Become an effective ally in your workplace / Tech Industry  / Become an effective ally in your workplace
Become an effective ally in your workplace Gurvi Movement

Become an effective ally in your workplace

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Challenging sexism in the office environment does not just apply to women, as men can also take an active role against sexual harassment and inequitable practices.

Women and men can each take a stand against sexism and act to achieve equity and inclusion in a variety of ways – from words or gestures, to broader initiatives.

How then can you become an effective ally in your workplace and achieve change on a daily basis? 


To begin with, what is an ally? 

An ally is someone who is not necessarily part of a underrepresented group, but who takes action to help that particular group.

In the particular case of gender equality, allies can be men who work alongside women, who seek to address sexism and stereotypic labelling in the workplace or wider community.

It is men who can question and deconstruct their masculinity, who have an awareness of themselves and their own masculinity that can become allies.

This does not occur without discomfort however acting under the gaze of other men who are sometimes unresponsive, to creating a more egalitarian society.


How does one become an effective ally in a workplace?

We all start somewhere!

Regardless how engaged (or not) you may have been previously, it’s never too late to act.

There’s a LOT to achieve, and being a effective ally means admitting what you do not know and beginning from that point. 

Let everyone around you know that you are caring and vigilant to the necessities of others.

It will demonstrate that you want to help modify and improve your workplace, even if you are not necessarily part of a particular group. 


#1 Understand your privilege 

To create a professional, equitable and inclusive environment it is necessary to examine your own privilege (skin color, socio-economic background, gender, …) and position in the workplace and community. Consider the privileges you take for granted for which others have had to battle for.

#2 Listen and ask questions

One of the most significant aspects of being an ally is to listen to the voice of those you want to help. As much as we all want to express our thinking, we must listen first. Listening equals learning. Recognise that others are experts.


#3 Educate yourself and acknowledge what you do not know 

There are lots of amazing resources available to you: explore blogs, social media, websites, and books to educate yourself on the problems that might be facing you in the workplace.

> Workplaces that work for women

> @feministfightclub

> Guide to Allyship


Feminist Fight Club An office Survival Manual for a sexist workplace Gurvi Movement


#4 Apologise when you make a mistake 

Being an effective ally takes time and effort. When you make a mistake or act clumsily (you will – because nobody is perfect!), recognize your actions and apologize if any offence was caused. 

As much as we wish we could change things right off the bat, it is not that easy. We have to go out, apologize and educate ourselves on what the issues are, and how we can most effectively help others and ourselves.


#5 Break the silence

Speak up when you see oppression or wrongdoing against any party you are allied with. Pick up on your friends or colleagues (males or females), when you notice sexist words or behaviours. 

#6 Show up 

In the most extreme cases, you many need to report the facts to your supervisor, or to your company’s HR staff. You may also need to stand in front of someone to help them avoid harm or hurt. 


#7 Compile a list of action items—and do them!

It is easy to say you are an ally. Words are important. But so are actions!

If and when we combine both words and actions together, we create truly awesome change in our communities that are felt not just in our immediate environment but around the world. 

No matter who you are or where you are, you can always do something with your unique skills to play your part in the movement.

Whether you are an artist, musician, athlete, (or none of these!), you can contribute to the cause: there are plenty of creative ways to spread awareness or fundraising for worthy causes.

How to build a sexist-free workplace

Speaking of actions, here are some examples that could be implemented within your business to build a sexist-free workplace : 

  • Display positive and inclusive symbols, images and artwork in your workplace. Think about the reading material in your staffroom and the people represented in them.
  • Use positive and inclusive language and make your staff comfortable about using inclusive and positive language.
  • Display visible and verbal reminders that your work environment is a safe place for men and women.
  • Develop accessible and supportive processes to raise issues and concerns. Experiences of misogyny can be dismissed—make sure you and other staff feel that they have been acknowledged, and that there will be follow-up
  • Educate your fellow employees about building a sexist-free workplace where you can adopt and maintain a comprehensive anti-harassment policy.

Interested in finding the right mentor for you?

Contact Gurvi Movement or book an hour with the mentor of your choice.

No Comments
Post a Comment

Sign up and receive a
FREE 11-page guide to take your digital career to the next level. ✨

Stay in the loop with exclusive events, special offers, & free live training.