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Is allyship for you?

If you care about diversity, equity and inclusion in your workplace, but don’t know what you can do about it, consider becoming an ally. That’s the topic we explored in our workshop, “Allyship is the New Leadership” at the 2022 IABC World Conference in New York City this week. Allyship involves becoming aware of social injustice, learning more about other people’s lived experiences, and taking action – using your privilege and power to benefit others. Allyship is a personal choice. We believe that the more allies in an organization, the more likely DEI principles and practices will be woven into the fabric of your company’s culture.


In our workshop, we covered three modules: storytelling, data and community:

Storytelling is a very human way of connecting. As I shared the story of my own allyship journey with workshop participants, I noted where I was when I realized I needed to do more, what steps I took to educate myself about allyship, and how I put my intentions into action. You can reflect on these same steps in your journey to build your own allyship narrative. I have found that when I share my allyship story, it opens opportunities for deeper conversations with colleagues on a range of important issues.

Data is critical to building the business case for DEI programs and activities within your organization. At Forty1, our DEI Centre of Excellence gathers data by conducting global, online focus groups. These anonymous and psychologically safe sessions have allowed us to produce a compelling insights report filled with data that is useful to those responsible for managing their organization’s DEI work. In the future, we will conduct another global, online focus group about DEI in the workplace. If you would like your voice to be heard, we invite you to register for your invitation here.

Community is an essential element of any successful DEI agenda. A community of allies in an organization are those who build the bridge from good intentions to meaningful actions. At the conference, it was announced that IABC has activated a brand-new Shared Interest Group (SIG) on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. It is my honor to co-lead this SIG with Anuja Agarwal, National Communications Director at PwC Canada and Chair, DEI Committee, IABC.

We know that companies with great reputations for DEI are talent magnets. People want to work for purpose-led organizations that create a culture of belonging. One of the most effective ways to achieve a great workplace is to encourage colleagues to become allies committed to putting DEI principles into practice.