Workplace Diversity

Source: Staffing Diversity -  
Companies value diversity by respecting individual differences and reflecting this in the way that staff members work and treat each other.

What is workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity is about acknowledging differences and adapting work practices to create an inclusive environment in which diverse skills, perspectives and backgrounds are valued.

It is about understanding the individual differences in the people we work with that arise from a broad range of backgrounds and lifestyles, and recognizing the value of using those different perspectives, ideas and ways of working to enhance the quality and outcomes of work.

Our diversity is shaped and informed by a variety of characteristics including age, ethnicity, gender, disability, language, religious beliefs, life stages, education, career responsibilities, sexual orientation, personality and marital status.

Workplace diversity builds on the traditional principles of equal employment opportunity (EEO). While EEO focuses on ensuring that all people have access to employment opportunities and conditions, diversity means accepting, welcoming and valuing the differences inherent in every individual and recognizing the contribution that a diverse workforce can make to organizational effectiveness and performance.

A key aspect of workplace diversity is the contribution that we all make to a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Workplace Diversity Objectives
A People and Leadership Statement expresses the organization's commitment to creating a working environment that values the diversity of people, and will do this by:

  • sustaining awareness of diversity
  • demonstrating commitment to diversity, and
  • maintaining a safe and secure work environment.

Objective 1 - Sustaining awareness of diversity
Provide information on workplace diversity

  • Workplace diversity, Values and Code of Conduct are included in orientation and induction for all new employees and their obligations and responsibilities are understood (Supervisors/Managers)
  • Workplace diversity is promoted to all staff, highlighting its benefits and contribution to achieving the department's business goals
  • Diversity events are available in the organization calendar on the Intranet and celebrations in all Groups and offices are encouraged An active network of Workplace Diversity Contact Officers is maintained, promoted and supported
  • Appropriate and accurate equity and diversity data is captured and updated regularly - a snapshot of the staffing profile is provided to all staff at regular intervals

Objective 2 - Demonstrating commitment to diversity
Treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration

  • Managers' behavior acts as a model for all employees, with accountability
  • Employees demonstrate personal integrity by upholding the Key Behaviors, with accountability

Demonstrate workplace diversity in leadership

  • Diversity initiatives are championed and implemented as an integral part of people management
  • Workplace Diversity principles are incorporated, as appropriate, into corporate learning and development programs, including leadership development

Support flexible working arrangements

  • Guidelines on flexible working arrangements are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they remain current
  • Planning for activities, such as meetings and training and development programs, takes into account employees' flexible work schedules
  • Information about the different flexible work schedule options is promoted and provided to managers, supervisors and staff

Recruitment processes and fair selection decisions based on merit

  • Implement training and development activities
  • Recruitment and selection processes are conducted in accordance with departmental recruitment and selection practices
  • Advertising and promotion material promotes and reflects the organization's commitment to diversity
  • All positions include awareness of workplace diversity in selection documentation

Objective 3 - Maintaining a safe and secure work environment
Support for employees

A network of trained Workplace Harassment Contact Officers (WHCOs) is promoted and maintained to provide information and support to employees who have concerns about harassment.

WHCOs are supported through the provision of regular refresher courses and information sharing (HR Branch). The Workplace Harassment Policy is reviewed and all employees are made aware of this policy, the Key Behaviors, Values and Code of Conduct The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is promoted, contact details are available on the Intranet and arrangements are in place to enable employees, if they choose, to access EAP providers in addition to, or as an alternative to WHCOs

Roles and Responsibilities
Employees must act in accordance with the Key Behaviors, Values and Code of Conduct. Each staff member has an important role in creating an environment where diversity is valued. In particular, we can:

Be open minded - listen and respond to the views of others

Ethics and Integrity
Demonstrate appropriate behavior in all our activities

Treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration
Not tolerate harassment or discrimination

Participate in events to celebrate our diversity
Contribute ideas and draw on our skills, knowledge and background

Identify and cooperatively address barriers to diversity and participation

Work to build an environment in which everyone can fully participate

Responsibility for ensuring the successful implementation of this strategy rests with all employees in the department, in particular senior managers. Groups and offices may implement strategies specific to the needs of their Group or office - Workplace Diversity Contact Officers in each Group or office can assist in this regard, in partnership with the Human Resources Department.

The Human Resources Branch will monitor the implementation of this strategy and will report to organization Leadership at regular intervals.