The UHNW Institute’s DEI Allyship Challenge
Here at The UHNW Institute, we believe allyship is essential to highly functioning teams as well as attracting and retaining a diverse client and employee base. Acts of allyship generally fall into one of three categories: speaking up, extending opportunities, and challenging the status quo. Below is an allyship challenge developed by our DEI Initiative Committee that includes some practical ways you can be a better ally in your workplace and community.
- In advance of meetings or calls, research the pronunciation of names here if you find they’re unfamiliar or may not be phonetic. Avoid workplace nicknames that are “easier.” This creates a false identity for someone that may last their entire career.
- Understanding use of pronouns and LGBTQIA terms.
- Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays outside of your own. Avoid hosting events, meetings and calls on important days such as Yom Kippur the same way you would Christmas Day. Learn that the Hispanic community celebrates the Christmas holiday on Christmas Eve (which can often be a business day) not Christmas Day. Note: Microsoft Outlook often has the function to import these days. If you’d like a full list, click here.
- Learn how you can stand up when you observe racism, sexism, harassment and microaggressions. Learn more here.
- Highlight and promote the skills and contributions of individuals in historically marginalized groups. Ask them to present or speak up in meetings. Invite them to lead a project or initiative unrelated to diversity.
- Support working parents of young children by not consistently hosting calls and events during family time, which is often 5 – 8 p.m.
- Support single and divorced parents by consulting with them regarding their parenting schedule, which is often legally binding and inflexible.
- Read Harvard Business Review Guide on How to Be a Better Ally and 7 Ways to Practice Active Allyship
- Put HR policies into place to support removing unconscious bias in hiring and promoting by removing names from resumes.
- Facilitate an easy way for name and pronoun changes for employee email, teams, etc. Legal names may have to stay the same for payment purposes.
- Join Employee Resource Groups outside of your personal identity.
- Reflect on these and draw on them to remind you to use your privilege to lift others:
- I am never stopped at immigration queues when traveling for work because of my nationality.
- I have never had to explain and defend where I am from and/or answer the follow-up question: Where are you actually from?
- I have never had to explain that my children are my own and/or answer the follow-up question: Who’s the real mom?
- I have never had to alter my hair to be seen as professional.
- I have never had to make considered choices about what to wear to be taken seriously.
- I have never been refused an opportunity or job because of my age.
- I have never had to hide who I love out of fear of judgment or worse, criminal persecution.
- I have never felt like altering or changing my first or last name.
- I have never had to downplay my invisible disabilities to get an interview.
- I have never had to go through additional rounds of job interviews.
- I have never been declined a job on the basis of “not fitting in.”
Our DEI Initiative Committee Members: Kelly Lora Ewart, Betsy Erickson, Nicole Perkins, Sharyn Church, David Reynolds and Rusdi Sumner
As always, if you have any questions about how to practice allyship at your firm or are interested in joining The UHNW Institute, please do not hesitate to contact us.