7 LGBTQIA+ Employees Share How To Be A Better Ally at Work

Pride Month—the month celebrating LGBTQIA+ liberation and rights—happens every June, but supporting the Pride community is a year-round effort. Part of that support comes from being a better ally to LGBTQIA+ employees at your place of work.

Allyship is the process of supporting and building trust with a marginalized person or group of people. It also means using your capacity to lift up the voices of these groups. The end goal is to build consistent trust and accountability from people who need inclusivity in spaces they often don’t get that.

These marginalized groups can be based on sex, religion, race, disability, gender identity, cultural background, and much more. When we’re talking about allyship for the LGBTQIA+ community, though, we’re talking about supporting groups who are marginalized based on sexuality and gender identity.

As those who aren’t part of the Pride community wonder how to be better allies, who better to ask than people who are part of the community?

So we asked the question…

How can those who don’t identify as part of the Pride community be a solid ally?

Here are answers from seven Insight Global employees, who are all part of our Pride employee resource group.

Farah Ramji, Technology Experience Engineer

“I love this question, because it is so important. They would be creating a safe space for us behind closed doors and in public. An example of allyship could be taking a stand and sticking up for someone in the community. Another example could be asking questions and learning from past experiences. Truly connecting with people within the LGBTQIA+ community is the best way to be an advocate.”

Light blue background. Circle crop of a rainbow Pride flag hanging from a window. Title: What do you know about gender pronouns?

Paige Mattox, Portfolio Coordinator—Evergreen

“A great way to show up as a supportive ally is to normalize giving your pronouns and not assume the pronouns of others! It can be as easy as ,“Hi, I’m John, I use he/him pronouns,” or adding them to your email signature. This simple practice can foster a space for your trans/non-binary/GNC (gender non-conforming) colleagues to feel safe showing up authentically.”

Jo King, Senior Program Support Manager

“Allyship doesn’t have to be complex. It starts with listening, educating yourself, and then developing habits of inclusion in our daily lives. When we do this, we impact our spheres of influence and spark conversation that would not have taken place before. Holding ourselves and others accountable to speaking up—even when it’s uncomfortable—is a step we all can take to becoming an effective ally.”

“Throughout my career, I’ve been blessed to meet so many incredible people that have given me the safety to be myself, and these individual connections have turned into a community of people that have encouraged me to be proud of who I am.”

Tyler Manfrin, Talent Strategy & branding Specialist—Evergreen & Pride ENRG Lead

“To be a supportive ally, just lead with love! Our community is united by the love we have for ourselves and more importantly each other, and that’s all we ask for in return. Our world is filled with things that bring us down, so just be a kind human and remember that love will always keep us together.”

“Knowing that what makes us different truly unites us. Insight Global is made up of people who are curious and interested in who you are as a person first and foremost—ensuring you feel seen and heard, which makes coming to work every day truly a pleasure.”

Ella Pe, Sales Manager II

“Continue to educate yourself. Engage in conversations that push your perspective, and intentionally practice what you learn. Be open and welcoming to all and, put simply: be kind.”

Mitchell Pralle, Professional Recruiter

“As an ally, you don’t need to be able to empathize with the LGTBQIA+ community to sympathize with us. Every person, regardless of their sexuality, knows what it’s like to feel written off, doubted, or judged for parts of their identity. A supportive ally is someone who leads with curiosity and never judgement. A supportive ally celebrates our individuality and is quick to stand up for us in times of injustice. And a supportive ally can cause a world of impact. An impact that can save someone’s life.”

Brandon Means, Account Manager

“My peers are supportive and inclusive—my leadership is supportive and inclusive. I am empowered and encouraged every day to be my true self at work. More importantly, I am embraced and welcomed with open arms each and every day. I know that I am in a safe space so naturally my guards come down and I feel comfortable bringing my full self to work!”

Takeaways of How to Be a Better Ally at Work

There are a couple of themes that carry across each of these answers. They include:

  • Educate yourself. Learning about how a community has been marginalized is a great first step to becoming a better ally. Learn about the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. Listen to what your LGBTQ+ colleagues are saying affects them negatively and positively. Learn how the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalized over time. Do research on your own time and don’t expect LGBTQ+ coworkers to provide all the education for you.
  • Lead with love. You can be a better ally when you are coming from the right place–a place of love, caring, and compassion. As Tyler said, the Pride community is united with love, so offer that in return.
  • Be open. In becoming a better ally, you will likely encounter new ways of interacting with people. This can be in the form of using different pronouns or names, or you may discover someone’s true personality once they feel comfortable around you. Create and maintain a judgement-free zone so people can continue to be themselves, and make sure that judgement-free zone extends to yourself.
  • Stand up. If you see someone doing or saying something that is hurtful to someone else, say something. If it feels wrong, or if you know it’s wrong, stick up for the person. This is the most upfront way to be an ally. You may teach another person who was doing something distasteful a new way of thinking in the process.

Allyship doesn’t happen overnight. Small actions add up to big changes. No one is a perfect ally, and people make mistakes. But if you’re coming from the right place and working on creating new habits, you can do your best to make the workplace a more inclusive and accepting space for all.