How can I be an ally in communications?

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As communicators, we know the power that words and language hold. Communication can either build people up or break them down – with or without making a conscious effort. Why not use our power for good and be intentionally inclusive?

Being an ally means that you take action to support underrepresented groups – regardless of their race, age, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity – and help remove barriers that make it more difficult for them to succeed.

While navigating diversity, equity and inclusion can be tricky, these tips offer a good place to start.

Make an investment

It’s one thing to simply say you are an ally, but it’s another to invest time or money into the cause. That can look like making an annual donation to an organization that supports justice and equality or scheduling diversity and inclusion seminars for your staff every quarter. The key here is to make an ongoing effort: this isn’t a one-and-done situation.

Incorporate more inclusive processes

Nothing will change if you continue using the same approach. If you incorporate diversity and inclusion into your strategy, you will see more diverse and inclusive results. This can be anything from adjusting your recruiting approach for hiring new talent to adding in a checklist to address unconscious bias in pitches.

Address your bias

Whether we like it or not, everyone has bias based on their own life experiences. Bias can look like anything from unconsciously only using stock photos of white people to only offering a spokesperson of color for interviews about diversity, instead of offering them for any interview. One way to move past your own bias is to address it head-on and be consciously aware of it.

Over the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to shift the focus of my blog posts to talk about diversity and inclusion.  While this has taken a little more effort, I believe it’s important to try and start the conversation whenever I can.

This week, my time with HMA is coming to an end as I pursue a new opportunity, but I will continue to be an ally in communications both in and out of the workplace.

Annelise Krafft
Annelise Krafft
Annelise is a Phoenix native who has spent her whole life around the media. When she’s not writing, you can find her tracking the latest celebrity gossip. Check out Annelise's complete bio here.

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