Anybody can be an ally, no matter the color of their skin but being an ally takes time, so its better to start earlier than later!!
How do you get started?
There are a ton of resources out there in different formats (books, podcasts, movies,…) Start by learning about different forms of gender identity and sexual orientation, and actively seek training. There are also several free online trainings available on different platforms – research them. If you have the options, ask your company HR about formal D&I learning opportunities.
Ask people their names and how they like their names to be pronounced, understand their preferences, use gender-neutral language when talking to people you do not know much about, be aware of the types of microagressions that exist. Dont assume, but ask. Only if you ask, will you know.
There is no universal definition of what constitutes as a minority or underrepresented group and community – it varies depending on the constitution of demographics at a place. There are different groups of underrepresented people – there are underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, women of color, women as a minority, LGBTQ+ and more. Be aware of your environment and which minority groups surround you.
“See something, say something” is a phrase which is the most important to execute but also the most difficult. Bad behavior needs to be called out. If you really cannot help, then you should not intervene, but reflect on who CAN help, and involve that person accordingly.
Once you are aware of your surrounding and environment, engage and invite people to speak up, for example, in meetings at the workplace, or informal events in your social circle.
I believe allyship is great to unlock the power of diversity!
Being a “true” ally means to use your own privilege to advocate for a marginalized group, and then extend the benefits of your own privilege to those who don’t have it.
Performative allyship, on the other hand, is when someone who is from a non marginalized group promotes support for a marginalized group in a manner that doesn’t directly or indirectly help the marginalized group. This is done usually for a reward in return.
So how can you be a “true” ally and not a performative one?
🔺 Reflect on your own privilege and acknowledge it!
🔺 Be conscious of your environment, and the people surrounding you, both in private life and at the workplace!
🔺 Call out people in daily life when you see acts of inequality, racism and injustice (THIS is the most difficult, but also most important)
🔺 Try to be aware of performative allyship and do not practise it!