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Creating Inclusive Workplaces: The Better Allies™ Approach

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Have you ever thought, "I care about creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, but what can I do?” If so, you’re not alone. Knowing how to be a better ally for underrepresented colleagues is unfamiliar territory for many of us.

In this one-hour talk, Karen Catlin covers key points from her book, "Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces." Attendees will learn everyday actions they can take to:

Diversify their network (and why it’s important to do so) 

Amplify and advocate for others in meetings

Provide equitable and effective feedback

Disrupt office housework

Come discover how you can make a difference with the Better Allies™ approach.

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Creating Inclusive Workplaces: The Better Allies™ Approach

  1. 1. Creating Inclusive Workplaces: The Better Allies™ Approach Karen Catlin Advocate for Inclusive Workplaces #BetterAllies @betterallies betterallies.co m @kecatlin karencatlin.com
  2. 2. “60% Of Women In Silicon Valley Have Been Sexually Harassed” “Mass Firings at Uber as Sexual Harassment Scandal Grows” “Tech Leavers Study: Tech is a hostile work environment if you’re not a straight white dude” “Google engineer's anti-diversity manifesto sparks outrage”
  3. 3. #BetterAllies @betterallies
  4. 4. #BetterAllies I want a diverse and inclusive workplace because .
  5. 5. #BetterAllies Got it. But what can I do?
  6. 6. #BetterAllies Professional Networks
  7. 7. #BetterAllies “Just like me” networks
  8. 8. #BetterAllies Common interests fuel networks
  9. 9. #BetterAllies Outside of work…
  10. 10. #BetterAllies Unconscious demotions
  11. 11. #BetterAllies of men report being uncomfortable mentoring or socializing with a female colleague. A 2x increase. 50% Since #MeToo…
  12. 12. #BetterAllies Homogeneous networks limit diversity • Hiring • Information sharing • Workplace planning Stretch assignments Promotions Reorgs
  13. 13. #BetterAllies Actions for Better Allies: Diversify Your Network Introduce yourself to people who don’t look like you Attend events for underrepresented groups, to listen, learn, and network When meeting people at events, assume they’re qualified to be there Don’t avoid people of a different gender
  14. 14. #BetterAllies Meetings
  15. 15. #BetterAllies Manterruptions
  16. 16. #BetterAllies Bro-propriations
  17. 17. #BetterAllies of women report having questions directed to men that should have been addressed to them. 88%
  18. 18. #BetterAllies Actions for Better Allies: Amplify & Advocate Stop interruptions: “I’d like to hear Emma finish her thought.” Cultivate a culture of credit: “I see you agree with what Willie said earlier.” “What I learned from Ana is …” Redirect misdirected questions: “Mei’s the expert. Let’s ask her.”
  19. 19. #BetterAllies Feedback
  20. 20. #BetterAllies 👩 👨 “People like working with you.” Less feedback tied to business outcomes Shorter reviews Offered a clearer idea of how to get to next level: What to keep doing What to improve “You are effective at building team consensus. You successfully resolved which features to prioritize in our last sprint, leading us to ship the product on time.”
  21. 21. #BetterAllies 👩 👨 “supportive” “collaborative” “helpful” 2x as men 76% of references of being “too aggressive” 2x references to team vs individual accomplishments “drive” “transform” “tackle” “innovate” 2x as women 3x feedback tied to business outcomes 2x references to technical expertise
  22. 22. #BetterAllies Raise your hand if you agree: I seldom hesitate to give difficult feedback.
  23. 23. #BetterAllies 66% of managers seldom hesitate to give difficult feedback to women & men Employees who say they receive difficult feedback sometimes, often, or very often 👩 36% 👨 46%
  24. 24. #BetterAllies The dreaded tissue box
  25. 25. #BetterAllies 43% 25% 16% 16% 15% 35% 25% 17% 14% 6% Concerned about seeming mean or hurtful Don’t want them to dislike me Concerned about an outburst Concerned I’ll seem biased or prejudiced Concerned about an emotional breakdown Men Women
  26. 26. #BetterAllies Actions for Better Allies: Give Equal Feedback Focus on impact, what to keep doing, and how to improve Share the expertise you see in others, and suggest new skills to learn Give direct feedback. Don't ease up just to avoid hurt feelings. Write reviews of the same length
  27. 27. #BetterAllies Office Housework
  28. 28. #BetterAllies of women report being asked to do lower-level tasks that men are not asked to do. 47%
  29. 29. #BetterAlliesPhoto courtesy of #WOCintechchat Women of color are tasked with more office housework than white colleagues
  30. 30. #BetterAllies Administrative Take notes Schedule a meeting Order food, make reservations Undervalued Train interns Write unit tests Clean up source code comments Join a committee or site council
  31. 31. #BetterAllies Impact of Office Housework • Creates subservient roles • Takes time away from important work • Interrupts “flow” • Prevents full participation
  32. 32. #BetterAllies Actions for Better Allies: Disrupt Office Housework Set up rotations for administrative tasks Share the load: “Deepa’s great at mentoring, but it’s the perfect stretch assignment for Nick.” Volunteer yourself: “I’ll bring the left- overs to the kitchen.”
  33. 33. #BetterAllies We all have a role to play to create more inclusive workplaces
  34. 34. #BetterAllies How far are you willing to go to be a better ally?
  35. 35. #BetterAllies 📖 Buy it on Amazon 🎁 Get your gift betterallies.com/gift 😍 Follow @betterallies
  36. 36. #BetterAlliesCriag Froehle, medium.com/@CRA1G/the-evolution-of-an-accidental-meme-ddc4e139e0e4