Bucking Unconscious Demotions and Sacrosanct Hiring Processes, plus Other Actions for Allies

Each week, we share five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

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Image of man with arms folded, courtesy of The Jopwell Collection

1. Buck unconscious demotions

Massachusetts State Representative Tram Nguyen was on the receiving end of one of these demotions, which she shared on Twitter:

The next time you meet someone for the first time, ask an open-ended question about their work. Use this technique to combat bias that might otherwise have you demoting them unconsciously.

2. Don’t hold existing hiring processes as sacrosanct

One of their learnings: Some tech companies weren’t willing to change their hiring process to be less biased. They saw their process as sacrosanct.

As allies, let’s all be open to feedback. Let’s strive to understand where people from underrepresented groups drop out of our hiring pipeline, and take action to change those steps to be more inclusive and less biased.

3. Realize it’s not on THEM to find YOU, but on YOU to find THEM

As we learned in this article in Fast Company by Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson, it’s not on them to find us. By contrast, it’s on us to find them.

4. Identify year-round actions to support black colleagues

For example, if you’re a white person,

  • Select books by black authors to read throughout during 2019
  • Subscribe to a podcast by a black host or one that features black guests
  • Reach out to your black employee group and offer to be a mentor
  • Identify professional events for black people that you will attend this year (checking first with the event’s web site or organizers to make sure you’d be welcome).

5. If you make a mistake, apologize, learn, and take action

In fact, we made a mistake this week that we want to share with you. Here’s what happened:

If you follow @betterallies on Twitter, you know that we tweet the actions for our weekly newsletter, often in advance of the publication date. A few days ago, we tweeted action #4 from this newsletter (above). However, in our tweet, we used “POC” instead of “black.” E.g., “Select books by POC authors to read during 2019.”

Katrina Jones, Head of D&I at Twitch, immediately replied:

We’re so grateful to Katrina for pointing this out. We learned from her, and we took action by tweeting an improved version.

Being an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

Together, we can — and will — make a difference.

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

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