August 4, 2022


Accompliceship can be uncomfortable. Caring about others is deeply personal and not required to fit into accepted tropes or behaviors.

An accomplice is willing to stand with or act to protect those who are being harassed, excluded, ostracized or otherwise mistreated even if that means suffering professional backlash.

Here are some tips to help manage these situations:

Disrupt the pattern of behavior.

  •  If you notice an individual not speaking in a meeting, ask them what their thoughts are on the matter at hand.
  • If you notice an individual’s ideas not being heard in the meeting, bring the idea up again with a statement like, “I think Gene’s idea of X is interesting. We should we discuss it.” Keep echoing the idea in the meeting until it is considered.
  • If an individual is being consistently interrupted at meetings, try using the following:
    • “I’d like to hear the rest of what Anthony was saying.” or
    • “Are you aware that you keep interrupting Sheila?”

If you see something, say something.

  • Say something to whomever is engaged in the behavior.
    • “You need to stop.” or “That is not okay.”
    • “What do you mean by that, exactly?”
    • Reach out to your manager or human resource

Physical proximity

  • Sit next to someone that is not being heard in meetings. The physical proximity will connect the two of you in the minds of others.
  • If you see someone being made uncomfortable and can’t stop the behavior, stand next the individual until it concludes. By standing shoulder to shoulder, it’s signaling to everyone that you are a team.

Mentor individuals with whom you do not identify.

  • Listen to them first
  • Be curious
  • Be honest
  • Be vulnerable

Make connections.

  • • Arrange a lunch or coffee with your network.
  • Invite them to networking events and stick by their side until they become comfortable.
  • Invite them to the “meeting after the meeting” (e.g. coffee, dinner, barbecues).
  • Introduce them to all levels of the organization