Diversity and Inclusion

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Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence ¡ Spring/Summer 2019 ¡ 1



Shaping Organizational Excellence

Diversity & Inclusion

About This Issue...........................................................2 Past Chair's Message...................................................3 Chair's Message...........................................................4 The Region of Durham on Inclusion & Immigration......5 On the Road to Inclusivity Videos.................................9 DWA: On the Road to Inclusivity...................................11 Understanding Diversity & Inclusion............................12 Student Perspective...................................................13 HR Law: Permanence Requirement Discriminatory....14 News from the Board..................................................16 By the Numbers...........................................................17 Photo Gallery..............................................................18 Upcoming Events........................................................20

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About This Issue Gladys Saenz, Editor Shaping Organizational Excellence


Resource Magazine - HRPA Durham Chapter Mailing Address: 105 Consumers Drive, Whitby, ON L1N 1C4 Fax: 647-689-2264 Circulation: 900 electronic copies circulated three times per year with limited press run. Articles may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by contributing writers do not necessarily represent those of HRPA. While care is taken, Resource Magazine assumes no responsibility for errors or the return of unsolicited materials. Resource Magazine is not responsible for advertising claims made in its pages or inserts; however, we will not knowingly accept for publication, ads, articles, or inserts that contain false statements or defame others. Resource Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertisement. Credit for advertisement limited to space error occupies. The information contained in this publication is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Design: SMillerArt.com Editing: LynneYryku@gmail.com

In this issue of Resource, we are focusing on diversity and inclusion—not only because it is the right thing to do but also because it is a business imperative. And as HR professionals, we can have a great deal of influence. This topic resonates with me, bringing me back to when my family and I made Canada our home over 40 years ago. Although it has been a long time, I still remember how it felt moving to a foreign country and seeing my parents struggle as we adjusted to a new language and society. While community integration was not at the level we have now, through educators, counsellors and friends, we were made to feel welcomed and included. Nowadays, there is a strong focus on diversity, equity and inclusion regarding immigration. In Durham Region especially, HR and business leaders are being challenged with a rapidly changing workforce and work environment as a result of considerable immigration. However, there is evidence that this diversity, with the different talents, skills and experiences it brings, has a positive impact on organizations. In one of the feature articles, Audrey Andrews and Sarah Hickman from the Region of Durham provide us with information on the great work being done by the Region and community to ensure proper two-way integration of newcomers. Inclusion of persons with disabilities is also important—and good for business. That is the purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, among other initiatives. In the second feature article, we talk to Samantha Robert from Stella Media Co., who created videos for the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) showcasing persons with disabilities who are successfully employed to put a face on inclusion. They share their stories and how proud they are of their work. In another project, the DWA worked with the community to carry forward the important work undertaken by Durham Region Employment Network to address the employment issues related to persons with disabilities in Durham Region. The article by Rosanna Keys, CHRL, is a summary of the resulting report entitled “On the Road to Inclusivity.” In addition, Asha McClean, CHRP, shares an article on understanding equity, diversity and inclusion to provide members with some definitions and real-life examples of programs supporting diversity and inclusion. Finally, the law article provided by Jeffrey Stewart from Sherrard Kuzz LLP describes a case where the requirement of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status was considered discrimination. Read it, and then review the job requirements your organization sets out to ensure they are bona fide requirements to avoid possible court challenges! Happy reading, and have a wonderful and safe summer!

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From the Past Chair’s Desk:

Passing the Baton

Ernest Ogunleye, MSc, Chartered MCIPD, CPHR, SHRM-SCP, FRGS

My fellow Regional Durhamites, I will finish as I started my tenure by humbly paraphrasing a section of U.S. President Barack Obama’s farewell speech: Whether we have seen eye-to-eye, or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the Chapter membership, at HRPA events, at HRPA Annual Conference, at Chamber gatherings, at community engagements or by correspondence have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day I have learned from you. You made me a better President/Chair. I end my term with the unique distinction of being the first Black Chair of the HRPA Durham Chapter. It has been a supreme honour and privilege to serve all the membership of this Chapter. I was fortunate to attend a wide range of events and interact with this outstanding community of professionals. As leadership author John C. Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” To that end, I was the last Chapter President and first Chapter Chair of HRPA Durham, as we transitioned the title in June 2018. All the while, we continued to grow in terms of services, resources, communication channels and recognition for our members. We also maintained the momentum of our award-winning efforts started under my predecessor, Morgan Kerby. We secured our third Chapter of Excellence – Retention Award in 2017 and our first-ever Chapter of Excellence – Satisfaction Award in 2018. Our three pillars of Democracy, Community Involvement and Inclusiveness were essential in achieving these successes.

