By Jo Morgan Dakin – Director of Recruitment
I was fortunate to be invited to The CGMA Conference in Toronto on Diversity and Inclusion although I am not an Accountant I was eager to attend as this topic is the new buzz in the hiring world. I just happen to live in a city that is recognized as the most diverse city in the world. With half of the population of Toronto born outside of the country, Toronto is often referred to as “the most multicultural city in the world”. If it is not, it definitely has the distinction of being one of the most culturally diverse cities.
How did this come about? In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. In doing this, Canada affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language, or their religious affiliation. What does this say about our Canadian society compared to others? We Canadians, especially those from the larger cities are familiar with different skin colours, different races, different religions and we are more accepting of these differences in our daily lives.
Well then why are we now hearing about Diversity and Inclusion in our workforce on a fairly regular basis in 2016/17? Seems to me that although we are a multicultural country we are doing something wrong if our new prime minister was trying to have 40% of women in his cabinet. That means there was not an equal division of men and women acting as ministers in our federal political system. Where else is this happening? In boardrooms all across the country!
The Webster dictionary states diversity is:
“The quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
The state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization”
And the dictionary also describes inclusion as:
North America has seen a drop in birth rates for decades, because of this our government’s have looked to other nations to increase our population growth. We have welcomed migration to both Canada and United States, because of this we have differences in many types and forms of which we have encouraged. But have we included these differences into our workplace?
It is just not good enough to be present it must be that all are included to be free to think and say what their thoughts are. When we are inclusive and diverse performance of the team will increase, all are working towards the collective good. You can’t have some sitting on the sidelines waiting to get into the game. All present must participate.
Inclusion is personal, this is what makes it unique for every individual. It can take into consideration physically included, or mentally included, it has to do with consideration and expression. If you have a group of liked minded, the XXX’s, all the same race and gender in the group and you add someone of diversity whether it be gender, race or sex that is the O, it can be uncomfortable for the O. There is more responsibility to the O because they are different they are singled out, they can be given more responsibility or they could have less responsibility then the XXX’s because they are not trusted, they are different. How is a team to deal with this situation to be successful? They must suspend all prejudices and work together with all members within the team. The more diverse a team and the more inclusive the more successful the team will be at problem solving. It is harder to actually survive alone. then it is to survive when you are in a group.
General Patten said “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”
So it is not a matter that you add another person of different gender, a person of different race, religion or ability to be diverse. It is a matter of making all within the group to be inclusive, all to be equal, all must be accountable and all must be working towards a common goal!
Do you have a diverse and inclusive work environment? Do you need a diversity audit? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org