10 Actions to Support Women of Color:
It's Time to for Advocates to Step Up
Are you an ally for women of color at work? I think most of us want to say yes, and in fact, in the recent McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org Women in the Workplace 2020 report, 61 percent of men and 65 percent of women say they are. However, when you dig down into what actions we take, the results are underwhelming. This speaks to me about the difference between allies and advocates.
My colleague, Dr. Sheila Robinson, Publisher & CEO, Diversity Woman Media, puts it this way: "While Women of Color are grateful to our male allies who have raised their hands to support, in order for your support to truly make a difference, you have to be actively engaged as an advocate."
If advocates are not visibly and vocally committing to individual actions, then how can we expect the rest of the organization to do so?
While I firmly believe progressive companies are making headway, slowly, the challenge remains that most companies and employees don't know how to start. Most companies lack truly integrated strategies to advance all women, let alone women of color specifically. If you consider yourself to be an advocate for women of color in the workplace, but you're not sure where to begin, I'm releasing new tools this month to address the issue, including a white paper and an Advocating for Women of Color pledge that outlines 10 actions you can take.
The article highlights the actions of Listen, Learn, Lead and Have the Will.
Listen - Reach out and have a conversation with a woman of color in your work group. Use what you hear to help you understand the unique challenges she is facing. (Note: Do not share this information with your teams. This step is for your own personal development.)
Learn - Read and discuss as a team some of the research around the inequities women of color face.
Lead - Discuss what tangible actions your team can take in the next 30 days.
Have the Will - Choose to have a conversation with a white colleague outside of your department and discuss the actions you are going to take.
The Creating Gender Advocates Virtual Series is a perfect complement to your Women's History Month programming in March 2021. Contact us to learn more!