• Democracy: We had multiple candidates stand for election to the HRPA Durham Board and a steady stream of volunteers for committees and ad hoc projects. Thus, we maintained our accountability to you, the membership. • Community Involvement: We actively engaged with joint Chamber of Commerce events, the Business Advisory Centre Durham, community initiatives, local higher education institutions and the charity Threads of Life. I am happy to state all these activities bore fruit, and our brand continues to be a recognizable fixture across Durham Region. • Inclusiveness: We slowly increased the number of locations where events take place, and strived to warmly welcome and include as many members as possible through physical and digital events. Durham Region’s population continues to grow and is projected to be approximately a million by 2030. The HR community is a diverse one and active participation from as many stakeholders as possible is a key indicator of progress and success. The Chapter members, volunteers and committees, as well as the HRPA staff, have all played an integral part in achieving this enduring success. I am also proud to have worked with such an energized, dedicated and knowledgeable Board. The 2018 Satisfaction Award reaffirms the interconnected nature of our combined efforts and confirms we are heading in the right direction.

In terms of impact and connections, HR is truly international. See Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 study: “Across geographies and industries, this year’s findings highlight the importance of ‘Connectivity in the Human Age.’”1 It makes for an interesting read for a global perspective, and also highlights Canada2 and the automotive industry3 specifically. We are definitely part of a worldwide business community. Focusing back on HRPA Durham, I see my role as part of a relay team, entrusted with the “baton” as a joint custodian of this entity. I have completed my leg and extend my arm to transfer the baton to Catherine Claridge, CHRL, our new Chapter Chair. I wish her the very best of luck, and as I move to Past Chair, I will be here to support her. I look forward to our continued success! I wish you all a glorious summer. I would like to leave you with the words of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

1 https://www.mercer.com/our-thinking/ career/global-talent-hr-trends.html 2 https://www.mercer.com/content/ dam/mercer/attachments/global/Career/ gl-2019-talent-trends-infographic-canada. pdf 3 https://www.mercer.com/content/ dam/mercer/attachments/global/Career/ gl-2019-talent-trends-infographic-industryautomotive.pdf

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From the Chair’s Desk:

Creating the Future Together Catherine Claridge, CHRL

As I begin my two-year term as Chapter Chair, I would like to acknowledge and thank those who came before me for the path they have paved. They are Ernest Ogunleye, whose energy and vision buoyed us all to achieve our objectives and strive for excellence while enjoying the journey along the way; and Morgan Kerby, who mentored me and encouraged me to push my leadership potential to serve the HR and business communities. Thank you both for your inspiration and support! I’ve been a member of the Durham Chapter Board since August 2015 when I joined as Communications Director, and I’m honoured to be continuing my volunteer work as Chair. The changes happening at the HRPA are significant, from both innovation and regulatory standpoints.

Your Chapter Board is keenly focused on working to ensure you have the knowledge and insights that will help propel you and the organizations you support into the future. At our Annual Business Meeting on May 14, we hosted a panel of experts who are leading the innovation initiatives across Durham Region. The members who attended were given the rare opportunity to hear about the new and emerging industries that are cropping up across the Region, and how they will change the business landscape over the long term. The enthusiasm in the room was palpable, and it was evident that our members are keen to learn how to best support this transformation of work culture. We are delighted to be in a position to support you in this endeavour. Last year, Louise Taylor Green joined HRPA as our new CEO. She has set us on an exciting strategic and collaborative journey that is going to ensure the integrity and future of the HR profession in Canada. With our dedicated HRPA Board of Directors, the Association is poised to reshape and ready HR professionals for the path ahead. Get Involved! If you’ve ever considered joining our Chapter Board to get

involved with the direction of HRPA Durham, now is the time! Giving back to the profession by helping facilitate chapter management systems and program creation to deliver high-quality education, networking and mentoring experiences for our members is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Serving on a chapter board provides experiential opportunities, allowing you to apply skills acquired through the span of your career and develop new ones. As a committee chair, you’ll have enhanced networking opportunities with other leaders and influencers in Durham’s HR community, as well as your peers across the province through 27 HRPA chapters. I invite you to reach out to me directly if you’d like to explore how a position as a chapter volunteer would align with your career goals and professional development aspirations. We look forward to continued meaningful relationships with you, the members of Durham Chapter.

