Good Morning McCann with Mixed Company Podcast
On Tuesday, we celebrated Black History Month with a special Good Morning McCann on the subject of Peer-to-Peer Allyship in the workplace, in partnership with Mixed Company Podcast. Mixed Company is a raw podcast about diversity, inclusion and social equity in the creative industries. Their mission is to take a critical look at advertising from a “bottom up” perspective to unpack current issues and provide real solutions.
Mixed Company defined peer allyship as “having your homies’ back”. It means supporting someone at your level, or a similar level, when they are not in the room to support themselves.
Peer allyship is extremely important because it is needed to navigate any business environment, especially one as politically complicated as a global advertising agency.Advertising is an industry with many nuances and triggers and it is vital to have peer allies to help you learn the ropes,understand the implicit and explicit politics of your workplaceand foster a community within your agency. Peer allies are the first people you go to ask personal questions to become more informed; in short, they validate when you are, or are not, being crazy in a situation or in your perspective.
So how do you find those allies when you walk into a new situation? First, it is through the survival tactic of finding others that look like you, as they may have shared experiences. Then it is through conversations and building relationships through the nuances that you experience each day. Look for people who have the same outlook or exhibit the same responses to you in specific situations. The true test comes once something isn’tgoing well – is your ally there to support you, to speak in a positive way on your behalf when others are not and you aren’t there to stand up for yourself? An ally doesn’t have to be your friend, but there does have to be mutual respect between one another and they have to add some sort of value to your life.
Once you have identified your peer allies, it’s all about exploring the opportunities to show up for each other. Being an ally is less about doing and more about being there for support, and support will look different for each person. It is best to show up based on how your ally needs you. Sometimes they will ask directly for a something they need and other times you will need to ask how they would like support. A lot of times your ally won’t even know what support is needed until you show up and figure it out together.
Hear more from Mixed Company by checking out their podcast available on iTunes, Soundcloud or Sticker and follow along across all social channels @askmixedcompany.