How to be a Better Ally


Equality is not about ignoring difference and treating everyone the same.
It is about placing value on differences and treating others according to their background, culture and all of the components that make up their identity as an individual.


Allyship is: 

  • A lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalised individuals and/or groups of people. 
  • Not self-defined—work and efforts must be recognised by those you are seeking to ally with. 
  • An opportunity to grow and learn about ourselves, whilst building confidence in others.


Indifference is perhaps one of the greatest factors that perpetuates prejudice and discrimination. Being an active bystander for members of out-groups is extremely powerful with any kind of inappropriate behaviour. So, what stops people from challenging?


3% I didn’t have time
11%  It wasn’t my business
23% I was unsure who to talk to
25% I didn’t think it was serious enough to report
39% I feared the consequences


How can we be better allies? 


  • Recognise and understand how privilege manifests itself. 
  • Listen. Don’t get defensive, be open to the fact that you could be wrong
  • Challenge bias and recognise your own. Understand the impact of microaggressions and ‘banter’
  • Call out inappropriate behaviour. There are many ways you can do this respectfully and depending on context, bear in mind that intent may be different to impact
  • Place value on difference. Rather than leading with different means wrong.
  • Be considered. Become more aware of your thoughts, behaviour and language (stereotyping or using inappropriate/ outdated terms) 


The Challenge: ACTION model can be a useful tool for easy reference;

A sk Questions; Curious exploration

C arefully Listen; Active, open listening

T ell what you’ve observed; behaviour

I mpact exploration; Ask for impact

O wn your thoughts; Share view

N ext steps; What would you like to happen



For a more in-depth exploration of how to become a better ally visit our training page for more information on our in-house sessions.