Episode 14: Advocating For Others

July 30, 2019
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Angie Chang: Welcome to Girl Geek X Podcast. Connecting you with insights from women in tech. This is Angie, founder of Girl Geek X and Women 2.0.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: This is Sukrutha. By day I’m an engineering manager.

Gretchen DeKnikker: This Gretchen, I’ve been working in tech for over 20 years.

Rachel Jones: This is Rachel, the producer of this podcast, and we’re the team behind Girl Geek X. This podcast brings you the best of Girl Geek X events, dinners, and conferences. Where we’ve been elevating women in tech for over 10 years.

Angie Chang: And today we’ll be discussing ally-ship.

Rachel Jones: So in our last episode we talked about how to advocate for yourself in your workplace. So this time we’re kind of reversing that and talking about how to advocate for others.

Angie Chang: To be honest, mostly we hear about girl geeks looking to advocate for themselves, but I think this message of advocating for others is really important for allies in the workplace. And also a really good reminder for people who are really feeling like they’re going into the arena every day to fight for their careers, but also they should be advocating for others around them. And I think people who are managers would be especially interested in this topic.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. I think when you are someone who already has a seat at the table, it’s a good idea to look around and see how you can be an ally for someone else because you’re already in the room. And so, if this topic has come up at the Girl Geek dinner, it’s usually I’m the context of how can I find an ally. But a lot of times the answer does lead to how one can be an ally.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So that’s been interesting to hear both perspectives. What do you think, Gretchen?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think you can hone your skills on how to advocate for yourself by advocating for others. Sort of figuring out what is it that I can do for this other person? It’s sort of that same thing. Like when you sit and you’re like, “Okay, if I were sitting down with me right now, what advice would I give myself that I’m completely not taking right now?” And then how would that work?

Gretchen DeKnikker: And I think it’s very similar to that. And I agree with you, Sukrutha. I think, once you do have a seat at the table, you really need to be looking around and outside of the room of what other voices could be added to the mix of this table and how can we bring more marginalized voices to the center.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I think that if we want to see more diversity in the room, we need to do our part, wherever we can. And if we see people who have a tendency to want to help us out, we should engage with them and ask them, like requesting someone to be an executive sponsor of your specific ERG. Or asking another ERG that’s made more advancements in terms of recruiting and diversity efforts. Asking them to support your ERG efforts.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: And on an individual level, I do think that I’ve gotten a lot of help from a variety of people who’ve been allies to me, and I’ve found that to be super useful. Just identify those people who are in that position and ask them for advice and ask them to vouch for you. What do you think, Angie?

Angie Chang: I do think in this kind of dog eat dog world that we feel like exists today, it’s really important to reach out and advocate for others. In doing so, you are kind of checking in and making sure that you understand what other communities’ needs are, desires, ways to grow, ways to help. And really listening to them and creating that line of communication and then advocating for them when you’re able to do that correctly, in the spheres that you can operate in.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I mean, I think when we think about ally-ship, right, it’s the key to lifting everyone up and to go back to something Rachel was saying in our intersectionality podcasts, which was great, you should listen to it, is when you lift up the most marginalized, when you solve the problems of the folks at the margins, you’re lifting up everyone. You’re solving the problems for everyone. So rather than solving the easy problems for the majority, solving the harder problems is actually the way forward.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Last episode we heard from former Salesforce EVP Leyla Seka on how to ask more for yourself and today we have a quote from her about showing up for others.

Leyla Seka: The reality is for a lot of women, the generation before me, specifically, they really yanked the ladders up after them. Because in lots of ways they were forced to make decisions like not having children or not having relationships or not taking care of aging parents or not doing these things in order to have a career, which, that’s a really terrible choice to have to make. And I am truly grateful to all of them because I didn’t have to make that choice and I credit them with a lot of that. But that mentality existed a lot throughout my career, just women not helping women as much as they should.

Leyla Seka: I’m now the executive sponsor of BOLDforce at Salesforce, which is our black employee resource group, so I spend a lot of time trying to understand what it feels like to be black in technology and black in America.

Leyla Seka: I don’t understand it, but I try to be an ally. So look, for me, and I think a lot of people said it in a lot of ways, but if we don’t help each other, a lot of these things aren’t going to change. And I think that for us, making time to mentor people and help people. Man, I wanted that going up, you know? Man, I wanted someone to talk to, that was a woman that could sort of empathize with being a mother and wanting to be very professionally successful.

