What does Allyship look like for Women in 2023?
I will start by saying that having been a female in the workforce and the world, there was no manual or book on how to excel. As I reflect on my career to date, I think about all the good, bad and ugly that has happened. I am pretty sure I have experienced all of it. Because of that, I decided long ago to make one of my missions to do whatever I could to make the path just a little bit easier for the next generation of women. I spoke out in college; I push to be the best to set an example; I work to break glass ceilings; I
started my own business to prove that I could; I started Women Inspiring Leaders (WIL) to leave a legacy; I support my companies Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG ); I try to help virtually anyone that asks for my help whether I have time or not. - But is it enough?
What I do know is that along the way, I made great friendships, I got to travel the world, I got to have interesting and exciting jobs and roles, I got to provide for my family. Today, what I know is that women still need our special support – along with a lot of other underrepresented groups. One of the ways we can do that is through Allyship. What is Allyship? By the book it is often defined as someone who is not a member of a marginalized group but wants to support and take action to help others in that group.
For me, while I am in the group, it is about a lifelong endeavor towards support, and a growing process that takes a committed lifetime to cultivate. What I have learned is that Allyship means taking actions both visible and behind the scenes.
A 2021 survey from Neuro Leadership Institute revealed that employees who have strong allies at work are 65% more likely to be happy with their job, 86% more likely to suggest their organization as a great place to work, 40% less likely to feel burned out, and 53% less likely to contemplate leaving their organization.
Throughout the years I have realized I needed to do even more, speak more, be more vocal for gender related issues, for standing up to people that create fear, doubt, and uncertainty for women. So, what can you do to be an Ally? Here is what I would say to you - be positive, be supportive, seek to learn, get active, seek to understand, do what you are comfortable doing, but just do. Allyship is an action, a verb, and there will be a lot of trial and error to really learn how to be an effective ally.
My hope is that someday we will not need WIL or corporate ERG groups, or special interest groups because we have solved bias, pay equality, executive leadership gaps, and much more. Today decide to be an Ally to a woman or many women you know and commit to a lifetime of support!