#17: How do I stop being “nice” and start standing up to racism at work?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a socially awkward, queer fat white woman working at a government agency in Canada. I would like some advice about what to do as a bystander when my white colleagues of any gender are engaging in subtle (or not so subtle) racist behaviour against my women of color colleagues.Continue reading “#17: How do I stop being “nice” and start standing up to racism at work?”

#16: How do I correct sexist language without scaring my report?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a white man in a leadership position at a tech company. My team is unusually diverse and we talk about diversity fairly often. A few months back one of the men on my team used the phrase ‘girls’ when describing young women (in their early twenties) who work as professionalContinue reading “#16: How do I correct sexist language without scaring my report?”

#15: What term should I use when talking about people who have disabilities?

This week’s question is an amalgam of several different questions: Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), Can you tell me once and for all what the proper term is to use when talking about people who have disabilities? I see “people with disabilities,” “disabled people,” and “differently abled” most often. Whatever I pick, half the time someoneContinue reading “#15: What term should I use when talking about people who have disabilities?”

#14: How do I talk to people who are against allyship as a concept?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a cis-gender, heterosexual, white, male, working in academia (pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at a US University) so I am very aware of my privilege. I’m a huge advocate for ally work as I myself struggled immensely in the early phase of my doctoral studies and through thatContinue reading “#14: How do I talk to people who are against allyship as a concept?”

#13: Can I do anything about my rude, sexist, racist boss?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white, university-educated woman and I recently started a new job based in Europe. The issue is my boss, who is a rude, sexist, racist white man. He is much older than me and is viewed in our industry as a merely strong-headed, kinda grumpy guy who achieved aContinue reading “#13: Can I do anything about my rude, sexist, racist boss?”

#12: When should I hold the door for someone using a wheelchair?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a woman with no disabilities living in a mid-sized city. Today while I was leaving the library, a woman using a wheelchair was entering. Someone else had pressed the automatic door opener several seconds ago, but the door was starting to close as she was going through. I held theContinue reading “#12: When should I hold the door for someone using a wheelchair?”

#11: How do I choose which activist to trust?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a feminist woman in tech, and I recently turned down an invitation to appear on a panel with another feminist activist. The reason I turned it down is that I don’t trust the other activist, don’t want to give them my social capital by appearing on the same panel, andContinue reading “#11: How do I choose which activist to trust?”

#10: Should white people use white skin tone emojis?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a cis white man in the U.S., and I have a leadership role at a tech company that uses Slack for communication and has many employees from marginalized groups. Slack has a default “skin tone” for emojis, which is a cartoon-y yellow by default but can be set to anotherContinue reading “#10: Should white people use white skin tone emojis?”