Allyship and Solidarity: What it is an what it requires of you as a leader in the workplace

Thriven Partners

cultivating breakthrough thinking and action

Allyship and solidarity: what it is and requires of you as a leader in the workplace

     While they may seem like terms meant for a protest and other forms of activism, allyship and solidarity have a place in the workplace. The reality is that the workplace is no different from the places we might find activism happening; while the workplace has its own protocol and culture, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum and many of the disenfranchising dynamics that occur outside the workplace also occur within it. By engaging in allyship and showing solidarity in the workplace towards those who need it, we take steps forward towards making a more equitable workplace and even a more equitable world. 

   Being a person from an underrepresented group in the workplace can feel uncomfortable, to say the least. It’s difficult to get your voice heard when it’s the only voice stemming from your position. It can feel like your needs and place in the workplace often gets steamrolled by the majority. Not only is this detrimental to the workplace itself in the way it ends up discounting valuable perspectives and feedback, but it’s always an uncomfortable position to place others in and can result in an unnecessarily negative experience for them.

    Situations like these are where the concept of solidarity and allyship take center stage. While they may seem like terms meant for a protest and other forms of activism, allyship and solidarity have a vital role right at home in the workplace. The reality is that the workplace is no different from the places we might find activism happening; while the workplace has its own protocol and culture, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum and many of the disenfranchising dynamics that occur outside the workplace also occur within it. By engaging in allyship and showing solidarity in the workplace towards those who need it, we take steps forward towards making a more equitable workplace and even a more equitable world. 

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How to do your own work on DEI as a white leader/ally

Thriven Partners

cultivating breakthrough thinking and action

How to do your own work on diversity, equity, and inclusion as a white leader/ally

Three recommendations for ways you can activate yourself to affect positive change

     The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of our conversations today. An attempt to shift the old exclusionary frameworks of the past is underway. Yet, even amid all the enthusiasm and educational resources, it can be confusing to truly understand what your role as a white leader and ally should be. One study found that 70% of white male respondents and 60% of minority and female leaders felt unsure as to the role that white men should hold in diversity initiatives.

     You want to make an effort that will move the needle on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), but you don’t want to make the wrong move or take on a role that isn’t appropriate for you as a white leader and ally. By committing to put your energy to use for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization, and doing so thoughtfully, you’re positioned well to make significant changes in yourself and the organization you lead.

Here are a few recommendations you can take to maximize your role as a white leader and ally to affect positive, inclusive and equitable change. 

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