Each organization conducts hiring differently. Some use informal hiring processes and pay a great deal of attention to whether the candidate is of similar background and has similar interests to existing staff, and whether they will fit in with the others in the organization. Some organizations have more formal hiring processes, but may allow managers to consider a range of factors unrelated to the candidate's skills and abilities to do the job. In many organizations, unconscious biases play a role in the selection of new employees, and racial and gender stereotypes may influence who is hired into which positions.
"Where are you from?"
"No, where are you really from?"
"Markham and Sheppard"
"No, where are you really, really from?"
"52 Green Apple Way. Why?"
I used to think that it was my Scarborough accent that gave me away. And wondered why people who grow up in different parts of the City of Toronto had different accents…. and then I realized what they were really asking me. Despite having come to Canada when I was four and spending my entire life in Toronto, the message -- intentional or not -- is that I am not Canadian. Because of my skin colour, I'm a foreigner.
It's 9:30 in the morning and I had a good sleep.
This often happens in my line of work. I frequently work 16 hours a day trying to make change within organizations and society; helping organizations to advance workplace diversity and inclusion, helping them assess the issues within their workforce and create meaningful change, conducting social research, developing and delivering training programs.
Normally when I go to sleep I am exhausted. So, when I wake up, I like to ease into my day with a few cups of coffee, checking my Twitter feed, and then a brisk walk before I get to work.
But it is not going to work out that way today. Steve Paikin's "Did the Nancy Elgie story have to end this way? Some personal reflections" has my blood boiling. (The post was included on LinkedIn and has since been disappeared from the internet.) And so I'm at my laptop forgoing my walk and am hammering this piece out at what for me is an ungodly hour.
Tana Turner is Principal of Turner Consulting Group Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion.