Hello readers – the COVID-19 vaccines have slowly enabled the country to reopen and return to normal. But is a return to normalcy all we should strive for?
The word “reopen” technically means to open again. Usually we’d associate this word with the return of a favorite restaurant after a renovation or, more recently, the reclaimed ability to gather together without fear of exposure to a dangerous illness.
But “reopening” can also be about opening ourselves to new ideas and behaviors that make our communities stronger and more inclusive – at RALIANCE, we believe that should be one of society’s goals as we return to workplaces, entertainment venues, and other gathering places. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many have been focused on returning to normal, but we can’t accept a return to normal if that means failing to confront the rampant discrimination, violence, harassment, and abuse historically faced by women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and others.
Part of reopening should be focused on building a better normal, one that’s more inclusive and protects the most vulnerable. If you’re a business owner or the leader of an organization, ask yourself these questions:
• How can I lead the way to a reopening that ultimately introduces my workforce, customers, or members to something better than we had before?
• What new ideas have I been closed off to in my leadership position? How can I better embrace new behaviors and ways of thinking?
• During “normalcy,” which people or groups were most often left behind or suffered for a lack of inclusion? How can I prevent that cycle from continuing?
These questions are a critical starting point as society negotiates a long-awaited reopening, and we look forward to thinking through them with you this month, when RALIANCE’s blogs will focus on various aspects of reopening. Be sure to check back for more!
RALIANCE provides consulting, assessment, and employee development services to help build more equitable workplace cultures and create environments free from sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse. We stand ready to support your organization’s goals – contact us today at [email protected] to get started.