Allies are people who make the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege and work in solidarity with oppressed groups, in the short and long terms, to enact change in the struggle for justice. Allyship is a term that identifies the set of practices that are undertaken in the effort to be an ally. Potential oppression, exclusion, and marginalization persist on the basis of many categories, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, institutional position, and ability. Potential oppression, exclusion, and marginalization also persists across a range of situations. Given this, we can all practice allyship, and consider the role that improved allyship might play within our organizations as well as in wider society.
Allyship is a critical for any meaningful efforts toward equity and justice as allies maintain positions of privilege and power, in organizations and in wider society. As businesses take stances in support of social movements, like Black Lives Matter, they effectively position themselves as allies. However, impactful allyship must go beyond statements: it is a long-term process that necessitates continual self-reflection, action, and education. Enacting meaningful change toward thoughtful and committed allyship can positively impact organizations in a number of ways, not only creating an environment that invites greater diversity and inclusion and employee engagement but also fostering positive images that can increase brand loyalty and achieve broader corporate social responsibility goals.