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Diversity, Inclusion and Immigration:

A Conversation with the Region of Durham

Durham Region is home to many creative and prosperous organizations, which are moving the Region forward. Immigration is an important part of that growth. Following the theme of this issue, “Diversity and Inclusion,” Resource spoke with Audrey Andrews, Manager, and Sarah Hickman, Policy Advisor, from the Region of Durham’s Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives on the work they are doing in this area. What is the Region of Durham’s perspective on diversity, inclusion and immigration? Audrey: In 2009, the Government of Canada recognized that while the federal government sets the tone for a national agenda around immigration, the successful integration and accelerated settlement of newcomers into the community would be further served by local people and local intelli-

gence. Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) were created. LIPs help prepare communities for newcomers, while the settlement sector and front-line service provider organizations help prepare newcomers for the community.

fostering a diverse workforce. What are some examples of the efforts the Region is making in terms of diversity, inclusion and immigration?

Our work involves growing an understanding of immigration as an economic imperative and that “we all win when we all win.” We promote the notion of a two-way integration, which requires both the newcomer and the community to learn about each other and find a place where we all succeed together in Canada.

Audrey: In the last 10 years, we have worked to raise awareness and identify points of friction between host communities and newcomers, and among all diverse populations. We talk about what we need to do to demystify life in Canada. These are often things that are so intuitive for people who live here but not so much for people who are newly arrived.

Sarah: We pay very close attention to labour market changes in Durham Region and across Canada. Part of our focus now and moving forward is to enhance employer engagement, and support employers in hiring newcomers to meet their labour market needs and seeing there are incredible benefits in creating and

In a conversation with a newcomer who had already been here for 10 years, I asked her if there was something she wished she had known but still doesn’t fully understand, and she said that she still does not quite get recycling and she is aware that her neighbours are watching. I

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thought that is an interesting point of friction. She knows she is not doing it correctly, she does not know how to get the garbage sorted out the way it should be done, and she is aware that people are looking at her. While this may seem like a subtle thing, sometimes, and for some people, it is not. Everyone has something to contribute. In [our] role, we have an opportunity to help all populations find opportunities to contribute to the community and the economy. We encourage institutions to find ways to embed the needs of all populations into policy planning and programming, which, by extension, lends itself for people to find the best in themselves and bring that to Canada, their employer and their community. We work to help the broader community turn the curve and shift attitudes. It requires an enormous amount of patience and time to help people think differently, think in terms of inclusion, and think in terms of people’s skills and benefits, and not differences. Maybe what is different is fascinating and we should learn about our differences too, but it takes a long time to bring people to this level of understanding.

What are some examples of the results? Sarah: In the time that I have been working around the issues of diversity, inclusion and immigration, there has been a lot of change. I think you can feel it in the community and, more specifically, in the business world. We are seeing a shift in thinking, and employers are embracing diversity as strength. Audrey: I have seen a real shift within institutions and organizations in how employers are talking to their employees. It is not okay to use anything less than appropriate, respectful language. I was delivering training and a participant shared a sad but uplifting story. The topic being discussed was about selecting appropriate words when speaking, and understanding that our choice of words impacts others and workplace culture. It is important to speak up and let people know when you are not comfortable with the words being used. What you permit, you promote. The participant shared with the group that he had a child with a disability, and that he hurt every time he heard someone used humiliating words

