6 Ways To Be An Ally In The Workplace

By Connor Barry on November 12, 2021

Key Points:

  • Being an ally is something that requires constant evaluation but is vital in the workplace and beyond.
  • It’s essential to unite and listen to your coworkers to create an inclusive work environment.
  • Inclusion for all includes different identities, including gender, race, religion, and LGBTQ+.

An ally makes an effort to understand the struggles of minority groups and takes action to support them. These individuals are those with different identities such as gender, race, religion, and LGTBQ+. Allyship takes constant evaluation and should always be worked on because it is not a final result from a few tasks. We should all strive to be an ally, but you can not proclaim yourself as an ally. However, you can make adjustments in your everyday life to be closer to becoming an ally.

Unfortunately, one of the most common times these individuals can experience microaggressions is in the workplace. A microaggression is a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a marginalized group member (such as a racial minority). It’s up to your employer and the employees to make a collaborative and inclusive environment. Besides standing up to microaggressions, there are many different ways to become an ally in the workplace.

Different Ways To Be An Ally In The Workplace

1. Be the one that sets behavioral norms in the office. If you notice some of your coworkers interrupting or ignoring a person, have the courage to speak against the interrupter at the moment and redirect the attention back to the person that was initially speaking.

2. Recommend your friends that are a part of the minority group for positions within your company or be a professional reference for a job they are qualified for and would like. By assisting in their job search, you are helping others that may have bias recognize the candidate’s potential and skillset they’ve had all along.

3. Speak to the human resource team about different ideas to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive. For instance, human resources can send out confidential surveys on how everyone feels in the workplace for further insight into inclusivity. Your employer can even hire a diversity and inclusion consultation to come into the office to help execute actionable items.

4. If you’ve made a mistake, be sure to hear out the offended person. Admit that you’ve made a mistake, apologize, and work towards not repeating the offense.

5. Try not to use gender-specific language in the office. This includes using phrases like “you guys” to refer to a group of people who may not identify as men. Specific tools can be used for this, such as Alex, which catches insensitive or inconsiderate writing and can be installed in Slack or Google Chrome.

6. Become a part of the diversity and inclusion committee at your employer so that you can implement activities that are fit for everyone. For instance, try hosting events during work hours, as many cannot accommodate their schedules based on personal reasons. You can even create an event such as an international potluck or designate a particular room in the office to be the lactation room for new mothers.

While it’s essential to keep all of these in mind, listening and unity are crucial. The importance is to amplify the affected individual’s voices and be the person they can rely on for a non-judgmental place.

To learn more about diversity, check out our latest blog posts. In one of our most recent blog posts, we share the importance of diversity in the workplace.

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