Feeling Lost About How to Be an Ally? 6 Ways to Do Better.

These local DEI advocates weighed in on how to create change in the workplace.
Written by Eva Roethler
July 1, 2021Updated: July 9, 2021

Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential if technology is going to be an industry of innovation and lead the world into the future. 

The business advantages of DEI are a given. It is well known that a heterogeneous team is more innovative and higher performing. But, as Harvard Business Review pointed out in its guidance for creating a racially just workplace, it is essential to move beyond the business case for DEI and embrace the moral one. Put frankly: We need to do better for marginalized colleagues simply because it is the right thing to do. 

While this concept can be applied at any level of influence, individual contributors may feel lost about where to begin and ask: “What can I do to make a difference?” 

We talked to six local DEI advocates to answer that question.

 

Related ReadingThere Is Definitely an ‘I’ in Inclusion: Simple Ways to Become a DEI Leader

 

Pamay Bassey
Chief Learning and Diversity Officer

Opt in to inclusivity.

“It is in making inclusive choices that independent contributors can have an impact on an organization’s culture. Participate in events and interact with different people. In meetings, or as you complete tasks, solicit the opinions of colleagues from different backgrounds. If your company has an ERG, join it.”

The Kraft Heinz Company is a food and beverage firm on a mission to create AI-powered solutions.

 

Eva Zambrano
Client Success Manager

Step up to the challenge.

“DEI initiatives are fun and attainable! If you don’t know where to start, reach out to your ERG leadership or join active DEI channels to start learning.

Anyone can partake in DEI initiatives, and sometimes the smallest actions are the ones that go the furthest. Start by determining what you can do to be more inclusive and build community. If you see something that is missing, don’t be afraid to step up to the challenge.”

Affirm is a fintech company.

 

Eboni Brown-Moore
Senior Team Lead and ERG Co-lead

Create opportunities to drive change.

“You must seize every opportunity that allows you to be an active participant and a driving force in DEI change, whether it be completing a DEI company survey, starting a peer support group or becoming an ally in an employee resource group.

I encourage you to attend the next employee resource group meeting if you have been considering attending for some time now, as a member or an ally. If your company does not have an ERG, ask yourself how can you be the driving force to starting one. Begin to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and watch your organization's DEI success change the face of workplace culture.” 

SpotHero is a tech company focused on transportation and parking.

 

Aly Rumel
Senior Account Executive and the North America inclusion team lead

Build a celebratory space.

“Creating an environment where people don’t just feel safe to show up authentically, but also feel celebrated for bringing their authentic selves to the conversation enables teams to produce highly impactful work that reminds each of us of our common humanity. 

The challenge for leaders is recognizing that showing up authentically is a risky and radical act for many employees who already must work hard to simply occupy space in a corporate system that was built by, and for, a fraction of the population.

If you already have the privilege of safely bringing your whole self to work, you have the responsibility to extend that right to others. How? Consistently hold space, listen and wait. Then when people feel safe and begin showing up — celebrate.”

The Marketing Store is a global customer engagement agency.

 

closerWe
Diversity, equity and inclusion ERG

Don't go it alone.

“Our individual experiences and backgrounds contribute to an informed perspective in developing solutions for a more equitable environment for all. We embrace running toward problems and tackling them together. While reaching these goals is a continued work in progress, we are more confident and encouraged when we’re doing it together.”

closerlook is a digital marketing agency.

 

Channing Jones
Chief Diversity Officer

Never stop learning and listening.

“I have been asked my entire career, 'What can I do to make a difference?' The DEI acronym can seem overwhelming and many of us do not know where to start contributing to an equitable and inclusive culture. The words equitable and inclusive give many of us pause, not because we do not want to participate in that world, but because we don’t know how.

I am constantly reading articles from thought leaders and listening to employees — it is important to meet people where they are in their journey.”

CSG helps companies acquire, monetize, engage and retain customers.

 

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