Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging—what it means for us
Jun 10th, 2021 | By FCT
While we have always strived to provide an environment where our employees are empowered to be great, in the last few years, our eyes have been opened to the sheer depth of issues that impact our employees, customers and our community. As we really started to listen to employees, through more specific surveys and community circles, we learned just how much more work we have to do, both within and outside the walls of FCT.
Diversity, inclusion and belonging are simple words with big ideas. It’s about every single employee feeling like they are seen, valued and respected, equally. Diversity is about celebrating what makes you unique, and in a work setting, it’s often described as being invited to a meeting; inclusion is being asked to contribute to a meeting; and belonging is freely sharing your ideas and perspectives in a meeting knowing that they’ll be heard and appreciated. For us, it starts with small intentional steps that will lead to long-term change.
What have we been doing?
We promised our employees that we would take the time necessary to develop a meaningful, sustainable plan. To help create accountability for results and provide oversight on the development of the DIBs strategy, we created the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIBs) council. Their goal is to integrate DIBs into every aspect of our operations, with the support of our executive team.
As part of our listening process, in addition to surveys, we hosted community circles. The sessions provided a safe space for employees to participate in open, honest, and empathetic dialogue that helped to deepen our understanding of the unique challenges faced by underrepresented groups in the workplace, and in our communities. This is an ongoing process and we continue to encourage these honest and constructive conversations.
We know that there’s a lot of work to be done to understand where we are individually, and ultimately, where we want to be as an organization. Our executive team and leaders have participated in a number of bias and inclusivity training sessions and continue to further their learning. Through our association with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), all employees have access to free webinars and other resources to help build our foundation. At the end of the day, we all have to work together to strengthen our culture.
Our CEO, Michael LeBlanc, also recently signed the BlackNorth Initiative Pledge and committed to increase diversity and inclusion within our workplace, industry and in the business community by reshaping corporate structures that uphold anti-Black systemic racism. You can read the full pledge online. As part of the pledge, you will see us share more of our learnings to help other organizations and individuals who may be on the same path.
We recognize that we have a long way to go and we may not always get it right, but we’re committed to creating an environment where everyone is free to be their authentic selves. We hope you’ll join us on this journey.
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