What does it mean to be an Ally at Ivey?

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As a member of the Ivey community you will hear a lot about Allyship, but first of all, what is an Ally? As defined by PeernetBC, allyship is:

“an active, consistent, and challenging practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to work in solidarity with a marginalized group”

As a member of the Ivey community, Allyship isn’t easy. Many of us hold our beliefs strongly and are taught to defend them in the classroom. To be an Ally, we have to always be re-evaluating these beliefs in order to work with and stand in solidarity with marginalized groups. To do this, it is important to remember a few responsibilities we have to ourselves and our classmates.

1.     Act out of Responsibility, not guilt:

 As a member of Ivey, practicing Allyship is not because of guilt, but a responsibility to our classmates and everyone around us. As a section and a community, we have a responsibility to make Ivey a place where we all feel included and celebrated.

2.     Acknowledge our privileges and openly discuss them:

Members of our community must acknowledge our privileges, recognizing what we have in common but understand the many different paths we have traveled to get here. Understanding we all have distinct lived experiences allows reflection on what we need to improve upon as a community.

3.     Listen more and speak less:

 As Ivey students we are taught to contribute frequently and passionately in the classroom, but as an Ally we have a responsibility to listen. Holding back our opinions and listening to the people we seek to work with ensures all voices are recognized.

4.     Build our capacity to receive criticism:

Understanding that we all make mistakes is critical. However, we must be able to be honest and accountable for our mistakes. If you say something during contribution that gets called out, use it as an experience to learn and grow. These experiences are a gift that allow us to continue allyship and allow us to do things differently in the future.

5.     Embrace the emotions that come out of the process of allyship:

Being an ally can be uncomfortable. Your existing beliefs may be challenged and further changed by your classmates. Embrace these emotions and continue to support those around you. 

6.     Do not expect awards or special recognition:

As an ally, don’t expect to be recognized for your contribution to others. Allyship is integral to our community, but not more important than the issues that marginalized groups live with every day. Recognize that Allyship exists because of issues many members of our community face. To be an Ally means you stand in solidarity, not expecting anything from it, but doing it anyways because you care for the people around you.


Understanding who we are as an Ally and the responsibilities we hold is integral to the Ivey community. We all have opportunities to practice allyship every day and doing so is a strong first step in fostering inclusivity and diversity amongst our peers.


By: Spencer Ashby


Sources:

Women in Entrepreneurship: Defying Societal Expectations

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As a young girl, I had many career aspirations. I wanted to be a teacher, a lawyer, a marine biologist, or perhaps, a cowgirl. It is children's nature to let their imaginations take them to many dreams and aspirations. However, as they grow older, these dreams become more structured and realistic. I pictured myself growing up to be strong and successful, just like the female role models in my life. It was not until recently that I realized my one true career aspiration, to own a business.

In, "Entrepreneurs are expected to be white and male. We need to change this," Patti Fletcher discusses the overrepresentation of young, white males in the world of entrepreneurship. She also emphasizes the societal restrictions that have been imparted on women due to their past status of a "disadvantaged class." It is the combination of the lack of diversity in entrepreneurship and the remaining discrimination in the professional world that has contributed to this phenomenon. (1)

Although I have never thought in my mind that entrepreneurs must be white and male to succeed, this unconscious understanding has impacted me nonetheless. This impact is apparent in the differences in advice given to males compared to females, even at a young age. Girls are often encouraged to be responsible and organized. It can be argued that boys do not feel obligated to have these attributes in order to succeed. Remember when one of your classmates submitted an assignment without signing their name in school? One of the most common practices for finding the author, in my experience, was to analyze the neatness of the hand writing. It was common for a messy assignment to be attributed to a male, while neat handwriting would be found to have a female author. Was this just a result of stereotypes or did girls actually put more value on neat writing than boys? Fletcher comments on this practice:

We teach women to be good students in school. To write neatly. To color within the lines. To dot every "i" and cross every "t". When women enter the workforce, we tell them to perfect their PowerPoints for an idea pitch. We tell them to be a good girl and go to awkward networking events or to find a mentor. But as my friend and fellow Astia Board of Trustees member, Jeanne Sullivan, says "You need more than a team, a dream, a PowerPoint, and a dog" to get investors to get their wallets out of their pockets.

What girls really need, perhaps, is to be advised to be bold. It may be time to teach girls that they are valued for more than their practical skills, but rather, they are appreciated for their ideas. It’s time to stop the behaviours that put destructive unconscious thoughts in the minds of young girls that later present in their sense of self-worth. If this can be accomplished, girls may be willing to be braver, to go further, and to expect more out of themselves than they have in the past. I hope that as a result of making this shift, "entrepreneur" will be a common career aspiration for young girls one day.

