The Power of Allies for Your Diversity and Inclusion Program

by John Curtis

We don’t all come to work each day with a superhero mask and cape, but it’s a good metaphor to talk about Xerox’s long and continuing journey for diversity and inclusion.

In a presentation at an Out and Equal Summit (see video), I compared LGBTQ people as modern superheroes because they reflect our aspirations. We’re diverse beings, we have our arsenal of super skills, and some of us hide behind a mask we put in front of the world. But, like Batgirl or Iron Man, we need sidekicks to help us out.

Engaging colleagues and leaders as allies (or sidekicks, in the superhero parlance) can accelerate diversity for gender parity, LGBTQ and transgender equality, and valuing different perspectives. Mentors, leaders and sponsors are allies who bring unique insights and perspectives that can unlock hidden identities and super powers (capabilities). Allies can be in places and in conversations where they can influence on our behalf.  All of us need the benefit of allies throughout our workplaces, communities and careers.

The business case and data proves out the diversity and inclusion value-add: We give more fully to our employers and team mates when we are free to engage our heads and our hearts in our work. As we continually evolve our workplace culture, Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson sends out the challenge: “…keep pushing each other – to think differently, to champion new ideas, to have the discipline to drive results, and the collaborative spirit to make change.”

Xerox Earns Perfect Score

Xerox has achieved a perfect score on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This national benchmarking survey reports on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality. The CEI is administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Careers at Xerox

Visit xerox.com/jobs and discover your potential. Xerox is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

John Curtis,

For more than 30 years, employee resource groups have proven crucial to Xerox’s organization as well as our personal performance. Our LGBTQ employee resource group, Galaxe, has developed outreach programs to engage straight allies, and our Womens Alliance has launched a “Manbassador” initiative that recruits men as advocates for gender equality.

You may be an ally, and on some days, you may be a superhero. Perhaps a superhero like you, could use one of us to be YOUR sidekick.

(John Curtis is both superhero and sidekick. The superhero is vice president of membership and global OUTreach for GALAXe Pride at Work; the sidekick is a member of the board of directors and manbassador outreach for The Women’s Alliance. Both organizations are employee resource groups at Xerox. In real life, John is a mild-mannered manager of lease marketing for Xerox.)

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6 Comments

  1. Judy Novak November 9, 2017 - Reply

    John, thanks for all you do for our customers, our employees, our teams. We all benefit from strong alliances – both in and out of the workplace.

    • John Curtis November 15, 2017 - Reply

      Many of us, including leaders like Judy, just returned from our International Women’s Conference and it demonstrated these benefits over and over. When we each have the courage: to grow, to collaborate, to gain fresh insights = We all benefit. And we see those benefits immediately in our professional relationships and through to our business results and bottom-line. #AlliesMatter

  2. Erin Gillard November 10, 2017 - Reply

    Thanks John for this very inspiring post and congratulations to all the employee groups for the perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index. Groups like this and the power of employees coming together to make a difference make me so proud to work at Xerox.

    • John Curtis November 15, 2017 - Reply

      It is exciting and invigorating for all of us with #TeamXerox! To participate in a vibrant culture and to collaborate with colleagues who live out the spirit of our diversity and inclusion ~ we are more driven and innovative!

  3. David Rusin November 15, 2017 - Reply

    Diverse Super Heroes, Allies and or ideas can also come from outside the firm as part of a dynamic form of inclusion value-add.

    • John Curtis November 15, 2017 - Reply

      David – Fantastic add. We all can benefit from mentors (Allies) and role-models that give us insights from outside our typical circles. One of the many goals in our participation with Out & Equal, is gathering benchmarks and best-practice learning from a wide variety of voices and diverse perspectives.

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