Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
In this year’s MBA Ally Challenge, 12 of the top 20 US business schools competed. The winning program, Columbia Business School, activated 770 students (60% of their student body) through 10 activities over the year, including an ally action training, Ask Anything panel, and LGBTQ leadership summit. These efforts engaged a new critical mass of students in conversations around inclusion at the school: by the end of the year 89% of students agreed that allies were a visible and active presence (up from 52% at beginning of year), and 55-75% said they had heard allies speak up about LGBT issues more than once (up from 35%). As a direct result, Columbia will become the first top business school to have a gender neutral bathroom this summer.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact.
The Ally Challenges have activated over 6,000 professionals in 2 years as allies for LGBT inclusion. Last year’s 12 MBA programs improved culture such that 50% more LGBT students felt comfortable being out on campus by end of year, and the program has expanded to 22 schools this year. The 8 major companies in our new workplace challenge engaged 2k employees in 2014 through 65 events and campaigns.
This grant will expand the workplace challenge to a multi-dimensional focus, including LGBT, gender, race, class, & ability. We will pilot this expansion with a cohort of Bay Area companies, where empathy among employees (across race & gender in particular) needs vast improvement. Building on current relationships with Google, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft & others, the “Bay Area Workplace Ally Challenge” will catalyze a new standard for inclusion among up to 60k people at 15 Bay Area companies.
Full impact potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward?
Friendfactor’s goal is to create a new standard for individual understanding and empathy, inside and out of the workplace. The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index set a standard for inclusive workplace policy that grew from 13 to 600 companies in 10 years; we believe the Ally Challenges can do the same for workplace culture. We aim to scale the MBA and Workplace Ally Challenges both in the US and abroad, reaching 350-500 institutions by 2020, and to extend the pipeline to undergraduate campuses to activate allies for inclusion throughout the professional lifecycle.