Walking the Talk with Authenticity

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team


November 10, 2021

The Building Culture Podcast - Episode 3.8

Eileen Lee & Adam Rosenfield, "Walking the Talk with Authenticity"

Being genuine, good at listening, and taking action on what you have promised are all aspects of authenticity - and importantly, the driving force behind successful DEI initiatives. This episode explores what authentic vs. performative allyship looks like and how to advocate both for fellow team members and potential hires. Eileen Lee, VP of People & Culture at PERKS, and Adam Rosenfield, Talent Advisor at Buildxact, share their experiences and perspectives.


You can download the episode here.
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Show notes:

  • Dr. Monica Cox, Professor of Engineering at Ohio State, coach, entrepreneur, and comedienne shared a post that went viral on Twitter:
    • "Instead of showing me your diversity statement, show me your hiring data, your discrimination claim stats, your salary tables, your retention numbers, your diversity policies, and your leaders' public actions against racism. End performative allyship."
  • Defining allyship: Who can be an ally/or what are some characteristics of a true ally?
    • From our blog post, "We Ship That" - An ally is a person who practices allyship (think of that). They’re usually a colleague with a similar title or job position. Allies actively partner, proactively check in, and support you with regards to achieving your workplace goals. They also specifically support you by using their influence or privilege to provide the resources you need to succeed. Allies stand as your advocate and credit you for your achievements when it matters.
  • What authentic allyship is vs. what it is not
    • Follow through with action (not just posting it on social media ). Are we having real conversations with team members and leaders?
    • Talk the talk, but also walk the walk. 
  • What is an example of performative allyship at work?
    • Checklist approach - releasing a diversity statement without tying DEI into daily experiences of their employees
      • This is responding from a place of reactiveness over proactiveness
  • Maintaining the status quo is much easier than challenging the system. We, as people, can be poor students of history; we can bring our assumptions and prejudices to our jobs as employees and even as HR or People & Culture professionals.
    • How does performative allyship actually reinforce inequality or exclusion?
    • Catalyst, workplaces that work for women: “Performative allyship hurts the people it’s meant to support and maintains the status quo by appearing to promote change without producing change—which is inequitable and demoralizing.”
  • Where do you see opportunities to be a success partner in the day-to-day - whether that’s in the office for some, remote, or blended/hybrid?
  • Why does having authentic allyship in the workplace matter?
    • Can you give us an example of when authenticity comes into play in the workplace?
  • What results should we hope to see from allyship and authenticity in the workplace?
    • Committing as a team to a shared purpose or a social cause
  • What are some practical steps to achieving allyship authentically?

You can find Adam Rosenfield on LinkedIn and Twitter.