Friendfactor, a site for straight allies of the LGBT community, announced that its Workplace Ally Challenge is now accepting additional applications.
As described on the site, Friendfactor’s “first-ever Workplace Ally Challenge challenges businesses to build the largest and most effective LGBT ally initiatives they can from January to June 2014.”
Studies have shown that employees who can be open about who they are bring more of themselves to the job, making them more innovative and productive; employee turnover is also lower, which is better for everyone.
The CEO of Friendfactor, Joanne Sprague, told 429Magazine:
Friendfactor started its ally programming in business schools because they are the environments where future leaders have a substantial opportunity to take a step back from their work lives, learn why supporting LGBT equality in the workplace is so important, and transform from passive supporters to active allies. However we soon realized that our students were being educated and activated in school only to graduate and move into the workplace with no clear way to continue their work as allies.
The Workplace Ally Challenge builds a pipeline for allies to take action in their professional lives beyond graduate school, and offers companies a way to capitalize on the allies in their talent pool to drive more inclusive workplace culture.
For those who would like to help make a difference but may be uncertain how to do so, another incentive to sign up for the challenge is the resources provided: ready-to-distribute surveys, confidential analysis, ally training materials, activity ideas, bimonthly calls with other corporate program leaders to share advice and best practices, and even individualized troubleshooting.
As an award-winning nonprofit, Friendfactor already has a highly successful track record with its previous program, the MBA Ally Challenge, which has “transformed culture at over half the top 20 MBA programs in the country…by providing student leaders with the resources and incentives to activate allies.”
Companies that have been accepted into the workplace program include 3M, PG&E, and Ameriprise Financial; in a press release, Sprague said, “With hundreds of thousands of employees and locations around the world, the current group of participating companies has the power to truly affect change in the culture they each create and support within their workplaces and the community at large.”
Friendfactor is accepting applications for the Workplace Ally Challenge through December 31, 2013; further information can be found here.