The Webster definition of the word Ally is to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship, or as a verb is a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose.
Why is this important?
Allies are important in their united common cause to forge ahead and remove injustice. Today, the Salesforce Women in Tech community are striving for equality and equity. However, when we encounter roadblocks along the way, the work of Allies to the initiative serves to breakdown stereotypes and provide support. Having an event specific to promoting Allies and continuing the conversation is a great addition to the mission of the WITness Success conference. Cultivating allies, educating each other and finding the points of leverage are all crucial to making traction on these goals.
What does it take to by an Ally?
It takes determination to work towards a common cause. Allies push forward and are advocates for change, hoping to make impact on our society’s “isms” (sexism, racism, ableism, ageism and heterosexims). They are a cornerstone for pushing change in the workplace; Allies are the people that need to speak up, even when the situation is difficult. Anyone who wishes to be an ally needs to understand that it is not just about stating that you are an Ally. To be an Ally is an action. This action can take the form of listening, educating yourself and acknowledging the privilege you have to make a difference.
When are Allies important?
Always! Allies are needed at all times. Having Allies as a part of the campaign for equality allows the campaign to reach greater heights and expand beyond the realm of the current circle of peers. They provide a unique advantage in this fight. As an Ally, reach out to those around you and ask how you can help.
Behind the scenes, we’ve been working on the pre-conference event we’ve termed the Allies Dinner. If you are a person looking to celebrate Allies and join forces with Women in Tech, attend the Allies dinner at WITness Success on Friday, August 11th. We will share dinner, commentary and a panel discussion on what will help move the needle forward in the search for equality.
For more information or to signup to attend the Allies Dinner, Register Here.
Blog post written by #WITConf17 planning team member Jocelyn Fennewald.