Organisations can play a key role in creating awareness, educating, and developing a culture that supports active allyship. As conversations and action towards equality, diversity and inclusion progress in organisations, the importance of active allyship become increasingly essential.
Leaders are the crux of creating and empowering the culture that can support change and advocate to set the right examples.
We asked #TeamEames: How do you think organisations can play an active role as an ally?
"Organisations can play a key role in creating awareness, educating, and developing a culture that supports active allyship." Tara Robinson, principal consultant
"Education is key for companies to protect their culture. For example, regular ‘think’ pieces shared across the business, creating a dedicated medium to share ideas openly within this space, and being honest about areas that require improvement, or that need to be addressed head-on in order to contribute to creating a safe environment for employees to feel involved and valued." Heather Yardley, senior consultant
"Organisations can play a very important role in being an ally within D&I. They can help to stimulate difficult conversations which need to be had in order to help progress equality in the workplace." Hannah Turner, principal consultant
"Allyship is about how we use our privilege; all staff need to play their part, senior people need to use their power to put words into action and come armed with a plan to action meaningful change." Glen Roberts, partner & director
"For me, the way organisations can be a great ally is by asking tough questions, listening and acting. It’s important that rather than assume they know the struggles people have in minority groups actually ask them and then get their input into changing things. Get people involved and then support and champion their ideas. That will create a culture of inclusion and allyship and in turn promote diversity!" Mark Thomas, partner & director
"First of all, they need to look at where they lack diversity, and where they don’t. Looking at what personal compromises/challenges someone has to make to be a part of your organisation can often tell you where your unconscious biases are and therefore where there may be a gap. I also think that you need to truly understand your existing employees before understanding what your own policies should be. Also, not making a big fuss over a “diversity hire” but ensuring that each and every new hire feels valued and wanted for their skillset, not their socio-economic background, gender, race, sexuality, or neurodiversity." Abigail Moss, associate director
"It’s probably impossible to know what wider social issues might be affecting every individual within an organisation, which is why it’s great to have resources readily accessible in case someone might feel in need of support. Another great way to be an ally is by advocating and creating awareness within an organisation to foster an environment where everyone is welcome and included." Viveca Riley, associate consultant
"I’m a big advocate of listening services or reporting lines that allow individuals to report examples of poor behaviour and/or microaggressions anonymously, provided that someone senior is owning that service and acting on the information they receive in a timely fashion. Regular communication about all things D&I from a corporate perspective is also key. Allyship to me is a verb as well as an adjective, so it’s important for companies to not fall into the trap of thinking it’s something to tackle once a year. It’s great that there are various markers in the calendar to celebrate diversity and inclusion and ensure it remains front of mind, but for it to truly permeate a company culture it has to be embedded in everyday practices." Charlie Thomas, associate partner, Eames Partnership
"Be the change we want and need. An organisation can make adjustments to processes like recruitment, training and the culture of the business. It could be as simple as opening the candidate pool in terms of background, creating apprenticeships, providing awareness and training sessions for employees to highlight unconscious bias there are a number of small changes that can have an impact on diversity and inclusion across the board." Natasha Richards, client relationship manager