Inclusivity is a critical component for long-term employee retention, and even company growth.
For instance, a Catalyst report, Inclusive Leadership: The View From Six Countries, found the more included employees felt, the more innovative they reported being in their jobs, and the more they went “above and beyond” to achieve team goals. If you want each of your employees to invest time and energy into their work, you need to invest resources to ensure they feel included and valued.To achieve inclusivity at your workplace, it’s crucial you encourage allyship across the organization to foster a sense of belonging for everyone.
Being an ally means working to develop empathy towards another group’s challenges or issues — and, ultimately, creating a culture in which that group feels valued.
Here, we’ve cultivated a list of resources to help you gain awareness on different perspectives, and ultimately become a more effective ally. While our list is by no means all-inclusive, it’s a good starting point for broadening your own views of the world, your unique privilege, and how you can help others feel included.
12 Resources to Read
- How To Challenge Ourselves to Grow As Allies by Corey Ponder
- Learning To Cope With Clinical Depression Has Made Me A Better Manager by Libby Maurer
- Why LGBT Employees Need Workplace Allies by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
- How to be an Ally in the Office by Natalie Stevens
- The Complexity of Identity: “Who Am I?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Diversity in Tech: The Unspoken Empathy Gap by Jules Walter
- Better Together: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits by Jonathan Sposato
- Ageism, Diversity’s Forgotten Cousin by Christopher Platts
- Why Diversity Matters by Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince
- For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly by Joan C. Williams and Marina Multhaup
- All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds? By Leah Donnella
- Blind Since Birth, Writing Code at Amazon Since 2013 by Neal Karlinsky and Jordan Stead
6 Resources to Watch
- The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw at TEDWomen
- The Surprising Solution to Workplace Diversity by Arwa Mahdawi at TEDx Talks
- The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie at TEDGlobal
- The Paradox of Diversity by Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley at TEDx Talks
- Implicit Bias — How It Effects Us and How We Push Through by Melanie Funchess at TEDx Talks
- Are You Biased? I Am by Kristen Pressner at TEDx Talks
5 Resources to Listen To
- Intersectionality Matters by Nephtali Navarro
- Out at Work by Nancy, with Tobin Low and Kathy Tu
- Code Switch by NPR
- Women at Work by HBR
- Tech Inclusion by Change Catalyst
How to be an ally
- Actively listen to people within the group with whom you want to ally yourself.
- Be aware of implicit biases you might have.
- Understand and reflect on your own identity, biases, and privileges.
- Do your research on the issues facing the oppressed group for which you want to be an ally. Don’t expect those with whom you want to ally yourself to teach you.
- Support the group you’re allying by letting them speak for themselves whenever possible, instead of speaking for or over them.
- Don’t take credit for the thoughts, actions, or ideas of the marginalized group for which you’re supporting.
- When you make a mistake, apologize sincerely, and use it as a learning experience to help you grow.
- Remember, ally is a verb — you need to do the work, every day. There will be instances that make you uncomfortable to speak up, but you can’t be a part-time ally.