Allyship starts in the workplace

According to Forbes, 92% of people feel that allies have been valuable in their career. With much of our lives being spent at our workplaces, it’s clear that allyship can have the power to impact us from beyond the desk and shape our overall lives.

This Pride Month, we’re exploring how allyship can be harnessed to advance everyone in our workplaces, closing gaps and moving towards inclusion.

So, what power does allyship hold and how can we work this muscle? We’ve rounded up insights from our Partner organisations and fellow thought leaders to explore this:

Allyship disrupts the cycle of inequity: an ally can use their position of privilege, knowledge or power to make deliberate moves, which wouldn’t happen with the same pace organically. This can be through suggesting someone for a job, deliberately searching among new talent pools, creating workplace training pipelines.

Allyship helps break bias: Much like the momentous actions mentioned above, an ally and/or someone in a privileged position making small yet mounting gestures can work to break the bias. As Human Resources Director New Zealand shares, considerate language can have a huge impact on stamping out marginalisaiton, microaggressions, sexist and homophobic language biases and instead improve connection with colleagues. Our Partners, IBM, have also reflected on the importance of language, highlighting the need to change our habits, embrace this consistently, and embrace gender-neutral language while being aware of heteronormative phrasing. Considering #BreaktheBias is this year’s International Women’s Day theme, it’s clear we need to consider how bias seeps into all aspects of our organisation and make it an integral part of our diversity strategies.

Allyship upholds D&I programmes: programmes by themselves are rarely sufficient to foster a more inclusive workplace. Our Partner, Deloitte’s “Why, What, Who and How of Allyship” helps frame allyship as something that comes in parallel with inclusivity efforts, encouraging organisations to really define who can be an ally, what exactly is an ally.

Allyship is good for business: Allyship is directly linked to more inclusivity and lower employee turnover, which is shown to positively impact productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability, as highlighted by Forbes’ “Why Allyship is Good for Business.”

As Forbes frames it in their reflection,

“allyship is an opportunity for everyone to help close the gaps and change the equation. Pay it forward, and watch the impact we can make together.”