An inclusive workplace values and provides equal opportunity to all employees regardless of cultural differences (e.g., ability, age, ethnic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc) to achieve their maximum potential at work without discrimination. It calls for not just tolerating those who are different but for a culture of celebrating differences.
To ensure an inclusive workplace, efforts can be made to remove and prevent physical, systematic and attitudinal barriers.
How Inclusive is Your Workplace?
- Are your job advertisements and applications accessible for people with vision disabilities?
- Is the language (print or spoken) in your workplace inclusive (e.g., partner vs. husband/wife which assume heterosexuality or is discriminating slurs or jokes confronted)?
- Is your recruitment and selection process fair for all applicants? Are you able to provide accommodations for applicants if required?
- Is your staff educated on multicultural sensitivity, including cultural differences?
- Does your workplace have established relationships with and information available from various culturally specific organizations?
- Is your workplace accessible for people with disabilities? Does your workplace meet occupational health and safety regulations for persons with disabilities?
- Are resources and information provided in accessible formats?
- Is every individual who works in, visits or is served in your workplace treated with respect and equity?
- Are your facilities physically accessible for persons with disabilities (e.g., ramps, elevator buttons, braille signs, etc.)?
- Is your recruitment and selection process fair for all applicants? Is there diversity among employees hired?
Diversity and Inclusion
- What is Diversity and Inclusion? – www.rbc.com/diversity/what-is-diversity.html
- How to Make Diversity and Inclusion Real: Harvard Business Review – http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/how_to_make_diversity_and_incl.html
- Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion – www.hireimmigrants.ca/2012/01/05/moving-beyond-diversity-to-inclusion/
- Understanding Other Cultures – Centre for Intercultural Learning – www.intercultures.ca/cil-cai/countryinsights-apercuspays-eng.asp – a compilation of information about many cultures and the workplace with comparisons to Canadian culture
- Make Your Workplace Accessible – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities, Ministry of Community & Social Services – www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/understanding_accessibility/making_workplace_accessible.aspx
- Creating a Welcoming Workplace for Employees with Disabilities – www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/tb_852/cwwed_e.asp
- Creating an LGBT inclusive Workplace – http://www.catalyst.org/system/files/Building_LGBT_Inclusive_Workplaces_Engaging_Organizations_and_Individuals_in_Change.pdf
- Common Ground – www.common-grnd.com/index.htm – a consulting firm that specializes in educating about sexual orientation in the workplace
- Inclusion Tips: Working with Aboriginal Colleagues and Hiring Aboriginal Employees – www.aboriginalhr.ca/en/resources/Inclusion_Tips
- Aboriginal Human Resource Council – www.aboriginalhr.ca – the council provides many resources to help your company create an inclusive workplace that positions your organization as an employer-of-choice for Aboriginal talent
This article is reprinted with the permission of the Laurier Career Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.