Creating a Culture of Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is not a trend or concept that will disappear. The development of people-focused strategies are essential to employers in the private and public sectors. All workplaces, and the communities in which we live, benefit from inclusive practices. Through purposeful development, organizations can experience better employee recruitment and retention results, increased productivity, and higher employee and customer satisfaction.

While D&I is on the wish list of many companies, help is often needed to get started. Often there is a plan but little knowledge on how to implement and execute; others feel they do not have the resources and capacity. Two employers that understand the importance of D&I training and development are Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Enbridge Inc.

In 2017, EIA began its D&I employee engagement program. With a diverse workforce there was a need for a greater understanding of intercultural competency to build cohesive and effective teams.

“We recognize how important diversity is to our business,” says Kirstan Jewell, VP HR & Organizational Effectiveness. “Even more important is the ability to build and maintain an inclusive culture. We came to NorQuest College to assess our needs and they recommended we built an onboarding and orientation tool aligned with our business goals.” An orientation tool is a great way to start the awareness campaign within an organization. With NorQuest, the first phase of EIA’s strategy was successfully executed in the fall of 2017. “We are excited to continue to strengthen our programs and build diversity and inclusion into our culture,” adds Jewell.

Enbridge has worked with NorQuest’s team for over five years to develop and deliver D&I learning content. The company strives to facilitate conversations, promote understanding and awareness of differences, and to integrate D&I practices into internal programs and procedures.

“We look for training that will educate our workforce in topics related to D&I, including leadership development,” says Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, Rose Dolabella. Enbridge has 10 employee resource groups and an estimated 23 chapters across North America; all initiated by employees, sponsored by the dedicated D&I department, and fully supported by leadership. “Buy-in from the leadership team is critical to creating a culture that embraces diversity and inclusiveness,” adds Dolabella. “It’s also important to have clear goals and established measurement to assess success.”

NorQuest’s dedicated team of researchers, trainers, and subject matter experts define the dimensions of diversity into three categories of maturity:
  • Primary factors are age, gender, and race; these set the foundation of understanding for an individual.
  • Secondary level goes beyond global cultures and includes external dimensions such as marital status, work experience, income, and religion.
  • The third layer is the hard and uncomfortable questions an organization can face to determine their level of awareness.
  • The organizational dimension includes but are not limited to inclusive leadership, recognition of unconscious bias, and those harder to identify stereotypes that influence people’s attitudes and behavior at a functional level of operations.

NorQuest works hard to build an understanding of needs no matter what stage a company’s D&I progression. Supporting their efforts, the college works to develop an actionable and manageable solution to build D&I into the organization’s values to create a culture of inclusion.

If you are interested in training with our Diversity & Inclusion team, contact us: 

Phone 1-780-644-6480 or Toll Free 1-866-534-6480
Email icinfo@norquest.ca 

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