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Rachel´s Allyship in Action: Leave no room for microaggressions

Rachel, Vice President of Global Hyperscaler and Global Microsoft Powerhouse at T-Systems International, a leader dedicated to promoting allyship and inclusion in the workplace. Rachel aims to cultivate a culture where everyone feels valued and empowered. How does she achieve this goal? Drawing from a quote by Pablo Picasso, she emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing microaggressions, fostering understanding, empathy, and actionable support. Leveraging from her extensive experience and commitment to diversity, Rachel provides practical examples of how she practices allyship in her daily interactions.

A woman with open blonde long hair and a black leather jacket smiles at the camera

Rachel´s Allyship in Action: Leave no room for microaggressions.
At the heart of Rachel's work is a profound dedication to promoting inclusivity and allyship.

What motivates you to practice allyship and promote inclusion in the workplace?

Rachel: It's important to me to quickly recognize when something isn't right within the team. For instance, if something is said or done that causes discomfort or harm to those involved, whether intentional or not. In my opinion, it's crucial to address these situations and eliminate any space for microaggressions. The key here is the three phases: Understanding, Empathizing, Acting.

“There is only one way to see things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes.”

Pablo Picasso.

How do you demonstrate allyship in the workplace?

Rachel: In general, I try to identify common microaggressions and eliminate them from my words and actions. In my everyday work, I often notice seemingly harmless comments that can actually be hurtful or the use of language that I personally find unacceptable. For me, it's important to have the courage to address these issues, regardless of whether I'm personally affected or not, and regardless of hierarchy. I always take the time to understand what happened and how it was received. I ask clarifying questions without judgment and offer help or support if needed.

How do you approach understanding, empathy, and action as components of allyship?

Rachel: When a situation arises that requires allyship, my first step is to seek understanding of what occurred while respecting the individual's experience. It's important for me to tread carefully and refrain from questioning their feelings or justifying the situation. Alongside understanding, empathy plays a crucial role in building relationships and fostering understanding. I strive to gain insights into why the situation affected the individual, viewing my role as a leader as one of listening and then taking decisive action. I offer tangible ways in which I can help, while also respecting if assistance is not desired. This, at its core, is my approach to fostering allyship for all—an integral aspect of effective leadership rooted in compassion.

Discover more about Rachel's leadership philosophy in the video interview, where she shares attributes of a great leader.

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