describing people with disabilities. The participant shared in front of his co-workers how hurtful those words were to him. I am not convinced that this type of open conversation would have happened 10-15 years ago. How do you change employers’ perceptions when you hear feedback like they are unable to hire newcomers because they lack the Canadian experience needed to perform at the expected level? Audrey and Sarah: Inclusion looks different everywhere. Investing in training and onboarding is expensive and time consuming—but those costs are incurred for all new hires. Net population growth is anticipated to come almost exclusively from immigration. Employers that want to grow their businesses are competing for staff. Adapting training programs to meet the objectives of an organization is a smart business decision. Employment Ontario providers have a variety of options available to employers to assist with new hires. All employers would benefit from understanding what is available to them through Employment Ontario. The role of HR professionals is to promote a work environment where people feel respected and valued, and have a sense of belonging regardless of gender, age, mental status, race, religion, sexual orientation, family status and place of origin. What do you recommend to begin the process of inclusion in the workplace? Audrey and Sarah: The willingness of an organization to genuinely begin the journey of inclusion is a great first step. There are many tools available to employers to help them assess their readiness, commitment and identify gaps. Many organizations begin with a declaration of intent by leadership, vision statements, focus groups or surveys to identify how staff feel and

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how the culture of an organization is perceived by employees, stakeholders and customers. While HR professionals can guide processes and develop frameworks, inclusion starts with leadership setting the tone and modeling the behaviours of inclusion. The Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council encourages all residents, institutions, individuals, businesses and organizations to share in the responsibility of being a welcoming and inclusive community. What barriers have you encounter in this regard? Audrey and Sarah: As populations age in developed countries around the world, businesses globally are competing for talented, skilled newcomers. Open, welcoming and inclusive communities and, by extension, employers are more likely to attract and retain talented newcomers. Understanding immigration as an economic imperative and understanding that Ontario is competing for immigrants represent a shift in thinking. One of the challenges when doing this work is helping people shift their thinking to the present day, not relying on their historical knowledge of immigration and Ontario. Organizations are relying on data more than ever to fuel human capital strategies, but there is a growing hesitation among the public and employees to disclose personal data. How do HR professionals and leadership teams gather diversity data to plan effectively? Audrey and Sarah: Agreed! Luckily, depending on the size of the organiza-

tion, there are many vendors that can provide independent advice, administer surveys and conduct focus groups. For the smaller organizations, technology provides opportunities for anonymous data collection. The key to successful data collection is participation. Staff participation in any data collection endeavour will be largely dependent on the first steps referenced previously. If leadership is behind a genuine inclusion plan and supports that work through a culture shift, the likelihood of successful data collection increases. How do you establish diversity champions through the organization so diversity is not a top-down initiative? Audrey and Sarah: There are many ways to engage all staff in organizational transformation. Some organizations have committees, task forces, lunch and learns, and information boards. It looks different in every organization. One of the benefits of collecting data anonymously is that it presents an opportunity to ask the question of how staff would like to participate and cham-

pion diversity and inclusion efforts inside their organizations. For example, you can ask what changes they would suggest to help them feel truly reflected in the culture of the organization. How can HR professionals use community partnerships to foster diversity and inclusion in their workplaces? Audrey and Sarah: Locally, Boards of Trade, Chambers of Commerce, municipalities, recreation and libraries are having conversation about inclusive policies, practices and programming through committees and communities of practice. The Toronto Immigrant Employment Network, which offers opportunities in Durham Region, is always looking for mentors for new professionals. Also, placements for domestic and international postsecondary students are an opportunity to support inclusive practices and a way to grow training and onboarding programs. As a profession that interacts with internal and external stakeholders, how can HR encourage the business to incorporate diversity programs for both employees and the public?

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Sarah: We also need to be mindful in our thinking and actions—it takes constant commitment to challenge the biases we all carry with us. As long as we’re being thoughtful, and recognizing and correcting mistakes, we’re making progress. Any parting thoughts for our members? Audrey: We share in the collective responsibility of creating the kind of communities we all want to live in. That means everyone has to come halfway.

Audrey and Sarah: HR professionals occupy a special space in the diversity conversation. They are uniquely positioned to influence corporate culture, leadership teams and professional associations, including Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce.

Audrey: I believe inclusion needs to find its way onto more agendas through this publication, by professional associations and by other professional bodies HRPA deals with. Keeping this conversation on the agenda is very important.

HR professionals can take the opportunity to lift their gaze and imagine their organizations inside of a bigger, brighter, more prosperous Ontario through the lens of genuine inclusion.

I was listening to the news on the way in this morning and they announced that we have not seen this level of unemployment since 1976—that is impactful to employers. “If we build it, they will come” is not so much the case anymore.

