Why do we need majority allies?

Workplace practices and cultures must recognise and value the efforts of all workers, regardless of their background. There are strong anti-discrimination laws in place but in order to make the most of all the potential talent available, we must embrace a workplace culture that goes beyond the legal minimum.

The Academy’s Creating cultures where all engineers thrive research showed that inclusion benefits both the performance of individual engineers and organisational performance. The more included engineers feel, the more likely they are to understand business priorities, be confident about speaking up on improvements, mistakes or safety concerns, and see a future for themselves in engineering.

 

Who could be a majority ally?

A description of a majority ally has been prepared listing the qualities and attributes required to fulfil the role. In principle, anyone in any position in an engineering company who meets the role description, and has the enthusiasm and passion to promote diversity and inclusion in a company, could take on the role.

 

What can your company do to support majority allies?

Companies should:

  • Recognise the value of having a group of allies in the company
  • Show commitment that this is an initiative to make a difference
  • Support the identification of suitable candidates
  • Provide public backing for the ally (or allies)
  • Support situations where training of an ally would be beneficial for progressing this initiative in the company
  • Be willing to provide a small budget for promotion if required
  • Monitor the outcome for diversity and inclusion over the medium term of having an ally (or allies) – by asking:
    • Is this working?
    • Is it a successful initiative?
    • Should it be extended to other offices/divisions?