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Loughborough talks EDI: What does it mean to be an ally?

As part of the University’s progress towards creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive culture at Loughborough, colleagues working in this space have opened up a dialogue as to what it means to be an ally.

‘Ally’ is a word we apply to members of the dominant group who want to help to address inequalities in society. For example, men who want to address gender inequality, or white people who want to address racism.  

We often hear the term ‘minority’ used to describe groups that suffer discrimination and prejudice and are not given the same advantages enjoyed by the dominant group, such as Black people living in a country that has a white majority.  

However, these problems are not only directed at groups who are outnumbered. For example, women face discrimination in a male-dominated society, and global power structures benefit white people despite them being a minority of the world’s population. This is why you’ll hear the term ‘marginalised’, which is used to describe groups who are disadvantaged by established power structures, regardless of whether or not they are a minority.  

In this video, David Wilson (IT Applications Support Manager and Trans & Non-Binary Lead for the LGBT+ Staff Network) is joined by Veronica Moore (Head of Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity and Chair of the EDI-Subcommittee) and Adèle Mackinlay (previous Director of People, Organisational Development and EDI) to hear their thoughts on allyship. 

Veronica and Adele explain what allyship means to them, their advice for those who want to be more proactive in the EDI space, how marginalised groups can work together to advocate for change, and the importance of sharing the power to make sure all voices are represented and involved in key decisions to ensure positive change. 

And to conclude the discussion, the pair share what they would like other colleagues from across the University to action in their day-to-day lives to be a better ally.   

You can watch the full interview below.