Much of my work involves conducting Equity Audits. That is, I review employment policies and practices through an equity lens and make recommendations for change. One component of an Equity Audit is a review of an organization’s hiring and selection policies and practices. The goal is to remove barriers to the hiring of candidates from diverse backgrounds,
The killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have sparked protests around the world and made the term “systemic racism” go mainstream. From reporters at major news outlets to the leaders of large corporations and non-profits, everyone is making proclamations against system racism and vowing to eradicate it.
Yet, while many in high-profile positions claim to know what systemic racism is, they fail to understand that the solutions, too, must be systemic. Being nicer to each other does not change the policies and practices that keep Black people from being hired. Hiring more racialized police officers does not change policing practices that target Black and Indigenous people. Being more inclusive at the leadership table also won’t automatically change policies that fail to test for COVID-19 in the hardest-hit parts of the city.
When it comes to buying real estate, they say the three most important things are location, location, location. When considering matters of workplace discrimination and harassment, the three most important things are context, context, context.
Harassment is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code as “a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” This definition makes it clear that the act itself needs to be considered in context, because it is not just the behaviour (a course of vexatious comment or conduct) but the context—that is, whether it is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome—that must be considered.
Yes, sometimes there are comments or behaviours that clearly would be deemed to be harassment or inappropriate for the workplace.
For most comment or behaviours, employees, managers, and those investigating complaints must consider the context.
As we look forward on another year, it's time for some reflection on the year that has pasted.
In this post, we have compiled marketing blunders that diversity on product development and marketing teams could have helped organizations avoid. This gives us the opportunity to think about all that diversity adds to organizations. But it also allows us to think about what diversity helps us avoid: group-think, ignorance, and the blind spots that homogeneous groups can have, and the reputational damage that can result.
In this blog post, I've compiled 11 of these blunders that suggest that these organizations have a blindspot. Someone, or a number of people, thought these were great ideas. In some cases millions of dollars were invested. But once members of a diverse population saw these ads, they reacted very differently.
Again we challenge organizations to reflect on the diversity of their workplaces and think about what they might be missing because of a lack of diversity -- What insights are we missing? Which groups are we not appealing to because our products or marketing are missing the mark or are simply offensive? Which potential customers, clients, or service users are we overlooking?
Diversity in the workplace adds so much to the organization, including insights into how these blunders could have been avoided in the first place.
Tana Turner is Principal of Turner Consulting Group Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion.