Do you call yourself an ally? In the DEI space, it’s a term we use often to describe the many people who align with and support equitable opportunities for others, specifically people from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. Some people claim the term proudly. Others do the work of allyship but don’t align with the label of “ally.” And still others see the term as provocative or triggering, perhaps hinting at its overuse and sometimes ambiguous meaning.
To begin, let’s agree on this definition from Harvard Business Review. Allyship, they write, is “a strategic mechanism used by individuals to become collaborators, accomplices, and co-conspirators who fight injustice and promote equity in the workplace through supportive personal relationships and public acts of sponsorship and advocacy.” In other words, to be an ally is to be someone engaged in strategic acts that build a more just and equitable workplace... and world.