Yesterday’s brainstorming session around the word “equality” was similar to last week’s “empathy” conversation. Both words evoked our participants to think more deeply, resulting in thoughtful and provocative discussions. The sharing was experiential. Sharing thoughts about equality and empathy is a good start; the harder part is putting these words into practice.
It’s interesting that “equality” prompted discussions about technology … and not what we generally think about when we think of equality in the standard sense. A matter of fact, I thought technology in the remote work environment was one of the few things that we got right. It became apparent from our participants that work at home equipment was lacking and not equal across the board and individual aptitudes for using different technologies varied greatly. Tech support had not been positioned to equalize the playing field. So, my suggestion to introduce new technologies to achieve greater efficiency seemed somewhat ambitious. As I stated in my introduction, the baseline investment for creating a remote workforce is to provide equipment and technology that enables the workforce to be productive and communicate seamlessly.
The concept of inclusive leadership was added later through the chat feature from our Zoom call. That thought really captures the starting point for many of the ideas we shared yesterday. It’s through inclusive leadership that we apply our core values. The whiteboard on “equality” has a section devoted to core values that reflects our thinking. Those core values were so on point for thinking about leveling the playing field in the remote workplace. We have our work cut out for us. But as we continue to think over the next few weeks, and reflect on what we have already thought about, we will be able to prioritize our actions and build processes for an engaged and productive remote workforce.
What do you think?
–Bea Seravello, Partner and Co-Head, NewLaw Practice