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INSPIRE 20 Podcast: Allia McLeod, Verizon Media

Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
Allia McLeod

An award-winning producer and self-described queer woman of color, Allia McLeod is continually striving to disrupt the status quo and advance the cultural conversation around diversity.

Since she was a young girl, McLeod has tried to help others get a sense of their power and the amazing things that they can do.

The INSPIRE 20 podcast series

Head of brand relations and content development for Verizon Media Studios in Canada, McLeod is one of the executives taking part in INSPIRE 20. This podcast series 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 industries.

Listen to the podcast with McLeod on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Plus: Listen to all of the INSPIRE 20 podcasts here.

Leading workshops and strategic planning

McLeod has created content for HuffPost Canada and has volunteered as a festival programmer for Toronto's LGBT Film Festival, Inside Out. She has also moderated panels on queer and black filmmaking.

Through her various roles within Verizon Media, McLeod has consulted on strategic plans that are anchored in community and culture. She continues to lead partnerships with organizations to help educate colleagues on race, gender, sexuality, and LGBT+ issues. She has also facilitated workshops and safe-space roundtables around issues facing the community.

McLeod was named to the 2020 Top LGBT+ Outstanding Role Model Executives list.

In the podcast, McLeod talks about her involvement in Verizon Media's employee resource groups (ERGs), including BOLD (Black Originators Leaders and Doers) and Prism, the company's ERG for LGBT+ staffers. She is the global events chair for Verizon Prism and a co-chair of the group's Toronto chapter.

Getting through the past year

2020 was a very "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," McLeod 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."

In the podcast, McLeod 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 there are programs or training that support your employees, she said. Another key is "really understanding what biases we might have and how those reflect or impact the work that we're doing," she said.

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