Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is becoming increasingly important to organizations for a variety of reasons, from fostering creative thinking and innovation, to creating a better overall working environment.
At last month’s Open Door Group UnTapped Awards Gala, business and individuals demonstrating a commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces were celebrated, and recipients were acknowledged for their achievements. CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society, Janice Abbott, received the Individual Award for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, and Managing Director of Save on Meats, Ash MacLeod, was awarded the Strong Voices Award.
Atira Women’s Resource Society is one of the largest women-serving organizations in Canada with more than 700 staff operating in 44 sites throughout Metro Vancouver. By dedicating her time to making inclusion a priority, Janice successfully implemented hiring policies that resulted in more than 38 per cent of Atira staff identifying as indigenous or having indigenous ancestry, and 33 per cent as women of colour.
Taking the spotlight and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Ash MacLeod is driving change at Save on Meats. Currently overseeing a staff of nearly 100 people, 48 per cent of whom have significant barriers to employment such as mental illness, physical disability, a history of addiction, gender issues, criminal record, or illiteracy, Ash has shone a light on the benefits of integrating diverse groups into the workplace.
Both companies and employees can drive change for diversity, however. Residents of Vancouver with all abilities and skill levels can connect to a variety of employers through Open Door Group WorkBC’s Employment Services Program to fill employment gaps, diversify the workplace, and seek meaningful employment.
The program offers free services to employers such as recruitment services, wage subsidies, and assistive technologies for people with disabilities, and free services to job seekers such as job search workshops, interview preparation, and networking workshops.
Every individual possesses different strengths and come from diverse backgrounds, as well as acquired diversity resulting from day-to-day experiences — so drop by Open Door Group WorkBC today to find out how you can add to the workforce.