Working in a professional environment can sometimes bring about difficult situations and conversations that need to be handled with care. It is important for everyone, including white individuals, to acknowledge their role in fostering diversity, inclusion, and real change both personally and within organizational structures.

Being an ally means taking on the responsibility of leadership, amplifying the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) colleagues, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is crucial for BIPOC individuals to feel supported and included, not marginalized. We spoke with Dominique Fluker, a Senior Contributor at ForbesWomen, to understand effective ways to advocate for your BIPOC coworkers and recognize its importance.


Dominique Fluker

Dominique Fluker, based in Los Angeles, is a passionate journalist, essayist, and interior design storyteller committed to diversity, inclusion, and empowering millennial women of color to drive change in their workplaces.

1. Embrace discomfort

Being an ally often entails facing uncomfortable situations. These discussions may trigger anxiety and feelings of guilt or shame for not acting sooner. Embracing discomfort is a crucial part of the transformative process necessary for driving change.

As a supporter of BIPOC in the workplace, expect to encounter unfamiliar situations or conversations. Even if they are outside your comfort zone, they are essential for progress. Embracing discomfort is a key element in fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity at work.

2. Amplify voices

Amplifying the voices of BIPOC professionals goes beyond social media. Dominique stressed the importance of recognizing their work, defending their rights, and promoting their advancement into leadership positions.

By highlighting actions such as acknowledgment, advocacy, and promotion, individuals can effectively amplify the voices of BIPOC colleagues and bring about meaningful change within the workplace.

3. Learn to support in multiple ways

Supporting racial equality involves more than just words. Dominique emphasized the importance of trusting BIPOC colleagues, backing their ideas, and creating opportunities for their voices to be heard. Trust is essential for productive collaboration and success at work.

By elevating voices, encouraging open communication, and providing mentorship, individuals can actively support the development and empowerment of BIPOC professionals in the workplace.

4. Actively educate

Diversifying your exposure to media, influencers, and conversations is crucial for personal growth and awareness. Taking the initiative to educate yourself on white privilege and racial bias independently, without relying solely on BIPOC for guidance, is vital. By continuously learning and sharing knowledge, you can contribute actively to societal progress.

5. Be unafraid

Speaking out for what is right, particularly when addressing mistreatment or excessive workloads faced by BIPOC individuals, requires courage. Advocates must overcome fear and challenge injustice to drive positive change. With practice, supporting others becomes more natural, leading to more impactful conversations and actions.

6. Create resources

Identify opportunities within your workplace for initiatives that promote diversity and equality. If such resources are lacking, advocate for programs like training on implicit bias and fair workplace practices. By actively engaging in creating a supportive environment, you play a vital role in educating others and fostering inclusivity.

Remember, staying silent implies compliance. Being a true advocate involves showing empathy, offering solutions, and avoiding intrusive or presumptive behaviors. Respecting and supporting your BIPOC colleagues are crucial in building a united and inclusive workplace culture.


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