Leyla Seka: And you have a platform, whether you think you do or you don’t. And I would actually even challenge you further to say like, how are you using your platform to help people? Are you sponsoring a woman of color? Are you trying to mentor a woman of color? Or are you thinking, even beyond just our own plight, the most important, equal pay, all of this was super important, but the work I’ve done with BOLDforce, in many ways, is probably some of the most cutting edge and interesting stuff we’re doing because we’re really trying to tackle the notion of ally-ship inside of corporate America. And we all can be allies. There’s always someone that can use your help. So it’s important to give that forward. I think that really helps you find your path as well.

Angie Chang: That just reminds me of how we have seen ally-ship from top company executives. Executives often being the white men, sure, but the best allies to sponsor women and other under-represented groups, ERGs, efforts such as Girl Geek dinners and Salesforce’s group. The best allies don’t necessarily come and talk, and they’re not necessarily speakers getting the limelight. But I feel like, I remember back to one of our earlier Girl Geek dinners and we had the CEO of Pinterest speak. And sure, he spoke for like five minutes in the beginning, but that wasn’t the important part. The part that really, I think, resonated for all of us who were there is that he stayed and listened and talked to people in the room until the very end of the event. He was there actively listening to the Girl Geeks and talking to them and mostly just listening and just, that participation, that kinda support just, felt was like really resonating to Pinterest. And I think they made at least one hire that for their engineering team that night, from that event, as a result.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I do resonate really well with what Leyla brought up about how sometimes we feel like it’s really hard to challenge the patriarchy. I, myself, with situations that I’ve been, I’ve heard people say things and do things that have made me uncomfortable, but I don’t feel comfortable to bring it up right away or be an ally right away because it feels like I’m ruffling too many feathers too quickly, too soon. And so I also ease into it a bit. However, sometimes when you don’t act or you don’t step in when needed and you don’t support when needed, that’s another missed opportunity.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Have you all been in situations where you’ve had to deal that problem of the discomfort of challenging patriarchy or making changes to what’s already out there?

Gretchen DeKnikker: Well, first, ally is a verb and not a noun, right? Like you can call someone an ally, but if they’re not like practicing ally-ship, then they’re just sort of a figurehead. And so I think the way Leyla was speaking about her involvement with the Black ERG, I think that she’s definitely taking that as a verb.

Angie Chang: I think one thing that I’ve been working on is to just have a … So when someone does something say, patriarchal or sexist or racist is just react quickly. And so like anyone can just open their eyes more. Just like cough or hopefully give a signal to that person that doesn’t quite yet realize what they’re doing is not really okay.

Angie Chang: And hopefully, and then there’s like a lot of studies that are starting to trend toward, I believe, that previously for the last five years, we’ve thought that diversity inclusion training was going to be the salve to solve all our problems.

Angie Chang: And then more recently, I’ve heard a lot about training coworkers and people in the workplace to step in for others and react and defend underrepresented groups when they are being … Those thousand cuts that you receive in the workplace and helping make sure that someone’s stepping in for them. So just reacting in a small way at the very least, and then not necessarily saying we’re going to go protest on the streets tomorrow, but like sure. Like, start now by letting someone know that this, giving them a signal that this is not okay.

Rachel Jones: Yeah, I definitely agree. And I think it relates to how Leyla says anyone can be an ally. We all have a platform. Because I think sometimes when people hear ally-ship they think, yeah, it means they have to be on the front lines protesting or they have to be in a position where they can give someone a promotion that elevates them in their career. But it can definitely look like smaller ways that you’re supporting the people around you. And it can be something like language like we discussed or just speaking up if someone gets interrupted or seconding someone’s idea in a meeting to make them feel supported. There are just so many different ways that you can practice ally-ship.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: The other thing Leyla brought up, which I’ve felt personally too is you know, previously women wouldn’t show up for other women like they should have. How do you feel like you face that challenge? Because I know I’ve had to deal with situations where I don’t know why that would happen, but we weren’t really supporting each other enough at work.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: And sometimes I’d look around and be like, we’re just, we’re the only two women in this room, we should be helping each other out a little bit more instead of competing against each other. Has that happened to either of you?

Rachel Jones: Yeah, that’s definitely something that I’ve seen. Not even just with women but with race also. This is a conversation that happens a lot in the black community. This idea of like crabs in a barrel, where instead of lifting each other up, people can climb over each other to get to the top. But I think what’s really behind this is a sense of scarcity. When you feel like there’s only so much space for women or only so much space for people of color, then seeing another woman or another person of color can be like a threat to your own success.

