Do the right thing | Consider yourself an ally? Then why aren't you speaking up at work?

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Consider yourself an ally? Then why aren't you speaking up at work?

A new poll of 5,000 showed that despite 67% of Brits considering themselves allies to marginalised people at work, only 21% have ever advocated for new opportunities for minority colleagues. Why are Brits failing so hard at this?

If you’re someone from a privileged group or a group with all the power in a society, it can seem like equality and parity for marginalised people is a lot better than it is. Why? Because, as a person who benefits from the way society is structured, you simply don’t experience and thus may not be switched onto, how those societal structures are unfair.

But what about those of us who can clearly see our privilege, and want to help be part of the solution? Unfortunately, new data shows that even those people are not only not an active part of the solution, but they’re also a massive – and passive – part of the problem.

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“One reason allies do not speak up is an inability to notice the issue,” explains Nikunj Upadhyay, Inclusion and Diversity Director at construction company Wates Group. As part of Upadhyay’s remit, Wates conducted a poll of 5,000 British workers (1,500 white women, 1500 white men, 500 black women, 500 black men, and a combined 1,000 people from non-binary categories and other ethnic minority groups) to find out why allies don’t speak up.

“Microaggressions have been called microaggressions as the action involved is seemingly micro, almost insignificant, but we know the impact is anything but,” Upadhyay continues. “Unless you are actively aware, you may not notice the jokes, slights and comments that have the potential to do great harm. This is where education is key, and we must take responsibility for educating ourselves as well as others.”

70% admitted they had never publicly given credit for ideas to a minority colleague

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