Rachel Collins, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Colt, reflects on the importance of allyship with fellow Colties to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

I recently sat down and spoke to the team at TechUK on why allyship is so important to driving change. Allyship, defined as active support for marginalised groups, is critical for driving change and promoting engagement, job satisfaction, and customer loyalty. Colt is spotlighting allyship as part of our Actioning Inclusion campaign to promote understanding and define its practical application.

I spoke about the topic broadly at the industry level, but what about Colt? What do our Colties think about allyship, and are we doing enough? To mark International Women’s Day 2023 (IWD), I caught up with three of our team members to discuss what they think.

“To me, IWD gives me a chance to pause, reflect, appreciate and respect all the amazing women I’m surrounded by and their blessed presence in my life”, says Danielle Reilly, Head of Network Sourcing. “IWD gives us an avenue to connect with women and reinforce the message that ‘you can do this’ because it is possible, it’s just sometimes a little bit harder.”

For Danielle, allyship is about getting everyone on board – not just those affected by prejudice. “Everyone has the ability to be an ally,” she says. “Men can be allies to women; cis people can be allies to members of the LGBTQI+ community; able-bodied people can be allies to those with different abilities; economically privileged people can be allies to those who are not.”

I asked Danielle what the future looks like at Colt.

“Colt has set transparent targets, goals, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. Doing so will increase the accountability of people in leadership positions, encourage honest conversations between Colties and their bosses, and inspire them to share ideas and solutions. I see a greater diverse leadership and Colt management team in the future.”

As Danielle explained, it’s not only women who should beat the drum of allyship, nor only once a year at events like IWD.

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