At Shawmut, we believe in building a culture of belonging. We also realize that fighting systemic racism, discrimination, and inequality must be an ongoing focus. Shawmut’s Diversity Leadership Council—comprised of employees across the company— continues to drive our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) journey alongside executive leadership, who are committed to setting an example throughout the industry and beyond.

As we celebrate Black History Month, there is no better time to talk about allyship. Our partners at Catalyst—a global organization that supports companies driving change and DEI in the workplace—found that allyship should be at the core of every company’s culture. Here’s how they define allyship and how you can be an ally.

What is allyship?

Allyship is actively supporting people from marginalized groups—using position, power, or privilege to advocate for them. Allies seek out knowledge to understand dynamics and educate themselves on the history and journey of the marginalized group. Allies amplify unheard voices, call out barriers and biases that can inhibit progress, and act as role models in their commitment to DEI.

To be an ally is to:

  • Understand that your education is up to you and no one else.
  • Be willing to own your mistakes and truly listen to feedback.
  • Acknowledge that even though you may be uncomfortable, the conversation is not about you.
  • Understand your privilege and how to use it for others.
  • Stand up even when you feel scared.
  • Dedicate yourself fully to the journey.

Black History Month marks a meaningful time to educate ourselves on allyship—and specifically on being allies to Black colleagues. At Shawmut, we are committed to educating ourselves and each other to do our part and build a more inclusive world—together.

Learn more about allyship from Catalyst here.