The equity equation

The equity equation

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends | Contributors: Quinn Anderson (Public Relations Coordinator, Halifax Chamber)

When it comes to DEA&I, what does a truly actionable strategy look like?

Many of us are surrounded by words in our workplaces like inclusion, equity, diversity, and their “actionable” counterparts, policies, plans, and strategies. The former can sometimes seem like overused buzzwords, while the latter, often quickly cut and pasted together, ends up lost to the depths of an HR filing cabinet.

Regardless of their good intentions, this is the case for DEA&I initiatives in many organizations. Why then should business owners and their employees worry about learning these concepts or creating these plans? What can a truly actionable strategy look like? And how can it affect real positive outcomes for those who put the work into it?

The answer to these questions lies within the questions themselves; learning, strategizing, and work.

The why

With over 20,000 people living in the province that identify as African Nova Scotian, immigration rates reaching record highs this year, and with recent data recognizing Nova Scotia as the most gender-diverse province in the country, the “why” seems clear. Once we recognize the value in people, including those who are very different from ourselves, we can begin to work towards learning how to respect and understand each other in ways that make words like “inclusion” feel approachable and closer to home.

The what

Working with those outside your organization to learn about better practices leads to a more informed look within your organization to find and address gaps in knowledge, accessibility, inclusion, and awareness. While no plan or strategy will ever be perfect from the get-go, a good foundation with measurable goals is critical for ensuring long-lasting investment into a collaborative and ever-evolving plan.

The how

Once we see the value of incorporating DEA&I for ourselves, our co-workers and employees, and our organizations, the task of how to go about starting or continuing our journey towards these lofty and seemingly intangible goals can be daunting. Fortunately, there are increasingly more organizations and individuals providing workshops and consultation services.

Employees whose identities intersect with one or a number of minority communities want to feel respected and included in spaces that acknowledge their specific struggles and triumphs. They want to be part of teams that understand that their individual needs are inextricably tied to their identities. Ultimately, they want to feel valued and safe to be authentic in the workplace.

For employers, acknowledging their employees’ specific needs in relation to their unique identities leads to better work-life balances, trusted relationships between management and staff, and as a result, better productivity, high rates of retention, and creative new perspectives.

Keep learning, consistently and collaboratively strategize, and let’s get to work.

Reach out to some of our members who can help you start or continue your DEA&I journey:

• Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

• Inclusion NS

• Metro Works

• Diversity Employment Network

• Simply Good Form

• Placemaking 4G

• reachAbility

• Black Educators Association

• The PREP Academy

• Black Business Initiative

• Uprise Consulting

• Pilot X Technologies

• ADDvocacy

• Ebony Consulting

• Indigenous Treaty Partners

• Ashanti Leadership & Professional Development Services

• Delmore ''Buddy'' Daye Learning Institute

• Access Changes Everything Inc.

Check out our member directory for more, and be sure to join the Halifax Chamber team at our first-ever SURGE Conference on March 24!

Header Image Credit: Davey and Sky

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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