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Blog: Blog2

I + E = D

Building a strategy for Inclusion and Equity to create a Diverse workplace from the foundation out.

As we move towards the end of the year, people are looking to create organizational goals for 2023. With a variety of pressures to be more inclusive in how we run our organizations and the large amount of learning continuing in this space, there is a lot of discussion about the evolution of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity and what it will be in the future. We can also add in Belonging or even Justice to that list. The mindsets and behaviours captured within each of these titles will vary slightly, but all will support the ambition of being inclusive.

  • How can policy and process involve all the dimensions of inclusion?

  • Where does a Diversity & Inclusion Advisor role belong in the organizational chart now and in future years?

  • How long must this work remain an added priority & resource draw to successfully shift the culture?

  • What does sustainable change and ongoing progress in this space look like?

The answer…

The future of all work in the Inclusion, Equity, Diversity, and Belonging spaces needs to be integrated in and throughout policies, processes, bylaws, in our ways of working, how we take care of clients and employees, and as part of how we reach our outcomes as organizations.

You see, the real success of inclusion is not to have a separate line item. Success is achieved when these concepts, values and requirements are built into the foundation of our organizations, and it becomes part of our vision/mission.

  • When our recruiting and retention plans have been developed with culture in mind.

  • When policies and procedures are written with a lens on inclusion.

  • When government requirements to do business include accountability for inclusion.

  • When employee benefits offer the ability for individuals to choose what a benefit is to them.

  • When each of our customers feel they are understood by us as we work to supply solutions for them.

So, what can this look like?

Respectful Workplace Policies that outline the acceptable behaviours and a lack of tolerance, not just for discrimination, but also for other exclusive behaviors.

Municipalities offering benefits to organizations when they prove they have a plan to be a more inclusive partner in the community.

Employee benefits can be chosen differently for example, allowing someone to choose between dental coverage and gender affirmation surgery. Or allowing employees to choose the Statutory Holidays that are meaningful to them.

Building relationships is as important as sales, revenue and/or bottom lines - relational engagement instead of transactional engagement.

While there are a variety of approaches to consider when planning for how to make positive change, the largest impact can be made by looking to overarching policy and law.

Implementing an Inclusion Policy within an organization will help change that organization and even ripple outward a little; however, if a municipality sets the tone for all organizations within their jurisdiction, then many organizations can be impacted, as can the community as a whole.

We must consider how inclusion can be embedded and not accept that it is the flavor of the week or year.

To start:

  • Prioritize policy reviews or work to capture the commitment to an inclusive culture as a first step.

  • Help leaders build critical skills for the future by equipping them with new tools, psychologically safe places to learn and grow.

  • Engage with Inclusion Champions internally or externally with a focus on building a plan to move along on the journey to a place that a sustainable, inclusive culture is supported and maintained.

Inclusion should not be an extra for organizations…it needs to be a part of the organization.

Tiffany Connauton brings a valued perspective to work in the EID space that comes from her years of lived experiences as well as her education. Tiffany understands that cultures within each organization are unique and seeks first to understand before applying solutions. She bravely investigates, educates and supports her clients.

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