By: Georgia McClure-Kunc

Sources:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2014/dec/12/entrepreneurs-are-expected-to-be-white-and-male-we-need-to-change-this

 

Cyberbullying - A contemporary threat to diversity and inclusivity

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Cyberbullying has been identified as an important problem amongst youth in the last decade. Some reviews of cyberbullying already exist, but the area is developing very rapidly, as new technologies develop and new trends and social networks appear.1 As such, cyberbullying has become a major threat to diversity and inclusivity, due to the high adoption rate of smartphones, personal computer, and other information technology that are channels for cyberbullying . But what exactly is cyberbullying and how can we deal with it?

What is cyberbullying?

Bullying is generally seen as intentional behavior to harm another, repeatedly, where it is difficult for the victim to defend himself or herself; it is based on an imbalance of power; and can be defined as a systematic abuse of power.

By extending the definition from traditional bullying, cyberbullying has been defined as an aggressive act or behavior that is carried out using electronic means by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation (1).

Cyberbullying and intersectionality

Why should we, as allies, care more about cyberbullying? Start by thinking about intersectionality - some people might be facing a higher risk of in injustice, bullying or other harmful behaviors because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, and class. Research has shown adolescence and early adulthood are peak periods for involvement in cyberbullying. Compared to traditional bullying, girls may be relatively more involved, but gender differences remain inconsistent across studies (1).

A well replicated finding is a large overlap between involvement in traditional bullying and cyberbullying. One aspect of this is that there is a quite strong link between those who are involved as cyberbullies and traditional bullies, perhaps more so in boys. Regarding cybervictims, research found that the biggest risk factor of being bullied online was to bully others online. They concluded that being bullied online may be seen as two-way interaction where children bully others and are bullied themselves. This was especially seen between girls. Little is known about the sequence of events that may lead up to cyberbullying. Also, some cyberbullies may be traditional victims who, being unable to retaliate face-to-face, may do so by electronic means as a form of retaliation (1). The harrassment one faces online can affect them day-to-day, and the lasting comments and derogatory posts made over the Internet can be seen by others into the future.

Why should we care about cyberbullying?

With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it.

In addition to online bullying, controversial posts through online medias can surface in these searches. Out of context or without background understanding of the person that you are, this content can work negatively towards your image. Being cognizant of the image you create online, in relation to other people as well as your personal ideals and beliefs, is important for your future self.

But, how can we deal with cyberbullying?

To prevent cyberbullying, and bullying on campus in general, students use a variety of tools and strategies to better identify and act upon threats. If you or someone you know is a victim of a cyberbullying attack, consider implementing one or all of the following methods to prevent continued threats for yourself or others.

1. Tell Someone

Whether it’s a roommate, professor or the police, victims of bullying need to speak up. Because many cyberbullying attacks are targeted and not seen by others, these attacks can go unnoticed by others. If you feel as though someone is threatening, harassing or mocking you over text, social media, email or other digital medium, don’t hesitate to tell someone you trust.

2. Don’t Retaliate

Often, cyberbullies thrive off the attention and frustration they receive from their victims. Instead of responding with aggressive or threatening messages, talk to someone you trust and don’t retaliate.

3. Store Information

Collect information surrounding the cyberbullying attempt or issue, including text messages, social media posts, date and time, and any other applicable information. In the event that it becomes part of an investigation or larger, ongoing issue, this information can be helpful to identify and apprehend the instigator.

4. Make Timely Reports

Whether you report the person on social media or call your phone company to block a number, the method used by cyberbullies is always a good starting point. If the initiator doesn’t have access to you via text messages or social media outlets, he or she may decide to abandon cyberbullying.

5. Seek Counseling

Both Western and Ivey offer counseling resources to students who are victims of bullying on campus. Because they are often more likely to develop mental health issues from the traumatic experience, students should continue to talk with professionals to ensure they properly recover (2).

To help prevent these situations from occurring, “Be proactive and ensure that there are clear policies in place to protect employees from bullying. But most importantly, if anyone comes to you with a complaint, listen carefully, take it seriously, and investigate the situation quickly and thoroughly,”

“One person really can make a difference. Be that person.” - Teresa Daniel, Dean of the Human Resource Leadership Program at Sullivan University in Louisville (4).

Finally, please remember, if you or anyone around you have any concerns about diversity and inclusivity, Ally@Ivey is always here for you!

By Joe Li

Sources:

  1. http://agnesday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Slonje-Cyberbullying.pdf
  2. https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html
  3. http://www.campusanswers.com/5-strategies-for-students-to-stand-up-to-cyberbullying/
  4. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/technology/pages/what-hr-can-do-about-cyberbullying-in-the-workplace.aspx