White Paper: LGBTQ+ Allyship


There are a variety of competing definitions of LGBTQ allyship out there. Organizations that work with a consistent allyship framework and design growth opportunities tailored to employees at different stages of the ally journey are best set up to cultivate a culture of inclusion. Organizations that have developed a culture of inclusion are less likely to be labeled “performative” or participate in “rainbow capitalism.”

Key Themes

  • It’s not good enough to provide allies with a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.  Allies need to investigate what gets in the way of their allyship whether that be shame, a lack of education, the fear of saying the wrong thing, an attachment to perfection, the fear of hurting others, etc.
  • Allyship can be broken up into individual, interpersonal and organizational components.
  • Allyship is a journey and there are multiple stages. Organizations need to provide the appropriate learning opportunities so that allies can efficiently move through the stages
  • What determines whether organizational allyship is performative has less to do with what happens DURING Pride month but what happens BEFORE pride month

Need to Know:

  1. Mossier’s study on Queer Gen-Z talent found that the #1 factor LGBTQ Gen-Zers rely on when assessing an employer for inclusion? Seeing someone who is openly LGBTQ at your company. 
  2. The Center for Talent Innovation found  that LGBTQ employees who are not out at work are 73% more likely to leave their job within three years.
  3. GLAAD found that 91% of non-LGBTQ people believe LGBTQ people should have the freedom to live their lives and not be discriminated against

Key Stakeholders: Allies, LGBTQ Employee Resource Group, Human Resources, Executive Sponsor(s), DEI team

Learning Objectives: 

  • I can understand what gets in the way of my ability to be an LGBTQ ally
  • I can understand the behaviors and practices of strong LGBTQ allies
  • I have a plan to develop and practice my own LGBTQ allyship

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