Recent protests in the US, Canada and all around the world have brought our focus to systemic racism that exists everywhere.
We have taken time to listen and have started thinking about what we can do to break down systemic racism in Canada. We must all do our part to make a difference, to have a diverse, equitable, and inclusive future. Statements are not enough; we need to take action and make changes. What steps can we take today?
For organizations, organizations can begin by:
Talking about race in your organization. Great article by Janice Gassam, Forbes: Link
Examining your Corporate Social Responsibility, company values, and include anti-racism in their efforts.
Review your company’s hiring practices. For hiring managers, work towards eliminating bias and include diversity, and address pay equity.
What is your company doing to cultivate Black, Indigenous, Immigrant women in leadership in your company?
Hold Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion events at your company, so everyone’s voice is heard and is empowered and the culture and environment reflect its values.
For individuals, here is a list of organizations to learn more:
The Most Nurtured https://www.themostnurtured.com/
Network for the Advancement of Black Communities https://networkabc.ca/
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre (http://www.whiwh.com/)
Black Women in Motion https://blackwomeninmotion.org/
Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) https://www.nwac.ca
Atira Women’s Resource Society https://atira.bc.ca
Immigrant Services Calgary https://immigrantservicescalgary.ca
As a national organization, for the past 20 years, we are grateful to have engaged and showcased women leaders of all races and backgrounds through our speaker series, Indigenous Forums and Diversity Series. We have partnered with First Nations and immigrant organizations for our provincial Indigenous Forums and were planning to do more.
We are also expanding our Diversity and Inclusion Series, which started last year, with support from the Government of Canada and the private sector. As a largely volunteer run organization, we are thankful for the dedication and contributions of our thousands of volunteers and mentors over the years, from diverse backgrounds.
“There is a Confucian belief that one should start cultivating one’s moral self and family, then move on to working for a better country and then a better world,” an excerpt from a note of appreciation from our 2004 Indigenous Panel. As a Mom, I think about what more I can do to teach my daughter about being her best self, have more conversations about race and kindness with our family.
As an organization, we will strive to do more to support, engage, and empower all women and help employers hire and support a diverse workplace. Join us! Let’s do more together.
By Maya Kanigan