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 professional … Continue reading #16: How do I correct sexist language without scaring my report?
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 someone … Continue reading #15: What term should I use when talking about people who have disabilities?
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 that … Continue reading #14: How do I talk to people who are against allyship as a concept?
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 a … Continue reading #13: Can I do anything about my rude, sexist, racist boss?
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 the … Continue reading #12: When should I hold the door for someone using a wheelchair?
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, and … Continue reading #11: How do I choose which activist to trust?
I hope you enjoyed the first 10 columns from Dear Ally Skills Teacher! As the next few months are the busiest time for ally skills training, Dear Ally will switch to a biweekly posting schedule. We still have a number of good questions in the queue, but I plan to end the column in a … Continue reading Learn more about the Ally Skills Workshop
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 another … Continue reading #10: Should white people use white skin tone emojis?
The ally skills teacher behind Dear Ally Skills Teacher is busy teaching all this week, so no column this week. Here are a few resources from the Ally Skills Workshop that you might find useful: Identifying your power and privilege: An exercise to help you figure out what societal advantages you have, so that you … Continue reading Three new ally skills resources
Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I work at a large university in Florida, where I've been the Administrative Assistant in our building for more than a decade. I'm white, female, cis, and queer. We currently have a "men's" bathroom and a "women's" bathroom. I've been wanting to make our building's bathrooms all-gender for a while because … Continue reading #9: I want all-gender bathrooms at work but worry about retaliation against my coworker