 

Both were hugely successful and the feedback we received was unanimously positive. We hope we helped the students to gain knowledge on how to apply themselves to the world of work and give them the confidence they need to be a success!

 

You can read more on our social impact here.

Mock Interview: Partnership with Pimlico Academy

As part of Impact Recruitment Agency successful social impact and ongoing partnership with London schools, we recently teamed up with Pimlico Academy.

We all know leaving school and heading into the world of work can be daunting for young adults! Thanks to WeWork, we were able to host a series of mock interviews for 20 promising Year 11 students from Pimlico Academy school in South West London with our knowledgeable recruitment team.

Hosted in the incredible WeWork Old Street space, the Impact team set up a series of mock interviews with the students. Our goal? To help the young students understand the concept of an interview process, and to help them navigate the world of the workplace!

The group of fantastic well put together young professionals were ready to take on the working world. Armed with their polished CVs, and engaging conversations the students were ready to discover more about the interviewing process!

Not only did the group of students conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout. It was also a fantastic opportunity for Impact to provide support and guidance and to have the privilege to be a part of the early stages of their professional development. We see amazing things for these students on the horizon and thank them for their feedback on their learning experience with the Impact team.

We’d also like to thank WeWork for their support in providing us with 2 meeting rooms and for making the students feel welcome on their visit, we couldn’t do it without you!

If you would like to read more on Impact Agency social impact, click here.

International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.  At Impact, we strive for a world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

We are proud of our fabulous ladies and are taking the opportunity to share a Q&A with a few of them.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  

Carly:   It’s a great recognition of women across the world and to celebrate women in general!

Ellen:    To me, it means celebrating the amazing women in my life who have helped shape the person I am today. My beautiful mum and sister are all the good things in the world – I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the strongest, smartest and funniest women I know every day in the office.

Sarah:   IWD to me means celebrating the woman around you – supporting them and empowering them to continue to be the boss’ that we all are!

Erica:    It is an opportunity to acknowledge the strength and perseverance of our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers in succeeding to get us to this point of equality in the workplace that we may take for granted. Although as a society we are very far from perfect, conversations with key women in my life have shown me the struggles they faced, which we may not even consider now.

As a career woman yourself, do you feel you have had to fight harder to get where you are today?

Carly:    Absolutely! Working with a lot of CEOs/Hiring Managers that are male, I have often felt like I have to work twice as hard to gain respect and impress.

Ellen:    As I am still early (ish) in my career, I luckily started my career at Impact – where I genuinely feel all opportunities are equal when it comes to gender equality. Not many people can say this, so I feel very lucky!

Sarah:   Not fight harder… but fight differently for sure. I come from an acting background, so my gender has always been a big part of my career, that’s just what happens when your own body is your business – I have met so many people who have struggled to see me as more than “just a woman”. Navigating that has been exhausting at times, but it’s made me stronger and I am confident and secure in my ability because of it.

Erica:    I have felt that I have had to fight harder. Previously, I have been treated differently & sexualised, I’ve not been listened to for ideas and not been included in projects for them being a bit of a ‘boys club’. I am fortunate that at Impact I feel confident to put forward my ideas and I am treated as an equal. Now, I am on a bit of a mission to make sure that all of our candidates are treated this way too.

How do you feel the media and creative industry treat women? 

Carly:    12 years ago, working in the Business Support sector within creative & media it felt very much like an old boy’s club, where support staff were hired for all the wrong reasons.  Now working with senior HR professionals and driving the discussion around diversity and inclusivity, I’m proud to be part of the huge shift in the world for the better, where the industry feels much more inclusive.

Ellen:    I think it can be particularly difficult for women in the creative industry. Take advertising for example, from a recent study only 29% of the creative directors were female. With such a male dominant industry, this can be particularly daunting for women entering the industry and not seeing female representation in leadership roles. Saying this;  the figure was 3% not long ago. Although we have a long way to go, we need to keep pushing!

Sarah:   We still have a long way to go to make it perfect, but people are starting to wake up and take notice, so I have faith in the society we are building for future generations.

Erica:    I feel that the Media & Entertainment industry has come a long way and we are progressively seeing diversity and inclusion at the height of everyone’s agenda. I think the most important step now is to make sure that our attention is towards intersectional representation and having female representation at every level, bring on more female CEOs!

What would you like to see companies do to give more gender parity?

Carly:    Be more transparent and inclusive in their approach and recognise women’s value at the leadership level, despite potential career gaps to raise families.

Ellen:    I think leadership needs to own it- it has to come from the top! Having leaders with the right intentions and a clear view of gender parity will flow down naturally.

Sarah:   I think introducing more gender neutrality in their everyday practices is one of the best ways forward. By that, I mean gender-neutral toilets, gender-neutral terminology in communication. Not only is it more inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community, but it encourages people to not make automatic assumptions of who a person is, and will help break down barriers both personally and professionally.

Erica:    I would like to see companies open up the conversation around gender and work to support all gender identities, and that we are not forgetting the difficulties that our trans & non-binary communities face in the workplace. Creating an office culture where everyone feels they can show their true self is crucial and that’s when the best ideas and work can come to play.

What advice would you give to women ambitious for a great career?

Carly:    Know your worth and work hard – it’s a strong combination!

Ellen:    Be yourself and use your voice. It’s just as important as anyone else’s in the room.

Sarah:   Don’t be afraid to challenge and don’t be afraid to be proud of who you are. Stop enabling old-fashioned ways of thinking and operating, have a fierce approach to life, and – most importantly – stay kind.

Erica:    Don’t underestimate yourself! If you play yourself down so will other people. Always upsell your skillset and believe in yourself. You’re not being blunt or bossy, you’re doing your job and you’re not there solely to make others comfortable. Be you, and if they don’t love it someone else will!

Impact is an accredited Living Wage Employer

Impact recruitment agency is an accredited Living Wage Employer! This means that every member of staff and all of our temps will earn a real Living Wage.

The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay which is based on the actual cost of living. It’s calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week. It is currently £11.05 for London, reflecting the higher costs of living in the capital.

Over 4,700 organisations, including Impact, voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage because we believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.

This commitment applies to not only directly employed staff but also to our third-party contracted staff. We have ensured that we have a plan in place to ensure that all our third-party contracted staff, such as our cleaners, are paid the real Living Wage.

We are proud of this commitment as a Living Wage employer which is in line with our values and commitment to good business, and all temps supplied by us will be paid at a rate above the London Living Wage minimum.

If you are looking for temp work or a client looking to temporarily expand your team, why not contact us!

Inclusive Hiring Workshop at Impact

Inclusive Hiring Workshop at Impact

Impact are huge advocates of driving positive change around Diversity & Inclusion within the media and creative industry and we consistently welcome the opportunity to enhance our skills.

A huge thank you to Jennie Child who facilitated a fantastic and informative session with our team last week.  Jennie is DEI specialist for Recruitment Network, an ex Talent Acquisition Director within WPP agencies and she now runs her own diversity consultancy, Balance.

Collaborating in small groups, we firstly took the time to acknowledge the barriers and bias that feeds into the hiring process.  Guided by Jennie, our focus was then spent discussing positive solutions and how we can continue to positively influence our clients through the recruitment process.

We shaped our thoughts with:-

We wrapped up by creating a clear action plan that is both achievable to consistently deliver on and importantly, aligns with our values.  Thanks again to Jennie for helping us stop and reflect on this important topic.