Is This The Possibility for Change…
January 20th was Inauguration Day 2021, a day many have fought for, a day many prayed for and a day some hoped would never come. And while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are making history in their own ways, it’s still just a day.
An important day, a historical day but a day nonetheless.
They have both made many promises that I hope will inspire and be held accountable for creating a catalyst for change but they are not the only source, by any means. Creating leadership that looks and feels like the population it represents is an admirable goal and leading by example is a powerful force for change but we still have so much work to do.
Even now, 3 in 4 Republicans believe Joe Biden didn’t win the election legitimately according to Newsweek.
How hard will it take to work together when they don’t feel you belong?
It makes it that much harder to do anything: to encourage innovation, create any meaningful change, and be able to be empowered enough to bring initiatives to the forefront.
Biden’s ‘Healing of America’s Soul’, will feel resistance when many don’t believe his legitimacy. But the way will be paved a little bit smoother with a slight margin in Congress but a return to bipartisanship. Which is basically the buy-in he needs in order to make things happen his way, but there still needs to be a lot of work done to mend those relationships because Trump’s rhetoric has really damaged them, the collaborative spirit and even the idea of progression doesn’t need to be an uphill battle.
So then what? What’s the point of progress if since Obama, things have been done to reverse a lot of what he did. Trump’s election, in fact, was a reaction to Obama. And in his first days, Biden reversed Trump policies as well. So is this what reactionary politics looks like?
So where do we go from here?
Let’s not forget this moment…
It was like the release of a breath you didn’t know you were holding.
Now that’s there’s talks of the vaccine, a sense of normalcy seems to be within sight, but don’t forget what we learned in 2020.
It’s possible to change, traditional industries were quick to adapt to work at home situations, given that they didn’t believe it was possible before.
People will no longer stand for performative Inclusion and Belonging efforts, this means…
–Volunteer Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion piled on top of your workload? With no pay and no help?
– Working on initiatives that are siloed in HR and don’t apply to the organization as a whole?
–Creating data backed, employee-driven resources that sit on someone’s desk collecting dust?
This is what happens if we don’t take this opportunity to fundamentally change and make progress in our organizations, how we show up for ourselves and those we work with.
What happens if we don’t use this opportunity for Change
The burden of creating organizational change should not fall on your marginalized employees. That not only creates emotional and mental burdens they may not be prepared for, but it increases the isolation and the feeling of exclusion.
In regards to the bottom line?
Higher Absenteeism, Lack of Engagement, Loss of Productivity, Higher Turnover
That’s billions of dollars in refusing to fix the actual problem. It’s not the pipeline, it’s not the skill set, it’s the toxic work cultures we idealize that do not create Brave Spaces of Intentional Inclusivity and Fierce Belonging.
If you’re interested in using the momentum of this moment and embrace change in your organization- reach out!
Yours in kind,
Jessy Santana, founder of The Way We Work