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5 Ally Actions - Nov 2, 2018

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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.


Ensure there’s a process for all workers to report sexual misconduct

Yesterday, Google employees around the globe walked out of their offices to protest the disappointing ways the company handles sexual harassment incidents. In doing so, they made 5 demands:

  1. An end to Forced Arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination.
  2. A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity.
  3. A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report.
  4. A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
  5. Elevate the Chief Diversity Officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the Board of Directors. Appoint an Employee Rep to the Board.

While we’re supportive of all five, the fourth one seems particularly actionable for our readers. As the organizers explained, they want a process that’s accessible to all: full-time employees, temporary employees, vendors, and contractors alike. The ability to report unsafe working conditions should not be dictated by employment status.

Does your company have a process for reporting harassment or other unsafe working conditions? Is it open to all workers, not just full-time employees? If not, figure out who you can talk to about changing it.


Pay attention to pay

November 1, 2018 was #LatinaEqualPayDay, marking the nine extra months Latina women in the United States must work to earn what their white male counterparts earned in 2017.

If your company hasn’t already instituted a pay equity review, you’ve got work to do. Can you make this happen for your team? Better yet, for your larger function, business unit, or company?


Find a URM to be your mentor

In last week’s newsletter, we shared JPMorgan Chase’s 30-5-1 initiative. (Spend 30 minutes a week having coffee with a talented up and coming woman, spend 5 minutes a week congratulating a female colleague on a win or success, and spend 1 minute a week talking up the woman who had that win to other colleagues around the firm. We went on to suggest applying 30-5-1 to members of underrepresented groups, not just women.)

One of our newsletter subscribers, Tessa Petrich, emailed us an awesome idea to improve on the initiative. She wrote:

"Love the 30-5-1. I do think it falls short though. We need to reshape the narrative about what leadership looks like. Though limited, there are a number of incredible female and URM leaders out there. Why not challenge our allies to seek them as mentors? To deepen those connections and networks. If I have an incredible black woman as a mentor, and three years from now I’m hiring a new chief of staff, what better person to turn to in that process for new talent? If my husband has an incredible female CTO as a mentor, he’s not only rewiring his own subtle biases about what tech leadership looks like, but he’s expanding his network of engineers for the next time he starts a company.”

Right on! Let’s all identify something we want to be mentored on, and reach out to a member of an underrepresented gender or group who has some expertise in this area.


Take this implicit bias test

In Why We Stereotype Strangers, ex-Googler Rick Klau describes how he took an online test to uncover some of his unconscious attitudes about genders. And how he was shocked to find he strongly associated men with work and science and women with home and liberal arts.

He took some deliberate actions to address his bias, including

  • Reaching out to more URMs on LinkedIn;
  • Looking for different voices on Twitter;
  • Following more journalists who weren’t white men;
  • No longer attending mostly-male conferences; and
  • Talking with more women at events.

Want to better recognize your personal bias? Take this free, online implicit association test by Project Implicit. And identify some actions to address your ingrained attitudes towards people who are different from you.


Give US employees time off to vote

In the US, we have a big election day coming up on Tuesday, November 6. Did you know that only 30 states have time-off-to-vote laws? Allies, let's make sure all our employees can cast their ballots.

You can check which states support voter leave of absence here.

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

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

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