Rachel Jones: So sometimes, yeah, you don’t want to reach out and see how you can lift someone else up because there’s only so much room at the level that you’re lifting someone to. And that’s definitely a sad reality. And I think a lot of the reason why the situation looks so different now than it was at the time that Leyla was describing, is because women still chose to lift each other up. And by doing that, it created more space. But I definitely can see, just that feeling of threat that can motivate someone to not want to do that work of being an ally.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Well, I think–Leyla and I are very close in age and, what it felt like at the time that it doesn’t anymore, I mean, I totally agree with the scarcity, but it was also like we were just trying to quietly be in the room. And it felt like if there was a woman that was going to come in and she was going to act more, I don’t know what, but like be more female in some stereotypical way, that had been somehow made us feel like we couldn’t behave in that way, that she was gonna make it worse for all of us.

Gretchen DeKnikker: And then also that idea of like, every single day, I need to not be any of those things. I can’t be emotional, I can’t be whatever, because I’m also representing all women on some level, was very much what it felt like. I mean this is like over 20 years ago, but I think that’s sort of what she is alluding to.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: That’s so fascinating to hear. I mean, luckily I’ve been experiencing the positive side of things when people are a bit more comfortable to be noticed as the woman in the room. But I do see traces of what you’re talking about still linger even now.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Yeah. And I mean I think it’s almost a reaction. Like, Leyla and I are similar in many ways, but definitely I think women our age were like, “You know what, I am so sick of this.” And so we did a 180 and were like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. And, once there were a few more of us that were there, it was a little bit easier to do.

Rachel Jones: I think it’s great just hearing from this discussion how important ally-ship is, but what does it actually look like in practice? Have any of you seen examples of this in your careers?

Gretchen DeKnikker: At my last company we booked–we did a really large 10,000 person event and learning how to get more women on stage, more people of color on stage was a process. But I think like the proudest moment I had was when there was this very high power panel, like very, very important people in the Valley speaking on this panel and my boss insisted that, like he said that there would be no panels that didn’t have at least one woman on them. And this panel and he, because it was such a large conference, he would task the people on the panel with finding a woman to speak on the panel. And these people were like, “Nope, we can’t find one. We can’t find one, we can’t find one.” And I could hear this guy was like very pissed on the other end of the phone and he’s like, “Well then I’m going to cancel your panel.”

Gretchen DeKnikker: And this is a couple of days before the event. But my boss held his ground and they actually did find an amazing, amazing woman to speak on this panel. But for weeks and weeks before that, “Nope, there’s no one, there’s no one,” until their own egos were on the line. And if this had gone south, if they hadn’t found it, it would have been not good for my boss. Like, it would have really hurt some critical relationships that he needed. But he was willing to do that and I was like, “I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder,” like sitting and witnessing that because he was using personal capital along with his career capital to stick by something that he felt was right.

Angie Chang: I imagined, when I was previously working at a women’s coding bootcamp and helping women get hired by companies and them celebrating that they have hired, say this woman and potentially women from an underrepresented group. And then sure they’re hired, but sometimes they don’t get cultivated. And I think something’s really lost there when you hire and you celebrate that hire, but then you fail to actually develop that woman in her career, so she stays. That’s been a huge opportunity lost, in my opinion.

Angie Chang: So a few years ago, the Kapor Center had done a study on thousands of people that have left tech, and they found that the number one reason for people leaving the workplace is a perception of unfairness. This can be that they were passed over for a promotion when they saw other people around them, probably the male counterparts, white male counterparts, getting promoted. And so, just addressing this perception of unfairness in both the promotions and pay can really help retain women and underrepresented groups in tech.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Yeah, I mean, I think if you fail to foster a sense of belonging, particularly in this phase that we’re in right now where there’s actually a phrase, diversity hire, that’s a pejorative term of, “Oh well …” and taking away from people and being, “Oh well she was promoted because she was a woman.” Or, “That person was the less qualified candidate, but they were a person of color, so they got the role.” And there’s this whole sort of backlash that, whether or not that was the case in anyone being hired or whether or not that’s even something that should exist. Once you have folks there, if you don’t foster that sense of belonging, plus they’re already fighting this idea that maybe they didn’t earn their seat at this table, you’re going to lose people.

