You’re a strong business leader who’s made a commitment to DE&I, created an internal committee, and set measurable goals. But how do you turn tactics into action? It’s time to step into allyship. Now that you’ve established impactful programs, use your learnings to establish an inclusive reality.
Allyship can be defined by the small day-to-day interactions that compound to change. It calls on a person to use their privilege to advocate on behalf of those without a platform or audience to effect change themselves– at least not without the support of others.
Here are 5 ways you can be a DE&I ally from your seat:
1. Be an advocate for change— You have a seat at the table. Use that seat to include others who are oftentimes ignored or undervalued.
2. Check biases at the door— Unchecked bias cannot and will not be fixed after one unconscious bias training session. Hold yourself and others accountable to implement what you’ve learned.
3. Have an empathic ear— Be open to listen to others who are willing to share their experiences. Do not receive it as a personal attack, instead look at it as reaching out for help.
4. Recognize and address systemic inequities— Take time to understand the systematic and societal issues which have played a role in the lack of diversity and inclusion in your organization.
5. Invite marginalized communities to the table— It’s not enough to simply support marginalized communities behind closed doors: invite them in. The real inclusion comes when you make them the decision makers.
As a business leader, you have great potential for allyship because you have influence. And with great power, comes great opportunity and responsibility. Allies recognize the power and privilege they have and use it to create change by advocating for others. It will not always be easy, but to create real impact, those with influence must speak up and do what they can in support of marginalized communities.
Let’s do more good. To get more results. To have more impact.
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