Through the Looking Glass
Allyship according to Nicole Asong Nfonoyim-Hara is “when a person of privilege works in solidarity and partnership with a marginalized group of people to help take down the systems that challenge that group’s basic rights, equal access, and ability to thrive in our society.” Allies play a significant role in the effort to dismantle racism and oppression in the workplace, through supportive personal relationships, public acts of sponsorship and advocacy that help to drive systemic improvements to workplace policies, practices, and culture.
According to Lean In , 80 percent of white employees consider themselves as allies to people of colour at work, but only 45-55 percent women of colour agree to having strong allies in the workplace. In the words of Mikki Kendall, “it’s never the privileged outsider who gets to decide when they are a good ally,” allyship involves intentional meaningful action geared towards dismantling oppression. L’Oreal Thompson Payton shares the questions below to encourage reflection on true allyship.
- Do You Get Defensive When a Coworker Calls You Out?
- Are you educating yourself?
- Are You Willing to Use Your Privilege to Help Others?
- Do You Amplify the Voices of Coworkers?
- Do You Hold Your Colleagues Accountable?
- Do You Acknowledge Your Unconscious Bias?
- Are you Consistently Taking Action?