Flagging Non-Inclusive Language, Complimenting Expertise, and 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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Photo of man wearing hoodie with shadow of a hand over his face, by Luis Quintero from Pexels

1. Use a tool to flag non-inclusive language

Chapter 9 of Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces is focused on ways to shift your language to be more inclusive. One idea is to use a tool to automatically flag non-inclusive words and phrases and make alternate suggestions.

If you use Slack, you can easily customize your workspace Slackbot to look for “guys,” “crazy,” “insane,” “midget,” “pimp,” “has balls” and other such terms. And program it respond automatically with an explanation of why the word or phrase isn’t inclusive and some alternatives to consider.

Want to learn how to get started? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s another idea, this one for encouraging more inclusive language in email. It comes from Steve Anderson, who tweeted:

What a simple idea. Thanks Steve.

2. Compliment underrepresented colleagues about their expertise

Did you know Thursday January 24 was National Compliment Day? Well, it was, if you trust trending hashtags on Twitter.

Regardless of it being a “day” or not, let’s be sure to give regular shoutouts to coworkers from underrepresented backgrounds. Our favorite compliment looks like this:

“What I learned from <name of a woman or other marginalized colleague> is the following…”

Doing so can help increase someone’s visibility, boosting their reputation and credibility. It’s one of the simplest forms of sponsorship an ally can embrace.

3. Diversify your network

Did you know that white people tend to have networks full of other white people? Since we all tap our networks to find candidates, this means that white people tend to hire more white people. As this article points out, it’s one of the ways that organizations are failing black workers.

If you have a homogeneous network, what steps will you take to diversify it?

4. Look at the full picture when doing a pay gap audit

When doing a pay gap analysis, it’s important to look at the full picture. Not just salary, but stock options and other ways you compensate employees. As reported this week, Intel had to close it’s pay gap for a second time, to include stock grants.

And speaking of pay gap audits…

5. Push your company to reveal the results of its pay gap analysis

A new study shows that companies who were required to disclose pay disparities were able to shrink their gaps more effectively than those that did not disclose it. Plus they hired and promoted more women.

Can you recommend this approach for your company, even if disclosing the results is not required?

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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