To culturally and socially accept, welcome, and equally treat different groups and individuals having different backgrounds.
In November 2018 we had our first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion meeting and formed our DEI Committee. Since then we have taken a number of steps to increase awareness and fluency with DEI topics:
Currently we are working on four BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals) to unite our commitment to DEI work with our business model and ride the wave of motivation to accomplish long-term goals:
Within the BayWa r.e. family, our DEI committee has been recognized as a leader, and tapped for assistance by other BayWa r.e. entities getting started with their own DEI work. Our recruiting and hiring processes have been updated to reduce the impact of unconscious bias in screening and selection. Many of our team members have shared about themselves, showing others how much of an impact racism and negative judgment can have and increasing both empathy within the team, and empowerment for all to bring their “full selves” to work. In creating forums to talk openly about shame and power, we’ve increased our organizational awareness of types of power, allowing us to examine and update our own structures. We practice tools together such as “calling in and calling out” to equip our employees in addressing social injustice.
As a result of our BHAG work, we are kicking off a pilot project in which we will offer unique trade credit terms for minority-owned businesses this year. An additional pilot project is initiated to develop a business model for community energy democracy, and a third, “r.e.imagine” will deploy equipment this year for seed projects impacting marginalized communities.
Most of all, our learnings over the past two years have strengthened our resolve to work toward even greater diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and our understanding that this work is a company-wide, long-term journey requiring consistency, humility, and empathy. We are committed to being lifelong learners.
A great opportunity of the social justice movement is the invitation it holds for all the members of any group to be their "whole selves," not leaving a part of themselves at the door. If we update our definitions of success and professionalism and welcome team members to bring their emotional and spiritual lives to work, not only their intellectual lives, we can create more vibrant communities in which vulnerability and psychological safety are embraced, engagement and creativity are inspired, and integrity can shine through in our outcomes.