Gretchen DeKnikker: So it can’t just be getting more underrepresented candidates through the door. It’s how long can you keep them there? How do you change your workplace in a way where everyone is comfortable and feels valued?

Angie Chang: Yeah, I think belonging is definitely not any of the things that recruiters try to sell you. Like, we have foosball tables, ping pong tables, we have, what is that game, corn hole, super popular here and I don’t understand why.

Gretchen DeKnikker: It’s the worst named game ever. So bad.

Angie Chang: Belonging is about involving and inviting people to the table, to projects, to dinners, to enjoy their lives and learn from each other. I feel like yes, we definitely need to do more, all of us, to help people feel included and that they are really rewarded and learning and contributing to what we’re working on.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Rachel, I’d love to hear your thoughts on belonging.

Rachel Jones: So we’ve talked about this in a lot of different ways, in episodes that we’ve had, like with tech leavers and with inclusion and our intersectionality episode. I think doing that work just to listen to people and find out what they need and then challenging yourself to do the work. I think that’s also the difference between yes, celebrating a hire versus celebrating someone staying. It’s easy to get people in, but making them stay takes more than just talking about it. You have to be ready to make that systemic, hard change within your institutions to be able to create a place that people want to stay in.

Angie Chang: So from the intersectionality side, I think when we talk about women and then we talk about women of color and how, as I mentioned, I’ve heard more than one story of a woman being hired to a top tech company and then just being left to sit there for years without proper management and then expecting women to just rise to the occasion or advocate for herself, I think, is an unfair expectation. And people around this woman, women actually, there’s quite a few of them, should definitely speak up and help people get out of that situation.

Angie Chang: Erica Weiss Tjader, VP of Product Design at SurveyMonkey, shared an example of a male ally she had during our dinner with SurveyMonkey.

Erica Weiss Tjader: Unlike mentors, allies are not big investments in relationships over time. They are episodic, they are based on a specific purpose at a specific place in time. And as a result, they can have a really, a much bigger impact on something you’re trying to achieve at the time.

Erica Weiss Tjader: And so a good example that I thought of is in a previous role I was the design leader of a smaller team and one of my biggest challenges that I was facing was making inroads with our engineering leadership around the notion of the importance of front end development, design systems, some of the topics that design leaders and engineering leaders often talk about. And I was having a hard time getting traction and it was one of those tough problems because it was probably the most important thing to my team, and yet the thing I had the least direct control over. This was an example, like I have to influence because I don’t own the answer to the problem.

Erica Weiss Tjader: And so this particular ally was a new engineering manager that joined the organization. And in my initial meet and greet with him, I learned that he had some expertise around developing front end teams and design systems and sort of an interest. And perhaps most importantly I learned that he had a personal relationship with our CTO, who was the person I was having the hardest time making inroads with [crosstalk 00:22:44], that they were personal friends. [crosstalk 00:22:45] It wasn’t, no, it’s a different story. I’ve got a lot of stories.

Erica Weiss Tjader: And so what I did is, like I really just started out by befriending this guy. I’m like, I’m going to make your transition into this company really easy. I’m going to introduce you to people. I’m going to tell you all the secrets. You know, we had lunches, we had coffees, we started to build a relationship and in a very short period of time, we were able to transition that relationship into finding a mutually beneficial place where he was able to leverage his expertise and his influence in the engineering organization to start a front end team. And I was able to give him disproportionately more resources and support from the design team to really prove the value and success of that.

Erica Weiss Tjader: I think it’s just a great example of an alliance that was very intentional but looked very different than a mentorship relationship, because it was really about a place and a time and a need and a relationship, right in that moment.

Rachel Jones: So I think this is interesting. This is the discussion of ally-ship is different than the rest of our conversation. What do you all think about that?

Angie Chang: I think what I got from that is thinking about things more episodically than long term. And we’ve definitely also talked about mentorship and sponsorship, well mentorship, as something that can be episodic where you are just asking questions of a person and and gaining knowledge and finding micro mentorship. So I think she’s talking about micro ally-ship, and how you can find your answers and make those relationships work for you. What do you think?

Gretchen DeKnikker: You know, she figured out a way to not only sort of leverage that, but also a lot of times in our career we find ourselves having to influence without having any authority. And particularly in the middle of your career, you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to sort of leverage the people around you, figure out what their interests are and figure out what you can do in exchange for them, so that you can sort of get them in your camp to help you with your things that you’re trying, your particular initiatives.

