April 12, 2021 by Dr. Roz Roach
As I rushed home from the office a few days ago, leaving my senior team (a black woman and two women of colour) behind , I thought of the day and what we had achieved . Mask-wearing, elbow-tapping and space-maintaining, left me feeling physically removed from my colleagues and wondering what the experiences of the day were like for them. Despite the distancing, lack of touch, handshakes and hugs, we seemed to be flourishing and achieving excellence. Despite hidden emotions due to face covering, I was left feeling a solid sense of camaraderie, togetherness and team spirit within my working group.
With my internal demands now able to take priority, I was now forced to figure out the strong sense of connection that I was experiencing with my team . I wanted to take the time to make sense of why this team is so efficient and productive during these troubling times. COVID-19 has shifted the familiar norm in the workplace to a new normal that we were not trained or prepared for. We had to rush into change; a fresh and different way of servicing ; a new adjustment.
I arrived at my destination, my home, and anxiously wanted to pull off my hair extension, drink some water and wind down. I was eager to process my thoughts and feelings and to better understand the strong synergy that makes us such a solid, productive team.
Within a few minutes I had the “Ah Ha!” moment. What makes this particular team so productive, despite the present state of societal chaos and mental torture due to COVID-19 ?
Firstly, we are a group of strong survivors; women with an assortment of coping mechanisms that have been accumulated throughout our lived experiences. Secondly, we are a group of women of colour who bring to the table and the workplace a fleet of commonalities. It is not just the way we walk, the clothes we wear, or the way we choose to style our hair. It is the way we appreciate and praise the sun for bringing up our confidence that is usually trapped deep down due to historical trauma. Finally, we are a group of women that exudes LOVE. The love we have for who we are as women, Black women and women of colour. The love we have for one another. A genuine love. The bedrock of womankind.
What an amazing team!