People First at ME#2: How Is Mission Equality Different As A Workplace?
This is the second in a three-part series sharing Mission Equality colleagues’ experiences of working at the company. This time round, we asked: In what ways is working at ME different from other places you’ve worked? Here’s what they said:
LoAn: Working at ME is quite a different experience. I’ve not known what was possible until having arrived here. At the first team meeting I attended, I came in wanting to prove myself, wishing I had everyone’s experience already, and wondering if I were good enough to be sitting among the leadership team. This feeling of anxiety conflicted with what I already experienced with the selection process which was a personable and connecting chat with each person that Lea had invited her team to reach out to me.
In the end, I chose to put aside my doubts and replace these limiting beliefs with stepping forth and learning about ME while having weekly meetings to deepen my learning curve. As reiterated for me, I have a seat at the table. At ME, progress is the measurement instead of performance, meaning that ME focuses on people first, taking into consideration the whole of our life activities to support us as human beings. Knowing this is the business model at ME, I am beginning to thaw out from the drive to compete with others so that I can realign myself to hone my own edges for continuous process improvement.
AJ: So far I'm experiencing this in a very different way to any other workplace. The main difference is the freedom and independence - the trust means that I'm entirely in charge of my own learning, productivity, contribution. So instead of burning out through overachieving and constantly trying to prove myself I'm left with time and space to reassess my relationship with work and with myself. In any other job the fear of performance management and ultimately losing your job means you can't really sink deeply into your talents and interests in an organic, healthy way. It's a whole new world here, and it's the one I want to be part of building.
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Laura: Being under Black & Brown leadership, in a majority-Black and Brown team, is a radical shift from previous workplaces. Even in contexts where white people are by far the minority, all of my previous workplaces had white leadership at the top and a disproportionately white staff. The power shift is palpable. I find myself breathing it in and thinking, “Oh, is this what equality feels like?”
Thanks, ME team! Part three, on how team members create a work experience that works for them, is coming soon. And here’s part one, in case you missed it.