taken proper care to gain insight . The gaining of understanding and context is one of the many things that separates the ally from someone that seeks to take over . Allies should bring something to the table . They should not simply be takers . They should not merely be observers ( a form of taking ), but they should add value .”
Information gathering will allow you to identify needs specific to your business , enabling you to be thoughtful in your offerings and increasing the likelihood that what you offer will bring value to the population served . The co-mingling of ideas and intentions ( cross-pollination ) separates an ally from someone who seeks only to take over or engage in cultural appropriation ( usurpation ).
Wellness menus or programming can suffer from cultural appropriation when the facility is located in an area with Indigenous people and culture , such as Hawai ’ i , Mexico and Australia . Practicing allyship in this area means intentionally gathering information from marginalized groups in order to thoughtfully and intentionally craft wellness services and programs .
Allies actively practice allyship because they know that anything else is performative . To be a true ally , leaders should : l Lift others up by advocating . l Share growth opportunities with others . l Not view venting as a personal attack . l Recognize systematic inequalities and the impact of microaggressions . l Believe underrepresented people ’ s experiences . l Most importantly : listen , support , self-reflect and change .
Actions taken as an ally have to happen both on the management / team side and guest side and must be proactive instead of reactive , as being reactive is not a long-term solution and a sign of performative allyship . People from marginalized groups recognize these reactions as disingenuous and lacking a commitment to meaningful improvements .
Allyship is a continual investment of time in supporting others , holding ourselves accountable when mistakes are made , apologizing and being prepared to rework the approach towards allyship as needs change . This is the way to work towards real , transformative change .
Hospitality companies are in a unique position — possibly the best position — to be shining examples of diversity , equity and inclusion because we can measure our efforts both internally and externally , on a global scale — much like the entertainment industry .
It took a long time and a lot of trauma for Hollywood to learn its lessons about DEI . And while things aren ’ t perfect , the amount of progress made in seven years is impressive , and now we have an unprecedented variety of amazing films and TV shows to watch , created by a supertalented crop of diverse filmmakers . It just proves the point — again — that committed actions in DEI are both the right thing to do and just good business . Let ’ s not wait any longer as an industry to show that we understand that truth as well . n
IRENE MACABANTE CEO & Founder , Citrine Consulting Collective , A lifelong spa-goer and wellness product devotee , Irene uses her 25 + years of branding , marketing and tech experience to create memorable , inclusive spa experiences that drive customer loyalty and boost wellness brands ’ reputation . As CEO of The Citrine Consulting Collective , she ensures that its mission and vision are carried out with integrity , efficiency and transparency .
38 PULSE n JANUARY 2022