An award-winning producer and self-described queer woman of color, Allia McLeod is continually striving to advance the cultural conversation around diversity. As Head of Brand Relations and Content Development for Verizon Media Studios in Canada, McLeod is uniquely positioned to influence inside and outside her organisation. Allia has created content for HuffPost Canada and selected films for Toronto’s LGBT Film Festival, Inside Out as well as moderated panels on queer and black filmmaking. Within Verizon Media, McLeod has been actively involved with Verizon Media’s employee resource groups (ERGs), including BOLD (Black Organizers Leaders and Doers) and Prism, the company’s LGBT+ ERG, as the global events chair and a co-chair of the Toronto chapter.
Allia is the latest executive taking part in INSPIRE 20, a new podcast series that is showcasing 20 executives from around the world who are making a difference in terms of inclusion and diversity in their organizations, communities, and/or in their industries.
In the podcast, Allia who was recently named to the 2020 Top LGBT+ Outstanding Role Model Executives list, talks about helping to educate colleagues on race, gender, sexuality, and LGBT+ issues. “2020 was a very tough or intense year for a lot of colleagues, for a lot of friends, for myself. And I saw that there needed to be a lot more conversation around racial justice, around anti-racist work,” she said in the podcast. “And I recognized that I needed to pivot a bit of my time and put it toward that work and really talk about intersectionality when it comes to the racial justice conversations.”
Allia offers advice on how companies can do more to tackle bias in the workplace. “I think it’s a matter of just being willing to acknowledge that there is bias and ensuring that there [are] programs that support your employees or training that support your employees and really understanding what biases we might have and how those reflect or impact the work that we’re doing,” she said.