Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

person standing at a podium, speaking into a microphone
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Host an Open Forum

Public speaking is like a career multivitamin. Presenting at a team meeting, a company gathering, or an external event increases one’s visibility. Which leads to sponsors taking notice. And that leads to career growth.

While public speaking can be nerve-wracking, to the point that many of us say “nope” or…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person walking outside, wearing a suit, carrying an overflowing briefcase, holding a card, with paper tucked under their arm.
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Realize racism kills careers

Last weekend, I read Minda Harts’ new book, Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace. While her primary audience is women of color, it’s also a critical read for anyone who wants to be a better ally. Harts gives so much insight into the everyday racism…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person, walking towards 3 circles that contain the head of others, plus red paper with lines, representing feedback.
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Work up your courage for a redo

Do you not always know how to intervene when you see bias or harassment? Me, too.

In her new book The Wake Up, Michelle MiJung Kim shares an impactful collection of stories and principles to apply to diversity and inclusion work — from personal practices to organizational change. I could…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person standing in front of a to-do list, with the first item highlighted in red, with a red check mark in front of it, signifying task complete
Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Advocate for opportunities, especially for women of color

McKinsey and LeanIn released their latest annual Women in the Workplace study with findings from 65,000 employees at 423 companies. It’s full of insight on how men and women experience the workplace differently, including an intersectional analysis of the experience of women of color, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ women.


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person standing in a forest, touching a big red X, representing making a mistake
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Let yourself be a beginner

In The Path to Allyship, Denise Hamilton, an inclusion strategist and CEO of WatchHerWork, wrote about adopting a beginner mindset:

“If you are doing anything worthwhile, you will make mistakes. It is not a possibility, but guaranteed. As adults, most of us have identified our areas of giftedness and focus…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person in red top and jeans, looking into a mirror and seeing themselves in a business suit
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Avoid the mirror-tocracy

In What do we mean when we talk about workplace culture?, author and cultural trends expert Annie Auerbach wrote:

“In the workplace we often hear the words ‘cultural fit’. People are hired because of this. It means they get the same jokes and share the same cultural references as the…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Two people, sitting at a work station, going over a document
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Avoid on-site favoritism

During my keynotes and fireside chats on Better Allies, I’m starting to get questions about fostering inclusion in a hybrid workplace, where some people work in person and others are remote. I appreciate that people want to know how to make a difference, whether they’re already in a hybrid setting…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

A large dark green quotation mark on a light green background with text “Amplify the voices of those without a microphone. If you have the power of a voice that can be heard, use that voice to name-drop underestimated people whom you admire.” ⁦from “It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage” by Arlan Hamilton and Rachel L. Nelson
Quote from “It’s About Damn Time” by Arlan Hamilton

1. Name-drop underestimated people you admire

Over the weekend, I spent some time avoiding the heat and smokey air in the Bay Area by staying indoors and reading It’s About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage by Arlan Hamilton. While her stories are aimed at inspiring people who are underrepresented and…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Person sitting on sofa, talking on phone
Illustration by Katerina Limpitsouni of unDraw

1. Push back on “token hire” comments

Last week, one of my coaching clients, a Black woman, heard that an executive at her company had disparagingly called her “a token.” For context, she is a talented leader with decades of industry experience. I fumed when she told me.

If you’re not familiar with tokenism, it’s about making…


Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

Book cover for The Savvy Ally by Jeannie Gainsburg; a guide for becoming a skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate

Because I’m on vacation this week, I invited my friend Jeannie Gainsburg to write today’s article. Below, you’ll read about five strategies for showing up as an ally for LGBTQ+ coworkers and clients, based on her book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate. I’m a…

Better Allies®

Everyday actions to create inclusive, engaging workplaces. Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies® approach.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store