Social Media

Thursday, 21 November 2013

How do you build a diverse and inclusive public service?

by Candy Khan

Three things everyone should know about diversity and inclusion at the City of Edmonton…

  1. Diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our culture, values and the way we do business.

  2. The City of Edmonton has a Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Framework that reflects Corporate Leadership Team’s vision to create an innovative organization.

  3. The City of Edmonton has four (4) Diversity and Inclusion goals:
  • Having a workforce that is broadly reflective of the community.
  • Identifying and addressing barriers within organizational systems.  
  • Attracting and retaining a talented workforce skilled at working in an inclusive and respectful manner with one another and the community. 
  • Creating processes, policies, plans, practices, programs and services that meet the diverse needs of those we serve.

      Three myths about diversity and inclusion at the City of Edmonton...

      Myth #1: Diversity means ethnic diversity.

      The Reality: The City of Edmonton has a broad meaning of diversity.  The City of Edmonton defines diversity as the range of human difference.  It includes a person’s age, socioeconomic background, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, disability, religion, or physical characteristics.  Each person has layers of diversity which makes their perspective unique.  Individuals may share a common factor, such as age, but they may differ regarding their gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background.

      Myth #2: The City of Edmonton hires employees based on the Employment Equity (quota system) set out by the Federal Government.

      The Reality: The City aims to employ a workforce that broadly reflects the population of Edmonton. This will be achieved by removing barriers (e.g., policies or practices that unintentionally exclude people) and promote an inclusive and respectful workplace culture. The City has a transparent and consistent hiring policy to ensure individuals best suited for a position are hired irrespective of their age, socioeconomic background, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ancestry, dis/ability, religion, or physical characteristics.

      Myth #3: The Respectful Workplace Directive openly invites complaints and enables disputes in the workplace.

      The Reality: Respectful workplace training is available for all City staff. This training clarifies the City of Edmonton’s policy, directive, and framework regarding diversity and inclusion. Employees understand their human rights. Human rights contribute to us all working and operating in a respectful and inclusive manner. The respectful workplace training serves to educate and prevent disputes to ensure a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace for all.

      Candy Khan works as a Senior Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at City of Edmonton in the Human Resource Branch. She actively promotes and supports corporate diversity and inclusion policies, strategies and initiatives.  In the last five years, Candy has been able to make extensive gains in promoting a respectful workplace culture vis-Ă -vis curriculum delivery, training/education to all City of Edmonton employees, and working collaboratively with senior leaders to ensure policies, practices, and structures are equitable for all. 

      1 comment:

      1. If that is so, how it is that the city employees in the public view seem to mostly (at least 90%) Caucasian although the city of Edmonton is very diverse. Where are the barriers...the numbers of visible or racialized people qualified or at the hiring level?