Ask SGO: Allyship in Action

In Ask SGO, Blog, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by Felicia Jadczak

So we’re talking a lot about allyship, especially how to be an ally in the workplace these days. But what I find is that we don’t always know what do you actually do as an ally? And for me, the whole definition around acting and serving as an ally is hinged on that word “act.” What do you do? What do you say? How do you leverage yourself in a situation where something is happening?

So one example of a way to enter into this and act as an ally was a time where I was on a chat platform that I was using for work. It was late at night and I saw someone posting about International Women’s Day, and it happened that his comments were pretty negative, prejudiced, and really just unacceptable. 

And so, as I was watching this happen, I thought to myself, “I need to do something.” But even in that moment, where I wasn’t face-to-face with this gentleman, I could feel myself sweating. I got flushed. I got really nervous and then I thought to myself, “pull out your ally phrase.” So I typed in my two words, “not cool,” and I hit send.

And then what happened was, I was actually really ready for the conversation. But this gentleman deleted his post, deleted his comments, and sent me a private message to apologize. So we ended up having a further conversation from there, but this was my entry point into being able to leverage my own ally phrase, and I’ve used it many times- before then, since then. 

There’s other ways that you can leverage yourself. It doesn’t have to be “not cool.” It could be phrases like “that’s not funny” or “we don’t say things like that here.” Whatever your ally phrase is, think about it. Have it in your virtual back pocket, ready to go, so when you are in a situation, you don’t even have to think about it. You can just bring it out and use it right away.


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