Gretchen DeKnikker: And I think hers is a great example, particularly where she had a weak tie to someone, the CTO, that she needed a stronger tie with, but was able to sort of offer a lot in return.

Rachel Jones: I really liked this quote because I think somewhat in our conversation and a lot of times when people think about being an ally, it gets framed and people think it’s about like making someone feel better or like feel included or feel supported. But I really like what Erin says, because it’s not just about how people feel in a space, it’s also about being strategic and getting things done.

Rachel Jones: And I think, yes, thinking about ally-ship in terms of how can I do my best work and really make what I’m doing the best it can be, you’re thinking about forming alliances not just in terms of identity but in terms of skills and roles and influence and what people can really bring to support your growth and yeah, the projects that you have going on.

Rachel Jones: So I think, yeah, that’s an interesting way to think about this topic.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I genuinely like how she called out the importance that she saw in befriending someone who she was having the hardest time making a connection with. And I’ve found that when people start to view you as a person, not as an employee or as a team member or as head count, they are more likely to then listen to you and discuss ways where you can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: And then you can make changes and be a better ally or get the ally-ship aspect from that other person. If they continue to view you as a number, there’s no chance of that happening. I think that regardless of whether you want someone to be an ally to you or not, or you want to be an ally to them, you have to have some sort of a common ground with them and do what she did, where she said she had lunches and coffees with the person and worked on building the relationship, and very quickly you’ll see results I bet.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I really liked that you picked this one, Rachel, because it’s sort of an example of, it doesn’t have to be a hierarchical power structure for someone to be an ally and to be able to sort of open doors, that it can be your peers from a reporting hierarchy standpoint, but that there’s still a lot that you can get, even if the power dynamic doesn’t seem to be what you would think of, in this sort of traditional ally-ship.

Rachel Jones: So what advice would you give to someone who’s trying to think of ways that they can be an ally?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I feel like when we’re considering what our goals are at work, we should also consider in those goals what are the wins that we want to see in someone else that we influenced. And so, something like that would then, or just to look around, find people that need allies, find groups that need allies and actually help out.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: If, in your regular goals and accomplishments, you also considered how you are making other peoples’ efforts better and how you are helping someone else’s success as part of your success, I really feel like it can go a long way.

Angie Chang: I think back to when I was in the workplace, what are things that made me feel like people were being allies? It’s the little things, like who you ask to go to lunch or happy hour with. For some reason it always made me feel really butt hurt when people were inviting other people to go and I was not part of that crew. So I think just … And then now everyone goes to soul cycle together or … I just feel like there’s so many ways to leave people out and if we want to keep people in this industry for the long run, we have to be more inclusionary in who we make friendships with over time really, and kind of like involved in these little things.

Gretchen DeKnikker: That’s a great lead into our next quote from Erin Dees who’s a principal software engineer at Stitchfix. She did a talk on Dossiers of Awesome, one way to help folks get the recognition they deserve, which honestly you guys should go watch it. It’s probably one of the best Girl Geek presentations that we’ve ever had and she gave some tips on supporting others and here’s what she had to say.

Erin Dees: How many of us are in a job where we are expected to give feedback on our peers regularly? It’s exhausting. It takes forever to write and by the time you’ve done your fourth or fifth one, it’s hard to come up with something that is unique and that could only apply to that engineer. It should be something that we keep up with in little increments throughout the year, instead of having a big deadline dropped on us. And again, it should be actionable. It should give our peers information that they can use to grow their career.

Erin Dees: So one idea had been sitting right in front of me this whole time, which is an engineering journal. So in addition to what I’d worked on, I might add a couple of bullet points that a teammate worked on and tag them with a hashtag which comes in handy later.

Erin Dees: So then, if you’re in a culture that does sort of quarterly feedback cycles, when it comes time to do this, I can click on that person’s tag in my journaling software. Now then what you do with this information depends a lot about your feedback culture. If you’re in a place where you’re expected to write your own review for starters, a self review, you can give your peers the ammo, the raw material that they can use to write their self review. So here’s what that might look like. You can compose an email and if your manager is someone who is supportive, write it to them and cc your friend. And this now tells them a story. If they’ve been waiting for like a great opportunity to write a promotion pitch for this engineer, you’ve just given them all this ammo. There’s a lot of cultural pressure on us not to brag and we should fix that too. But if this is all stuff that happened, this isn’t bragging, it’s data. So it’s a good idea to share it with, again if you have a supportive manager, and with your peer.

