Etsy on Privilege & Allies (22nd October 2016)

In their blog article Being an Effective Ally to Women and Non-Binary People, Etsy make perfectly clear this subject. It’s a more tangible way (to a developer) than I have seen before, too.

In the opening example, everyone else ships more than you—not because they’re better than you, but because they don’t have to deal with the additional nonsense that you do.

Understanding privilege—and understanding and accepting your own privilege—is a vital part of becoming an effective ally. You’re not being asked to beat yourself up about it, you’re being asked to empathize with others who are less privileged so that you can do something about it.


And that brings us to ally: the key part of this post. An ally is a member of a privileged group (in this case, men) who works to enable opportunity, access, and equality for members of a non-privileged group (in this case, women and non-binary people). They are using their privilege, their advantages, to bring about change.

It goes on (and on and on) to define the dynamic and then offers (very lengthy) practical steps to re-balance the dynamic.

It finishes with even more things to read but the list by itself reinforces the article’s quality.

This post references a number of external studies and articles on the research behind issues of diversity in tech and society in general, which are listed below. For more information on the business of allyship, check out our list of recommended reading for allies.