I attended an Employee Resource Group conference in July of 2019. After breakout sessions, groups were presenting their ideas and findings to all the attendees. The breakout group on Allyship finished presenting and a participant from other group said she didn’t think allies needed to be included in ERGs. Her reason was that including allies in an LGBTQ+ ERG made that ERG space less inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. As a longtime ally and developer of a very successful Ally Program, I was a little bit taken aback.
As an ally I not only felt welcomed but also needed. Numerous people in my network told me how important allies have been in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and for creating workplaces where people feel they can bring their “whole-selves” to work.
What are your thoughts? Do you include allies or not? Is there a way to include but not overwhelm the LGBTQ+ members of the ERG?