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Developing Allyship Skills: Three Tips to Expanding Your Network

Evelyn Carter, PhD
| President
Evelyn is a social psychologist and DEI expert focused on evolving and advancing the practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


As companies show their commitment to allyship in the workplace through ongoing learning and taking courageous action to create a more equitable and inclusive space, it’s common to hear people at all levels of the organization start asking questions around action. What can I do? How do I as a team member, manager, leader, or even as a fellow human being, drive positive change?

In a previous blog on building effective allyship skills, we covered learning about other people’s experiences, listening to feedback, and using your privilege wisely.

To continue in your allyship journey here are three tips for expanding your awareness and opportunities to practice allyship by expanding your network.

Explore Different Communities

Whether it be through attending cultural events, traveling, volunteering, joining community groups, or something as simple as visiting a grocery store or restaurant in a different neighborhood, there are a number of opportunities where you can expose yourself to different communities and cultures.

Seek Out Content From New Voices

Think about the stories you’ve heard, authors you’ve read, and articles you’ve shared with others recently. Learning through a variety of stories about and/or created by people from different identities is a great way to expand whom you’re influenced by.

Immerse yourself in podcasts, music, films, and documentaries by creators from different demographics. Start exploring those that you may not be familiar with or who are not a close part of your existing network.

Celebrate Key Points In Time 

A perfect time to seek out content from new voices is during days and times that celebrate underrepresented and marginalized communities. Paradigm provides a list of resources for things like Disability Employment Awareness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pride Month, and Supporting Black Colleagues — they’re a great place to start!

Check out our Key Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dates Calendar for more important DEI dates and monthly celebrations throughout the year.

The Importance of a Diverse Lived Experience

With each new insight you gain as you read, watch, and listen to new voices, share with others in your network to expand their learning too! The compounding impact you can have on others both at work and in your personal life should not be taken for granted. In both tangible and intangible ways, you have influence over others’ perspectives through the stories you tell and the topics you bring up for discussion. This is a key part of allyship with those near to you and those who may not otherwise have an active voice in your life.

December 20, 2022

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