On April 13, we held a Leadership Luncheon on Allyship in the Workplace with an amazing set of speakers, to discuss the importance of creating a culture of respect, opportunity, and inclusion that allows all people a chance to thrive. Our speakers shared how they work toward this culture in their own roles, and provided tips on how each of us can carry this into our day-to-day. Whether it’s an individual decision to refuse to participate in events that don’t have healthy gender representation or making sure to maintain connections to employees who have stepped out of role – for maternity/paternity, for elderly care, etc – to provide them an easy on-ramp back into their careers. As part of the discussion, the U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Commercial Officer Terri Lee Tyminski opened the event with her keynote address and the #EmpowerHer initiative.
We talked about the particular challenges in academia, what government can do to support healthier gender balance, and the old ways of thinking that still sometimes hold us back. The data is clear: diversity in the board rooms and on executive teams is a competitive advantage for businesses. Allyship is just good business. Many thanks to everyone who came out to learn about this topic and engage in a lively and meaningful discussion.