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Learning Series #2: Allyship in an Organizational Context Part 2

Event Date: January 26, 2022

Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm MST

Registration: A private invitation will be sent out to Women+Power members the week of November 22, 2021. Click here to Join Us as a member today!

Thank you so much to everyone that attended Part 1 of “Allyship in an Organizational Context” on October 25, 2021! During our session, Pam Teagarden provided us with insightful commentary on how to distinguish between Social Justice and Organizational Justice to help focus allyship efforts in a manner specific to driving positive and equitable action. By doing so, individuals can bring their whole selves to work and perform to their optimal capability. Please find Pam’s key messages, presentation summary, and calls to action outlined below and her October 25th presentation attached here.

Key Messages

  • The goal is not just that we need to get along better, but we also need to pay specific attention to how we can get to work better, as well!
  • Social Justice, while related to organizational justice, is infinitely more complex. Compartmentalizing what we can do in our workplaces from what we cannot is key to making the goal of a more inclusive and equitable workplace more manageable and attainable.
  • We must start by managing our personal biases, so we can shift mindsets to embrace diversity and then we must introduce new ways to move beyond performance biases within the finite realm of our organizational setting.

Presentation Summary

  • Recognizing your personal biases is certainly necessary, although in times of rising pressure, managing them can be difficult. So, as we continue to try, we can also direct our attention to places in our organization where we believe there could be double standards. For example, in promotions or anywhere we see there might be a barrier to women moving up the ladder. Seek to overcome the biases that likely created that double standard by explicitly defaulting to “yes” when people seek support in advancing their career aspirations or performance. Think about the decisions that could be leading to that double standard. In the succession to that next role, are we inadvertently comparing people against standards that are keeping women out of the running? How can you say “yes” to this person? What do they bring that might be new to the role or how can we rethink the succession plan, so it doesn’t inadvertently exclude people?
  • “Yes” doesn’t necessarily mean “yes, now”; it may mean “yes, later”, through the removal of barriers. Accept their differences by not imposing on them what they “should do”, but unlock the barriers that they are actually experiencing. Figuring that out may involve the “I. Can’t. Do. This. Here.” methodology:
    • Is “I” the barrier, meaning I can’t do this, but perhaps someone else can?
    • Is “Can’t” the barrier, meaning some external force is stopping them, such as authority or the budget to do so or a resource that they need. Something that isn’t on them to develop. Something that can be removed from their path.
    • Is “Do” the barrier, meaning they know how, but they aren’t doing it? Is it something in their motivation to move forward? What would open up their energy to do this? For example, is this is something they don’t like to do or something they’re procrastinating?
    • Is “This” the barrier, meaning they don’t know how to do this? What training do they need to take on to learn the skill that they’re missing?
    • Is “Here” the barrier, meaning they are in the wrong environment? Either another team or organization that would suit them better. This is when you want to help them out, rather than develop them to stay.
  • Microaggressions to micro-decisions – predict performance strength-based polarities. In bias training, we speak of addressing micro-aggressions, but in performance, we need to be speaking about the micro-decisions that we make every day in our work. “Micro” means they are small, mostly unconscious decisions – and both are examples of our brain firing on all cylinders, all day every day, over and over. These micro-decisions take the form of “polarities”, or a decision with two potential answers, either of which could be correct, depending upon the situation. Are you cautious or confident when it comes to risk? Will you be decisive or collaborative when you attend the next leadership meeting? Every person will have the ability to be either, but everyone has a propensity for one side or the other. Which side of the coin are you most likely on? Understanding these go-to-tendencies provides a compass to move beyond blind spots and performance biases in these unconscious micro-decisions. Pam measures these go-to-tendencies in her clients, giving them a compass to move beyond their blind spots and performance biases in these unconscious micro-decisions, but leaders can spot the biggies. Think of a person’s greatest strength and you’ll capture their most dominant performance decisions. Is someone usually always decisive, for example? You can help them realize that it will not always serve them well to shut down collaboration. You can pinpoint a few of the micro-decisions they are likely to make and show them that when they overdo that strength, it becomes a weakness. THEN, they can look for the person to complement them for their diverse mindsets. And, equally, women can define how their greatest strengths can add to the mix of men in the room.

Calls to Action

Come prepared to discuss:

  • A time when you believe you encountered a personal bias that translated into a performance bias (e.g., education vs experience). How you were able to recognize and overcome or not? OR A time when a promotion was crafted around the value you bring rather than the list of factors that had been in place before.
  • Did you find an opportunity to apply the “I. Can’t. Do. This. Here.” Methodology? Did you struggle? Was it successful?
  • What are your 3 greatest strengths and how do you express your ability to complement the success of others with what you bring to the table?

This session will include a brief all participant recap and then move into facilitated break-out groups, during which time you can share with and learn from participating members.

To participate in this learning series, please register by January 17, 2022.

We look forward to seeing you all again!

Events and Programs Committee | Women+Power

*Please note that this program is currently offered to members only. If you know someone who would benefit from this type of program, please encourage them to join for a free membership. As members, they’ll get notices about upcoming events, must-read news and insights delivered straight to their inbox.

As always, please feel free to reach out to hello@womenpower.ca with any questions.