Berkeley Lab’s Mary Sidney on Extending Grace as We Learn


(silence) The whole notion of diversity, equity, and
inclusion being a laboratory priority is huge and people are taking notice. They
may not know exactly what it means, they may not understand what role they can or
should play, but they know it’s important and it means something and it’s being
repeated around this laboratory that it’s important. And so what I’ve noticed
is that’s sort of given people permission and the space to talk about
certain things that previously they may have thought it’s too sensitive or it’s
too personal we shouldn’t talk about it. They may not always feel comfortable,
they may not always know the right approach or what they think is the right
approach, but that space has been created for people to explore, to probe gently, to
inquire, and I think that is tremendous. I think we have to take it step by step. We
don’t go from 0 to 60. I believe it’s important to extend some grace to people
who are trying to understand who make genuine inquiries and they are really
trying to know what it is that sensitive or issue or might be considered
offensive and they don’t want to offend. And so my experience is for the most
part people’s hearts are in the right place. There’s just a lot of learning
that has to occur and we’re all learning together. (silence)

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