The Allies Workshop: Learn to support women in open tech/culture in real time

Want to do something when you see casual sexism at work, but aren’t sure what? Tired of feeling helpless when you read a sexist email to your community’s mailing list, but have no idea how to respond?

The Allies Workshop is for you! The Ada Initiative Allies Workshop teaches simple, everyday ways to support women in your workplace and communities. Participants learn techniques that work at the office, at conferences, and online.

About the workshop

Several people in discussion around a tableThe format is interactive and engaging (one participant asked, “Can we get more training like that?“), with a short intro followed by discussion in small groups about real-world scenarios. Some examples: a colleague writes “Pretend you are explaining this to your girlfriend” in an email, you see a man take credit for a woman’s idea in a meeting, or you want to help a newcomer feel comfortable at her first conference. The default scenarios are aimed at people involved in open tech/culture, but we also customize scenarios for each workshop.

Get the workshop

To get the Allies Workshop at your organization, email for more information and a quote. So that we can afford to teach more workshops, we usually charge a fee to teach this workshop, with a variety of discounts for non-profits, small companies, and making seats available to volunteers and community members. We also teach a “train-the-trainers” class so that the Allies Workshop can reach more people in your organization.

What people are saying about the workshop

A woman explains while a man listensHere’s what participant Jan-Bart de Vreede said: “The workshop helped identify situations which really happen. In my (sheltered) world I often don’t see the kind of behaviour that was illustrated and it was interesting to be able to discuss the situations with the people present. I notice it has made me a little more alert to that kind of situation in my own environment.”

Several participants said the most valuable outcome was learning how to have discussions about sexism with their colleagues comfortably and respectfully. Peter Van Hardenberg told us that the Allies Workshop “helped me to improve my understanding of the issues women and other visible minority communities can face in their daily lives and provided me with a framework for having supportive, honest and open conversations about them.

More ways to get the workshop

If you can’t attend a workshop in person, we have several resources for you, all licensed CC BY-SA, meaning you can use, copy, modify, and redistribute them for free as long as you give credit to the original authors: