Promoting Diversity in the Workplace
Defining the Issue
As articulated in its constitution, CLAC believes that all people are created equal and that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Accordingly, as a union CLAC advocates for equitable and respectful treatment of workers, not just through the proper administration of workplace contracts, employment laws, and human rights laws, but also by fostering a collaborative working relationship between workers and management. CLAC’s view of collaboration drives it to promote mutual respect and meaningful cooperation as a foundation from which to build a thriving, hospitable work community.
Unfortunately, many individuals experience negative treatment merely because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. This can cause their exclusion, limits career opportunities, or inhibits their full participation in the workplace community. Such barriers to flourishing at work are an affront to human dignity.
As one way to address such barriers to opportunities that some workers experience, and to counteract the impact that these barriers have on the representation of identifiable minority groups, CLAC is committed to supporting initiatives and proactive efforts that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in every workplace.
Knowing how to implement and uphold standards that will increase opportunities for participation can be difficult. The first step is to understand what these terms mean for the workplace.
EDGs is a term used to describe identifiable communities that face systemic barriers to accessing opportunities and resources due to cultural and social discrimination or biases.
Equity-Deserving Groups (EDGs)
The following are examples of EDGs.
- Indigenous People
- Individuals Identifying as 2SLGBTQIA+
- Neurodivergent individuals
- Newcomers to Canada
- Persons with disabilities, visible and invisible
- Racialized persons
Understanding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Fairness is at the core of equity, which is rooted in the principle that all people are created equal. Unfortunately, some workers are unfairly prevented from accessing opportunities due to discrimination based merely on such things as their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
To promote equity, employers must be proactive in addressing internal biases that may result in discrimination and ensure their workplace is welcoming and free of barriers to any worker.
A company that proactively promotes and pursues diversity is a company that respects the unique experiences, perspectives, and identities of all employees and hiring candidates. A diverse workplace community features workers from a wide range of backgrounds, mindsets, and perspectives.
An inclusive work community is one where all workers are welcomed, respected, and listened to, and one that is both physically and psychologically safe for everyone. In an inclusive work community, everyone feels valued.
The Importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Trades
Removing systemic barriers that discriminate against individuals is not about a set of boxes to check, nor does it need to be an intimidating or adversarial disruptor to your business operations.
At its core, this is about respect and treating people fairly. It is a collaborative process rooted in continuous improvement that empowers all individuals in your workplace community, and in your community at large, to succeed. By intentionally encouraging the best in your employees, and by actively soliciting their involvement and input in the enterprise, you also enable them to do their best for you and your company.
Companies that are committed to people-centric leadership—a practice acknowledging that people are the most valuable asset a company has—are already well on their way to creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace.