Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Being better by doing better
The past year has been revolutionary in many ways. Key among them has been the groundswell of discussion and support around the Black Lives Matter movement. The struggle by people of colour for equity, inclusion and justice has been a constant throughout history, but no time more than present times has it been part of our regular societal discourse.
The voices of Black community members speaking out against injustice and inequality have triggered a global reaction that has companies and organizations self-reflecting on what they have been or have not be doing to support inclusion and acceptance by not only Black people, but other staff and stakeholders who may have struggled to feel included and accepted at one time or another.
Prior to 2020, organizations and companies have generally considered themselves in support of equity, diversity and inclusion. Although, in hearing the experiences shared through the Black Lives Matter movement this past year, most organizations have been inspired to reflect upon their inclusive philosophies and practices, asking themselves ‘what we could be doing better.’ Carefor is no different.
Carefor is fortunate to have a very diverse workforce. Not only in terms of race, but also gender, age, religion, sexual orientation and more. As an organization that supports thousands of people across Eastern Ontario each year, having a staff that is reflective of the communities we serve makes us a better organization and service provider.
Yet, in the shadow of 2020, we are also asking ourselves are we doing enough in our equity, diversity and inclusive policies and practices. While Carefor strives to offer a welcoming and supportive work environment to all our staff, we know it is through intentional, mindful practice that we can and must do better. Believing that we are an inclusive and supportive organization is simply not enough. It must be demonstrated, every day, in all aspects of our work, policies and practices.
At the midway point of our Strategic Planning cycle, we have decided to use this important moment in history as an opportunity to raise equity, diversity and inclusion as key pillars. While modernizing our policies and practices in these areas, we plan to make focused and concerted efforts to include diverse and underrepresented populations, ensuring staff and volunteers feel valued, respected and equally supported to reach their full potential. We will open conversations with our staff about inclusion and encourage them to join us in guiding Carefor to be an organization that is more than just welcoming of them but is also reflective of them.
On this, the first day of Black History Month, we want to lend our voices to the call for inclusion and diversity. We want to join the throngs of those speaking and more importantly acting in support of it. Meanwhile, there is no end goal here. Our success will be realized and measured daily by how welcoming and inclusive others feel, in everything we do. We value and welcome that expectation.