As we embarked on our journey towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the success of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) highlighted the need for employees from all backgrounds to actively engage as allies. However, we recognized that true allyship is more than just a self-proclaimed title. It requires buy-in from employees from underrepresented communities and intentional support from our organization to enable individuals to become effective allies.
In response to this challenge, we introduced an annual April initiative in 2021 called Allyship Awareness Month. This month-long event serves as a platform to equip aspiring and current allies with the necessary tools and knowledge to best support underrepresented communities within our organization.
During Allyship Awareness Month, we provide comprehensive learning resources, workshops, and training sessions to educate employees on the principles and practices of effective allyship. We focus on fostering empathy, understanding intersectionality, and promoting active engagement in advancing the voices and experiences of underrepresented groups.
By dedicating a month-long observance to allyship each year, we have created a concentrated period of awareness and learning, allowing individuals to deepen their understanding of what it means to be an ally, and to take on the work of putting effective allyship into practice. This initiative serves as a powerful catalyst for building a culture of support and advocacy across all demographics.
The introduction of Allyship Awareness Month has yielded significant outcomes for our organization. Firstly, it has directly contributed to an increase in our Inclusion Index across all demographics. By empowering employees to be effective allies, we have fostered a more inclusive and welcoming environment, where individuals from underrepresented communities feel valued, respected, and supported.
Additionally, the success of Allyship Awareness Month has led us to launch an annual Unconscious Bias Education Program. This initiative addresses the inherent biases that exist within all individuals and provides strategies for recognizing and mitigating these biases in the workplace. By proactively addressing unconscious bias, we foster a more equitable and inclusive environment that enables everyone to thrive.
Through these outcomes, our organization has demonstrated its commitment to creating an inclusive culture where all individuals can contribute their unique perspectives and experiences. By engaging employees as allies and addressing unconscious biases, we have taken meaningful steps towards creating a more equitable workplace.