Three new ally skills resources

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 youContinue reading “Three new ally skills resources”

#9: I want all-gender bathrooms at work but worry about retaliation against my coworker

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 becauseContinue reading “#9: I want all-gender bathrooms at work but worry about retaliation against my coworker”

#8: How do I make people to want to act as allies?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a white man in a position of cultural and professional privilege at an engineering-focused tech company. Some of the other white men here have privately admitted to me that they no longer participate in conversations of race and gender. They’re scared of the shame they’ll face if they say somethingContinue reading “#8: How do I make people to want to act as allies?”

Do you have an ally skills question?

There’s no column this week due to the (U.S.) holiday. Instead, here is a cute fennec fox with giant ears to remind you that an important ally skill is listening to marginalized people. To tide you over till next week, here is another useful ally skills resource: the Better Allies weekly newsletter, which gives youContinue reading “Do you have an ally skills question?”

#7: Should I ask job applicants for their pronouns?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a white cisgender woman and am chairing a search committee for an academic position. Would it be appropriate for me to ask finalists their pronouns (and let them know mine) when arranging their on-campus interview? I want to use their correct pronouns, but I don’t want them to feel likeContinue reading “#7: Should I ask job applicants for their pronouns?”

#6: What do I do about oppressive speech from clients?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white man who is a low-rung-on-the-ladder employee at a small technology company that is a vendor for several moderately sized banking companies. When on conference calls our clients, I often hear their clients making oppressive comments. My boss (and owner of the company) is a woman of colorContinue reading “#6: What do I do about oppressive speech from clients?”

#5: How do I learn what racism looks like in an unfamiliar culture?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I am a white foreigner living in the U.S., so aside from my accent my privilege is most alike the rest of the white, middle-class, college educated community. However, I have an ignorance about racism here that I am not sure how to rectify. I have a much better understanding ofContinue reading “#5: How do I learn what racism looks like in an unfamiliar culture?”

#4: What do I tell men who are afraid to mentor women?

Dear Ally Skills Teacher, Men in senior roles, like me, have a responsibility to mentor junior women, to ensure women have a fair chance to succeed. But men have recently gotten frightened by #MeToo and are pulling back from this responsibility. I’ve had direct conversations with men about this, and I’m convinced I have toContinue reading “#4: What do I tell men who are afraid to mentor women?”

#3: How do I stop excessive praise for ally work?

Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I’m a cis white man and for years I’ve been attending a tech conference, also organized by cis white men. They’ve worked hard to create an event that’s welcoming and inclusive to members of marginalized groups. In the past, they’ve asked people who were traditionally underrepresented in tech to speak toContinue reading “#3: How do I stop excessive praise for ally work?”

#2: How do I improve compensation fairness at my company ?

Welcome to Dear Ally Skills Teacher! For my first few columns, I will be answering questions I frequently get in Ally Skills Workshops, summarized by me in letter form. Future columns will be answers to questions sent in by readers, which you can send by filling out this form. Dear Ally (Skills Teacher), I amContinue reading “#2: How do I improve compensation fairness at my company ?”