Allyship in the Workplace

Allyship refers to acknowledging our position of advantage and using it to support and include those who are less advantaged. While allyship has become an increasingly prominent focus in the workplace, many wonder what allyship looks like in practice. Learn more about how your workplace can cultivate allyship with the NeuroLeadership Institute.  

What Does Allyship Look Like in the Workplace?

To be an ally is to actively and consistently advocate for increasing inclusion, minimizing bias and advancing equity in your workplace. Here are some everyday examples of allyship:

  • Speaking up: Routinely speaking up for those in positions less advantaged than you can be as simple as elevating someone’s ideas and extending their platform. This effort helps create a positive community that values everyone’s ideas and brings new perspectives to the company. While you may fear losing your insider position for speaking up in support of others, what you’re actually doing is breaking down the barriers between your organization’s insider and outsider classes.
  • Extending opportunity: True allyship goes beyond speaking up and advocating for others — it requires creating opportunities that let those with less privilege than you rise to their full potential. By extending opportunities, you can create a growth mindset in your workplace and level the playing field for those who have recently joined your team. 
  • Changing systems: Despite how much your organization may try to eradicate them, biases are baked into your existing system. Changing systems to create a more equitable workplace takes more than an overnight effort — it’s an ongoing process that changes over time. 

To read some examples of real-life allyship, be sure to check out our Allyship in Real Life page.

person turning in work

How to Become an Ally in the Workplace

Being an ally requires considerable strength and the ability to stand up for what’s right in any circumstances. While many feel intimated by the prospect of being an ally, there’s a great secret — allies are made, not born. At NLI, we believe that up to 98% of people have the potential to become great allies. 

Understanding your position as one of advantage is the first step to becoming an ally. At NLI, we believe there are two central steps to learning how to be an ally in the workplace:

  • Knowing: By becoming aware of others’ struggles and having empathy, you’ve taken the first step toward becoming an ally. However, learning is not enough to be an ally, and you must take the next step. 
  • Doing: Acting on your awareness and publically addressing injustice is the most vital part of becoming an ally. Regardless of your role in your workplace, you are capable of advocating for others. Whether you’re speaking up for a colleague or putting in the work to change systems, you must do what is necessary to advance your colleagues.

Make the Case for Allyship With NLI

At the NeuroLeadership Institute, we help professionals in your workforce become better leaders, so everyone in your office can reach their full potential. We use the following framework to encourage allyship:

Unpack and define common terminology to better name phenomena occurring around your office.

Address misconceptions about allyship to create a more productive conversation.

Identity and understand the cognition barriers to allyship.

Discuss core habits to drive change.

ALLY from NLI is a transformative program that helps you develop an inclusive, equitable environment. Contact us online today to learn how we can help your workplace take the first steps to become allies.

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