New Year’s Resolutions for Better Allies

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

1. Get to know the work being done by people from underrepresented groups

If you’re thinking of making a New Year’s resolution to be a better ally, here’s one idea: get to know the work of people who are members of underrepresented groups. Doing so will help you be a sponsor, say good things about them when they’re not in the room, and recommend them for stretch assignments. It will help you open career doors for them.

2. Nominate a colleague from an underrepresented group for an award

Here’s another idea for a New Year’s resolution: On January 1, Professor Nicole Gasparini tweeted:

“Dear white male non-EC colleagues, Want to do something important for DEI this year? Nominate a POC or WW colleague for an award. Minoritized people are nominating each other, but we need help. I promise it won’t be hard to find a nominee once you put your mind to it.”

3. Create a culture where accomplishments are regularly recognized and celebrated

In her book Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive, Jo Miller explains how women can face a backlash when they advocate for themselves and talk about their achievements. It’s because this behavior goes against cultural expectations for women. Yet, women need to talk about their accomplishments to be seen as being competent.

Jo’s advice? Create a culture at work where accomplishments are regularly recognized and celebrated. Doing so can normalize it for everyone.

Consider adding “Humble Brags” as a regular agenda item during weekly meetings, creating a Slack channel for sharing the wins, and so on.

4. Think of promotion-ready underrepresented employees during organizational planning

When an organization announces leadership changes or a restructuring, people from underrepresented groups tend to take stock. Is the leadership team less diverse than before? Were white men from outside the company hired to take on leadership roles when there were equally (or better) qualified women or people of color?

If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” there’s work to do to ensure we have an inclusive, engaging workplace.

Because we trust people we know, and because we tend to have “just like me” networks, we tend to promote people who are similar to us. To make sure we’re promoting people equitably, we should be diversifying our network and getting to know the work of people who aren’t like us. As a check, we should also review employees who are members of underrepresented groups during any organizational planning discussion. We should make sure they are top of mind and considered for promotions.

5. Get your copy of our new guidebook

We have some exciting news. Karen Catlin published her latest book, “The Better Allies™ Approach to Hiring.” In this compact 75-page guidebook, Karen shares best practices to recruit and hire people from underrepresented ethnicities and genders, with non-traditional educational backgrounds, with gaps on their resumes, or from older generations. With examples, stories, checklists, rubrics, and guidelines galore, this unique tool will help you transform your hiring process to attract and retain diverse applicants.

Head over to Amazon to get your copy.

If you read one of the Better Allies books…

We hope you find it helpful. Perhaps even indispensable, like one Diversity and Inclusion leader who said she doesn’t leave home without it. Her copy is tattered and full of post-it notes, which we find incredibly flattering.

We’d like your help getting our books into the hands of more people. Please consider leaving a review on Amazon for Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces or The Better Allies™ Approach to Hiring. Just a sentence or two is all it takes to help people find the book, which in turn helps to create more inclusive workplaces everywhere. Thank you.

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

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✉️ This content originally appeared in our newsletter, 5 Ally Actions. Subscribe to get it delivered to your inbox every Friday.

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Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies™ approach.

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

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