8 Allies Share Their Best Advice for Becoming an Effective Ally

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Allies at work.

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As Pride Month comes to an end, we’d like to look back on some of the best allyship advice we heard during this month — and beyond — on how to become an effective ally. From speaking up to always learning, we've rounded up eight people on their own allyship journeys to hear some of their best advice for being an ally.

From Continental

Tom Fanning, vice president of U.S. Market Truck Tires let us in on his allyship journey and some of his best tips and tricks. For those wanting to be a better ally, he shared the following advice: ”Take a vested interest in those that need your support. Help them develop the courage or knowledge to fight for their ideas and positions."

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From Equinix

Arquelle Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sales, Americas, emphasizes the importance of employee groups, such as Equinix PrideConnect, an internal community with the goal, “to create a supportive, positive space for dialogue, learning and allyship." "The 'secret sauce' of making an organization like this work is most certainly its programming – and it does not have to be complicated," Shaw tells us. "Together, we provide mentors to younger colleagues, opportunities for courageous conversations, tools for opting to declare our gender pronouns, and even the occasional outside speaker. Together, we create a space for acknowledging experiences, traumas, and triumphs.”

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From Henkel

This month, Julie Phillips O'Grady, Research Manager for Consumer Insights and Debbie Welch, Assistant General Counsel, Beauty Professional NA also revealed their best advice for allies

O'Grady: Listen and learn! It is so much easier to understand our LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues when we understand their journeys, histories and needs.

Welch: My advice would be to accept that being an ally is a journey. The starting point is different for many, but the goals are the same. Throughout one’s journey, an ally will experience new ways to support the LGBTQ+ community and understand that education is an ongoing process.

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From Siemens Energy

Sarah Hashish, Executive Positioning — Inclusion and Diversity at Siemens Energy, tells us that “all it takes to be an ally is to pay attention to those around you. Learn to read the signs when someone is struggling and needs support.” And, when someone does need support, make sure you actively listen to what they have to say about how you can help.”

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From Toyota North America 

Lili Mateo, an asset control engineer in production engineering, and Gina Aplin, an administrative assistant to the vice president of supply chain management, shared the following advice:

Aplin: Your voice matters. So, speak up, tell your story, show them what matters and why. Nothing is stronger than a person confident in their own truth.

Mateo: Never let your title get in the way of doing the right thing. Remember that the best way to learn is by doing. Lastly, know that you will never work alone. 

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From ZS

Mike Jakymiw, a principal at ZS says that his best advice for fellow allies is to, “start today. Many potential allies are nervous that they may not know what to do or trip up along the way. That’s part of the journey. But you can’t start without taking that first step, and no step is too small.”

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