I am saddened and angered by the pain we cause one another, exemplified by the events we have experienced in the last week, and I know others are experiencing a range of emotions as well. I acknowledge the pain felt by people of color, whose experience and relationship to events such as the murder of George Floyd, and the core issues they exemplify, is surely different from my own. I am also inspired by the level of honest discourse I am seeing within BayWa r.e. and in the solar and business communities in which we engage.
Anyone feeling pain is also each of us feeling pain. Anyone causing pain is also all of us causing pain. To heal ourselves, we have to connect to ourselves. To heal together, we have to embrace our interconnectedness.
What can we do, as business leaders, to promote healing?
First, let’s get real about work-life integration. One of the lessons of COVID has been that a mindset that we and our teammates should leave our personal lives at the door is dysfunctional and patently impossible to achieve. We have learned that the stress of home-schooling, working remotely, sheltering in place, and worrying about loved ones is only exacerbated by its suppression during work hours.
Likewise, our teammates – in particular people of color, or those marginalized or impeded in their access to safety, opportunity, and equity – will only experience greater stress now if their true experience is not welcome at work. Work-life integration means allowing and encouraging each whole person and all of their feelings, uncomfortable as they may be, to be present at work. In this way, we can give ourselves permission to be accepted and create space to accept one another.
Second, let’s continue our focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) work within our organizations. The effort so many organizations have invested in this area over the past few years has enabled a new consciousness to emerge in which implicit bias and identity can be recognized truthfully, and the defensive belief systems that shield us from honest engagement can be peeled away. We are more equipped than ever – at BayWa r.e., in the solar community, and in society at large – to heal the fractures within ourselves, which gives us the power to then heal the divisions between ourselves.
It’s clear we have a long way to go. And the resources available for us to heal together and embrace our interconnectedness have never been more present. If you would like to learn more about how we are working in BayWa r.e., please reach out. We are more than happy to share, and to learn from you as well.