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How to be an ally

by Kat Batchelor, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Close Brothers Asset Management

Allies are vital to ensuring an inclusive and compassionate workplace, where everyone feels able and proud to be their authentic self.

An ally can simply be someone who is supportive and accepting of LGBTQ+ people, or they can be someone who personally advocates for equality and fair treatment for the LGBTQ+ community. Either way, allies can be effective and powerful voices in helping others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect. 

Whilst there are many things you can do to be an LGBTQ+ ally at work, here are a few tips we’re sharing with our colleagues this Pride month:

 

  • Lend your support – whether you join a committee, offer an ear to someone who needs it, or simply attend events, putting words into actions will send an authentic message to your colleagues and connections about what you stand for. 
  • Lead by example – by demonstrating the importance of LGBTQ+ equality to your team, mentoring others, and encouraging others to become allies and champions, we will help all members of the organisation to perform to their full potential.
  • Be natural – it is understandable that you may be nervous about saying the wrong thing, but remember you are taking positive steps to support others.
  • Challenge discrimination – if you hear or see discriminatory behaviour, challenge it assertively and offer your support to the individual. It may not always be deliberate, so be prepared to gently correct others if you hear something that you don’t think is right. 
  • Ask for help – if in doubt, ask others for guidance; promoting and living LGBTQ+ equality is something we can only achieve by working together.
  • Understand the issues – empower yourself with knowledge. Do your own research, and listen to your LGBTQ+ colleagues, family and friends and learn about their experiences. 
  • Talk about the issues – LGBTQ+ equality shouldn’t be a taboo subject. By talking to colleagues and connections about what you have learned (respecting confidentiality), you will help break down barriers.
  • Go public – by making a public commitment to LGBTQ+ equality, you will send a clear message about its importance to the organisation, as well as to you personally. For example, by wearing a lanyard or badge in the office or on work calls. 
  • Be yourself – be true to your values and ensure your actions at work reflect them. It can be as simple as treating others as you would wish them to treat you.