Ally Actions – Sep 20, 2019

Quote more women

Let’s face it. When giving presentations or writing blog posts, it’s easy to think of white male leaders to quote. (Think Bezos or Jobs or Zuckerberg.) But, representation matters. And now there’s a resource to make it easier to quote women leaders. Check out this collection. Use their free slides for your next presentation or social media campaign. And consider submitting additional quotes from women leaders to enhance the collection.

Push back on the bias women encounter

In this eye-opening interview with a transgender woman, we were reminded of the bias facing women working in tech:
“Before my transition, people assumed I knew what I was talking about. They didn’t talk over me in meetings. They trusted me when I spoke, and they didn’t look to others for confirmation of my ideas. There was a baseline assumption that I was competent and capable. Since my transition, it’s distressingly common for people to talk over me, to look to men for validation of the things I say, to assume that I couldn’t possibly know anything about [technical topic] because I’m a girl. I’ve actually had people tell me, ‘what could you possibly know about that? You’re a girl!’ ”

Look out for this bias in your workplace interactions, and push back on it. Here are some simple phrases to consider using: “I’d like to hear her finish that thought” and “Looks like you don’t believe what she said; what makes you think that?”

Don’t shame and blame those with privilege

At its core, privilege is a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group. What they do with that privilege is what matters, and shaming or blaming anyone for being privileged can make them understandably defensive. Doing so can drive them away from being better allies.

Instead, encourage anyone with privilege to listen to the experiences of others, to learn, and to take action. Just one action every day can make a difference and help create a more inclusive workplace culture.

Back to list