Understanding Allyship

We teamed up with the University of Sussex to deliver research on behalf of NHS England. The research led an exploration into the art, science and practice of allyship. It was conducted in two phases and revealed new insights and understanding.

An expert advisory panel informed our work which started with a systematic evidence synthesis of the literature. In the second phase we invited colleagues from across the NHS to share allyship interventions, practices and processes.

A comprehensive report and an infographic were produced to maximise usability of the findings from the research team. The findings were more nuanced than expected and show individual motivations for allyship can widely differ.

Download the infographic to read and share!

Recommendations for ‘Allyship Activators’ and…

Practices that are:

  • values driven
  • compassion-focused
  • morally courageous
  • may be triggered by identity and connection
  • extrinsic motivators play a part for some

Enablers to include:

  • organisations where allyship is encouraged & expected
  • individual self-awareness & learning
  • strong EDI leadership
  • clear policies, processes & practices
  • recognition & endorsement

Inhibitors to be aware of:

  • Fear of repercussions
  • Fake, complicit, or even toxic organisational cultures
  • Lack of skills/capabilities
  • Time and effort
  • Differences


Interested in getting in touch?