“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Vernā Myers
Diversity and inclusion is a hot topic, as it should be. It’s not really a choice – it’s embracing what’s right and how you implement it matters. As Canadians, we see diversity daily. The makeup of our nation is diverse and our job is to make it inclusive. “Canada’s demographic composition is ethnically heterogeneous, in the sense that its citizens have come from many countries of origin and cultural backgrounds.” (“Cultural Diversity in Canada: The Social Construction of Racial Difference,” Government of Canada, Department of Justice). According to Statistics Canada, In 2018, 23.6% of Canada’s population was born outside of the country. This was the highest percentage in the G8. This means that nearly a quarter of the country is ethnically and culturally diverse – and that doesn’t even capture the first generation Canadians. “According to the 2016 Census, there were more than 7.5 million foreign-born individuals who came to Canada through the immigration process, representing over one-fifth (21.9%) of Canada’s total population. Based on Statistics Canada’s population projections from 2017, this proportion could reach between 24.5% and 30.0% by 2036.” (“Updated content for the 2021 Census of Population: Immigration, ethnocultural diversity and languages in Canada”)
While many of the official stats cover ethnicity and country of origin, we know that diversity goes well beyond this. It covers gender identity, sexual orientation, age and ability. And we know that we interact with diverse individuals regularly – even if you don’t realize it.
Diversity and inclusion, equality, power and privilege are all closely tied to corporate social responsibility. This is why the inclusion aspect is so important. Like the quote says, it’s not just a matter of being invited, it’s about making space for everyone to participate.
The Benefits of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
There are only benefits to actively becoming a diverse and inclusive workplace. For one, your talent pool is critical. And when you’re recognizing everyone’s assets and giving everyone an opportunity to shine, you are cultivating a productive working environment. “When employees feel more connected at work, they tend to work harder and smarter, producing higher quality work. As a result, organizations that adopt D&I practices see huge gains in the form of business results, innovation, and decision-making.” (“Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Benefits and Challenges,” Kellie Wong, Achievers.)
The Consequences of not Implementing a D&I Strategy
If the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace aren’t enough to sell you on the concept, consider the consequences of a workplace culture that lacks diversity and inclusivity. Prospective talent will assess your organization when considering coming to work for you. Is it an environment where they can feel comfortable? Does it mimic the other environments they are comfortable in – their neighbourhood, social circles, clubs or places of worship? If the answer is no, you may be losing out on amazing talent simply because you’ve failed to cultivate an environment where they can effectively picture themselves fitting in.
At the same time, your existing team, if lacking diversity, will have a disadvantage when it comes to brainstorming and implementing unique, cutting edge ideas. Having a diverse team is good for morale and helps to foster a culture of trust and acceptance. Your competitors who have built a diverse team will have the diversity of opinion, experience and perspective needed to leave you in the dust as your own team stagnates and fails to innovate.
What Staff Shop is doing
As an equal opportunity employer, Staff Shop has a policy to guide us through every aspect of our business. Our policy includes:
- Creating a safe environment where all stakeholders can thrive.
- Offering learning opportunities and being open and communicative.
- Allowing everyone the space to voice concerns and share opinions – judgement-free.
- Not tolerating any form of disrespect, as we believe that each employee is entitled to dignity in the workplace. Harassment, distrimination, bullying and intimidation are not tolerated and are in violation of our diversity and inclusion policy.
- Offering training and educational opportunities to everyone through a merit-based system.
- Pledging to promote diversity and inclusivity throughout our organization – from the top down.
- Reviewing our practices regularly to ensure we are meeting these standards.
To ensure we are doing the best for our staff and clients, Staff Shop performs an annual diversity survey. Some results are highlighted in our 2020 Impact Report. For example, 59.6% of respondents were women and 56.9% identified as a visible minority. As a Canadian-Indigenous-Woman owned business, Staff Shop strives to create a workforce that looks like our population. Our recruitment team speaks a total of six languages, which helps us serve as many communities as possible.
Education and Storytelling is key
Staff Shop is proud to offer, as part of our many services, speaking engagements on a variety of topics – many of which are directly and indirectly related to diversity and inclusion. Our founder and CEO, Jennifer Ménard-Shand is available to give talks or administer training sessions on the following topics:
- Anti-Indigenous Racism, Awareness & Training
- Imposter Syndrome
- Supplier Diversity
- Women in Business
- Staffing + Core Value Alignment
- Small Business Start-ups
- Professional Development and more!
As Aesop said, “United we stand, divided we fall.” In both our personal and professional lives, we all stand to benefit from being diverse and more inclusive. Feel free to reach out to us and get involved.
JOIN us or HIRE us
Work with a team that doesn’t just recognize diversity and inclusion, but actively practices it daily. Diversity is our strength – let us show you how we do it. Connect with us today if you want to work with an organization that serves all communities!
Stay tuned for next month’s blog where we tackle Supplier Diversity.