5 Ally Actions | Jul 20, 2018
Each week, we share five simple steps to take to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.
1. Say “distinguished guests” instead of “ladies and gentlemen”
We appreciate the tips in “100 Ways to Make the World Better for Non-binary People” by AC Dumlao. Things like using “they” or “them” as pronouns when you’re not sure of someone’s gender. Realizing that non-binary people may present themselves differently on different days, because that’s how they feel. Understanding there’s no singular non-binary experience. Our favorite? Saying “distinguished guests” instead of “ladies and gentlemen” to be inclusive of everyone.
2. Post openings on a variety of job sites
As a female CEO, Kendall Tucker thought it would be easy to find strong female candidates. But she was receiving 95% male applicants for all job postings.
To diversify her team, she employed a number of strategies. While much of her article was familiar territory for us, she did point out one approach we hadn’t thought of before: “Post on a variety of job sites to get a diverse candidate pool.”
Turns out that, for her positions, LinkedIn attracted up to 90% male engineering applicants, where Angellist, Indeed, Glassdoor and Google attracted more balanced candidate pools.
3. Don’t just paste blue boxes over the racy bits
Recently, while giving an acceptance speech for a distinguished award, a researcher showed several pictures of “scantily clad female students” doing field research. As the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported, “The photographs were risqué enough that conference organizers added blue boxes to cover parts of the women’s bodies.”
Better would have been to reject the slides completely.
4. Spread thankless tasks across a team
This week, the Harvard Business Review published “Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions.” It’s summarizes research by professors Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde, and Lise Vesterlund, who found “that women volunteer for ‘non-promotable’ tasks more than men; that women are more frequently asked to take such tasks on; and that when asked, they are more likely to say yes.”
Allies, let’s spread thankless tasks equitably across our team. And, as Shane Glass tweeted, “Men being more willing to volunteer for these tasks would help too.” Right on.
5. Give credit to the project owner, even if she isn’t in the room
A good reminder of the simple, yet important, action of acknowledging someone’s work, even if they aren’t in the room:
Meeting scene this morning: Person: "& [Senior Man who isn't in the room]'s project …" Senior White Male: "No, that is [Junior Woman who also isn't in the room]'s initiative; she did all the hard work; call it [Woman's Last Name]'s project". This is how you do it, people.
One last thing
Our most popular Medium post is “Let’s meet over coffee. (Or is that creepy?).” If you haven’t read it yet, please take a look, and consider sharing it with colleagues.
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