Allyship \u2014 in which you take on the struggle of others as your own \u2014 is incredibly important. That\u2019s because underrepresented groups are actually penalized when they speak out against discrimination and oppression, while white men don\u2019t see any harmful career impacts when they speak up. So, how can you be a better ally?\nI asked Tarsha McCormick, head of diversity and inclusion for North America at ThoughtWorks; LaFawn Davis, global head of inclusion and culture at Twilio; and Vicki Mealer-Burke, vice president and chief diversity officer at Qualcomm, what white people can do to be a better ally, and they were gracious enough to invest their time and emotional labor to help educate me. Here's their advice.\n----------------------------------------------\nTarsha McCormick, ThoughtWorks\n Tarsha McCormick\n\u201cFor white feminists and allies, I would say that when you\u2019re presented with opportunities and\/or challenges, you have to look one level deeper. So, ask yourself, if this impacts me as a white woman in this way, what does this mean for women of color, black women, Latina women? What does this mean for trans women? For lesbians?\n\u201cAlso, if someone approaches you with a concern, try not to get defensive. We have to be inclusive and encourage people to be their authentic selves, and that starts with having these hard conversations.\n\u201cI always try to encourage this because I think if I can help someone to understand what it\u2019s like to be a black woman in America, then when they\u2019re faced with a situation, they can think, \u2018Oh, right, I remember what Tarsha said. She\u2019s my friend, she\u2019s my colleague, I can see what she was telling me.\u2019 And that can help them in other interactions. We shouldn\u2019t be afraid to speak with each other, not just to each other!\u201d\u00a0\nLaFawn Davis, Twilio\n LaFawn Davis\n\u201cAllyship is real, and it\u2019s incredibly important. The worst thing the majority group can do is be silent; it\u2019s almost as bad to be well-meaning, but not taking any action!\n\u201cSo, I would say you can make the effort to learn about the concerns and the barriers and obstacles minorities are facing. Educate yourself. Learn how to speak civilly and really listen. And then, understand your privilege as a white person, and know how to say, \u2018Hey, I\u2019m here, and I\u2019m willing to help. I\u2019m not always going to get it right, but I\u2019m trying to be better.\u2019\n\u201cYou also must speak out when you see and hear the \u2018-isms\u2019 and the \u2018-phobias.\u2019 It\u2019s extremely powerful coming from that place of privilege, so speak up or get out of the way of someone who wants to speak up!\u201d\nVicki Mealer-Burke, Qualcomm\n Vicki Mealer-Burke\n\u201cIn a corporate setting, I\u2019d say make [diversity and inclusion] D&I a deliberate focus, and weave it into every single thing you do.\n\u201cFor instance, here, we don\u2019t do D&I-specific training; it\u2019s just woven into all the other leadership, management and professional development training we have. If we never even said the words \u2018diversity\u2019 and \u2018inclusion\u2019 but we\u2019ve been creating and implementing those concepts throughout our entire workforce, then we\u2019re ahead of the game.\u201d\n----------------------------------------------\nI also really like this list from Michael Harriot at The Root, of 5 ways white people can help fight white supremacy. It\u2019s incumbent upon all of us white people to stand up, speak out and amplify the voices of those who are discriminated against and oppressed.