Erin Dees: So how to make this feedback actionable so that somebody can act on it and grow their career. One way to do this is to work these data points into a story so it’s not just data, it’s a narrative. And what this looks like, for example, if you start noticing this person developing or showing an aptitude and interest in tech leadership, is to call that out and say, “Hey, maybe it’s maybe it’s time to start handing this engineer larger projects and have them run bigger initiatives. They seem to have a knack for it.”

Rachel Jones: What do you think of Erin’s advice, to use peer feedback as an opportunity to lift others up?

Angie Chang: Feedback is such a gift. I think, definitely if you are able to give actionable feedback to help people grow, it’s a great thing to do.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think what makes it so powerful is, it’s this very simple way of keeping track of your own accomplishments and other people’s, but also being able to see that over time in this way that isn’t super cumbersome, and I love, oh, I can’t, what’s the exact quote? This isn’t bragging, it’s data, which I just think is so amazing, especially given how women sort of have a hard time … I hate making those sweeping statements, but how often women feel like talking about their accomplishments is bragging, and sort of brings this full circle back to what I was saying earlier, that it’s often easier to be an advocate for someone else than to be an advocate for yourself. But what’s so brilliant about Erin’s little system that she has going, is that it allows you to do both.

Rachel Jones: This makes me think back to our last episode where we had the quote from Arquay Harris, encouraging you to keep a record of what you’ve done, your accomplishments big and small. And I really like this idea from Erin, that it doesn’t just have to be yourself that you’re doing that for, but you can provide that for other people and that can be a tool for them to advocate for themselves. I think that’s really powerful.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. So when I’ve had consultations with people to help them advocate for themselves, I’ve asked them what is it that they want to be known for? And through that, we then come up with ways in which they can, if they find that there are areas of improvement for them, they could focus on that. But if they find they’re already doing what it is that they want to be known for, how they can find various forums to advocate for themselves. Are there show and tells where they can present what they’ve worked on? Are there meetings where I can pull them in and have them speak about what it is that they worked on, instead of me representing them?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So we come up with various ways where they can be recognized for what they want to be recognized for. Where, when someone thinks about a particular area or a particular feature, this person is who comes to mind. I don’t need to take all the credit and be the face of everything, and there’s no benefit in doing that. And so that’s how I … If I have control over it, if they’re working on a team of mine, that’s where I pull in other people to speak as opposed to me representing for the whole team. I know I learned this from my boss because he always gave me opportunities to come in and speak, no matter how senior the rest of the audience was.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think that’s like the perfect definition of ally-ship. First listening, but then also not, if you have the mic, not speaking on someone else’s behalf, but handing the mic over and creating that opportunity for that person to speak for themselves.

Rachel Jones: Just be the advocate that you would want for yourself if you find yourself wishing you had someone to speak up for you or shout you out. Or wishing you had a little help, think about that next time that you have the opportunity to do that for someone else.

Angie Chang: Great reminder to continue to speak up and think about ways to help others in your career. Whether your title has manager in it or not.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, give other people a chance to represent the work that they’ve done, help them be better at speaking for themselves about themselves.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think keeping in mind that that ally is a verb, it’s an action, it’s listening and it’s creating opportunities. But it’s also understanding that doing nothing is doing something. That if you’re not actively trying to break down some of the patriarchal and racial and the endless list of issues that we have, that you are participating in it continuing.

Angie Chang: Yes, complicity is not great.

Angie Chang: So thanks for listening to this episode of the Girl Geek X podcast. We’ll be back soon with more advice from women in tech. Please rate and subscribe to Girl Geek X podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

Rachel Jones: This podcast is produced by me, Rachel Jones with event recording by Eric Brown and music by Diana Chow. To learn more about Girl Geek X or buy tickets to one of our dinners, visit girlgeek.io where you can also find full transcripts and videos from all of our events.

Angie Chang: This podcast is sponsored by SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey is a leading global survey software on a mission to power the curious. The company’s people powered data platform empowers over 17 million active users to measure and understand feedback from employees, customers, website and app users and the market.

Angie Chang: This podcast is also sponsored by Stitch Fix, the online personal styling service for men, women, and kids, that is blending art and science to redefine the retail industry, with a mission to change the way people find clothes they love by combining expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a deeply personalized shopping experience.

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