View this email in your browser

5 Ally Actions - Nov 30, 2018

Better allyship starts here. Each week, we share 5 simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace.

Know someone who wants to be a better ally? Forward our newsletter to them. Received a forwarded copy? Sign up here to get 5 Ally Actions delivered to your inbox every Friday.


Hold individuals to the same standards

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Facebook is facing scrutiny for its handling of Russian meddling. (In case you need a refresher, here’s the New York Times story from November 14.)

And there may be a cautionary tale for allies, buried in that story. As Jill Filipovic wrote in Vanity Fair:

"It’s Sandberg who catches most of the heat in the article, underhandedly attacking critics and leveraging her political connections to score gentler treatment. Zuckerberg, 34, plays the role of hapless ingénue, a Silicon Valley man-boy C.E.O. still grappling with the enormity of what he built, more negligent than malicious. Sandberg, 49, doesn’t enjoy the presumption of naïveté; she is the article’s villain-in-chief."

Allies, when a mistake is made, let's not assume the men involved are "hapless ingénues" and hold the women to a higher standard of responsibility. Instead, let’s measure individuals against the same standards, in good times and in bad.


Use Inclusive Language

Being an ally is a journey, and part of that journey is being attuned to the ever-changing needs of those around us, including adjusting our everyday language. Perhaps to using the singular version of “them” when referring to someone. Or steering clear of gendered language like “man-hours” or “man-up.” Or during a team building event, asking people to name their “patronus” instead of their spirit animal.

To brush up on inclusive language principles, be sure to check out Buffer’s new An Incomplete Guide to Inclusive Language for Startups and Tech.


Create a safe space to discuss language

To continue learning about using more inclusive language in your own workplace, consider making a “language matters” channel on your corporate Slack or other discussion tool. Health-care tech company Nuna has such a channel for coworkers to ask questions about non-inclusive language and suggest alternatives. The company also uses it to discuss effective ways to point out when someone uses problematic language and for staff to learn how to respond when called out for their own language choices. Read about it here.

If you don’t already have one, consider creating a safe space for people in your workplace to ask questions and discuss problematic language.


Make events inclusive

This week, Amazon held its annual AWS Re:Invent cloud computing conference in Las Vegas. After attending one of the networking events, @jessicaewest tweeted:

Do’s and Don’ts at tech conferences:
✔️Readily available logistic info
✔️Diverse food options
✔️Fun entertainment
❌ A mechanical bull
❌ Beer Pong
❌ No non-alcoholic drink options

Sounds like that event was geared for bros to have a good time. Here’s a little secret that’ll help you offer more inclusive events: Form a diverse planning committee to bring a range of experiences and ideas for what “fun” looks like. Try it the next time you're planning an event.

And if you're planning a year-end holiday party, check out this handy guide of How to Make Holiday Celebrations More Inclusive.


Believe people when they report harassment

When someone reports harassment, don’t say
- “It’s not a big deal”
- “He just likes to joke around”
- “I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way”
- “I know he was wrong to say it, but remember he saved us so much money on this project”
- “It’s just banter…”

Instead, believe them, and offer your help in addressing the situation.

Being an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

Together, we can — and will — make a difference.

Copyright © 2018 Better Allies, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp