In our society, we are all facing challenges – some large, some not so daunting. Our outside ‘face’ may not necessarily reflect what we are experiencing within. Some of the conflicts may be due to one or many of the “isms” – racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, anti-Semitism. These repressive behavior are surfacing, sadly, more and more in the workplace. But there is hope. Something can be done. Even if you are on the receiving end of this unacceptable attitude, you can combat it by becoming an ally.
What is the Purpose of an Ally?
The purpose of an Ally is to:
- Be a friend
- Be a listener
- Be open-minded
- Be willing to talk
- Join others for a common purpose
- Believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect
- Commit to personal growth
The responsibility of an Ally is much more than being sympathetic and believing in equality. Allies are willing to act alongside with or stand for others in ending oppression and creating equality. In your case, it’s allowing the workplace to become a safe space for all your employees.
The Purpose of an Ally is Not to:
- Have ready-made answers for solutions to problems – Being authentic is crucial to showing love and care; therefore, either can’t be done if an Ally already has a closed or narrow view for how things work. It is okay not to have the answer. It can sometimes be enough to lend an empathetic ear.
- Be a counselor or handle crisis situations — An Ally does not handle urgent situations where a person’s life may be at risk. Providing experienced staff on hand is one service that Jonamay Lambert & Associates provides to equip select members of your staff.
- Engage in a conversation that goes beyond an Ally’s comfort zone — There is no expectation that as an Ally, you are to understand what it is like for a member of LGBTQ+ or other groups you may not be a part of. It is important to remember that shared experiences are not needed to relate and make someone feel heard.
Why Does it Matter to Have Ally Training?
Ally training doesn’t mean that discrimination and other forms of unjust conduct will cease; however, it can lead to workplace improvement and work. The Williams Institute reports that “Less discrimination and more openness, in turn, are also linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and increased productivity”.
Yes, workplace productivity is a compelling reason for why Ally training matters, but ultimately, it should be to give dignity and respect to all people. All people deserve to be treated as people. It’s unfortunate that people whose “difference”, whether age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, etc. aren’t experiencing that on a daily basis.
Laws and policies cannot keep up with the growing and progressive social movements of society; therefore, it is the responsibility of company owners, like yourself, to step forward and lead the charge in fighting discrimination by creating a safe, open and respectful workplace culture that values every individual.
- Educate yourself about different identities and experiences. Be relevant in the changing winds of society. Taking the time to educate yourself on your own time not only shows your coworkers that you care but also that you want to treat everyone, even outside of the workplace, with dignity and respect.
- Challenge your own discomfort and prejudices. With modern technology, there are several documentaries that are available to help you understand the long history of mistreatment and hate towards the LGBTQ+ community that will challenge what you know about the community.
- Consult Jonamay Lambert & Associates. One of the goals of Jonamay Lambert & Associates is to train company executives and employers how to support, address, and challenge their own bias to create a more inclusive and safer workplace environment.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Every year brings new goals to achieve. What if this year you set high goals for your company and empower your employers to be committed to respect and optimal performance? It is possible.
How? By encouraging an environment where age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, thinking, learning and working styles, etc. are welcomed and valued.
Call Jonamay Lambert & Associates today for a free consultation to see what is possible