Finally, how can HRPA and its members help? Sarah: You have a broad membership; I think that promoting conversation around diversity, inclusion and equity is a great benefit to not only employers and your members but also the broader community. I think the key is being consistent with the message. Having the conversation at work increases the likelihood that we’re also having the conversation outside work, in our community. The more we talk about diversity and inclusion, the more accepting and inclusive we can become.

As employers, it is our responsibility to understand what it takes to be welcoming. If you don’t do it because is the right and good thing to do, then do it because it is the smart thing to do. If you cannot appeal to both sides of your brain, appeal to the business side, as you can’t grow without a labour force. Labour force will not come if your operating principles and philosophy don’t reflect the values of the people you are trying to attract.

There is a lot of conversation about the responsibility of the newcomer to adjust and integrate, but we rarely have the full conversation to determine what collectively can be done, our shared responsibility to support settlement. Whether you are an individual, agency, organization or institution, we can all see ourselves in that conversation and find a way to come halfway. Leaders have the most important role. Leadership has to say it, mean it, declare it and model it. When this happens, people will fall in line, and change will bubble up from the bottom and the top. The actively disengaged will find themselves in the periphery. It has to start with leadership and strong leaders who are committed. Nobody is any one thing. We can never speak about human beings in a linear fashion. You can be a woman, an immigrant, a lesbian and a person with a disability [at the same time]. Those intersections of diversity manifest in the workplace. We need to think multi-dimensionally about human beings and understand what that means in terms of workplace culture. The broadest definition of diversity is the platform from where we launch. Some of our work is focused on newcomers but the broader body of work reflects the broad community.

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Putting a Face on Inclusion: On the Road to Inclusivity Videos

Being inclusive of persons with disabilities is a key leadership quality. It starts with building diverse teams, which include persons with disabilities, but organizations need to foster inclusion as well to draw out the best in their talent. The implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, among other things, supports this integration of persons with disability into the workforce, which benefits everyone. To move the focus from the disabilities to the abilities people have, the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) engaged Samantha Robert, owner of Stella Media Co., to create videos showcasing persons with disabilities in the local workforce. You can find the “On the Road to Inclusivity” videos here: durhamworkforce authority.ca/workforce-connects/ on-the-road-to-inclusivity-videos/ Resource spoke with her about the videos, accessibility issues and breaking down barriers. Note: The views expressed in this interview are those of Samantha and do not necessarily reflect those of the DWA.

Tell us about your journey making the “On the Road to Inclusivity” videos. Samantha: My vision for these videos was to give persons with disabilities a name and a face. I wanted them to be able to tell their story from their own perspective. I had researched videos on the internet about hiring people with disabilities, and they were all presented from the employer’s perspective. I believe the message that needs to be conveyed is different. I wanted to create something that people would care about, and when people watch the videos, they may be able to recognize the people in them. It took me over a month of knocking on doors, calling people and sending emails to find somebody who would be willing to put themselves out there and be in the video. I tried to communicate the positive impact these videos would make to convince people to participate, but [some] people who have a disability and have experienced discrimination did not want to participate in the project.

In the videos we made and posted, the individuals interviewed shared their happy feelings when they were hired. They felt proud that they were the best candidates for the job. Businesses that have hired people with disabilities should share their experiences to minimize fear that others have about hiring people with disabilities. The more we share information through messages or videos, the more acceptance people will have. There are many success stories. For example, a person applied for a cashier position. The owner made the decision not to give him the cashier position, but instead, gave him a new position created based on the candidate’s skills. He was to maintain the equipment throughout a number of stores. This person has been in this role for over seven years and the equipment runs very smoothly. He has used a total of two sick days in the last seven years. Let’s work together to create and/or modify our community to one where all members are accepted and proud to belong.

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I hope to continue working on this project, as we need to keep the communication going. Our society has changed a lot, like the fact that we have an entire Pride month during which companies are flying Pride flags. It speaks to inclusion. If companies do not move forward with inclusiveness, they are going to be left behind. One of the biggest challenges with service coordination is the element of trust. There is also room for improvement to ensure Durham Region residents have access to the programs and services needed to create meaningful labour force attachment. What can employers and HR leaders do to address this issue and minimize the gap? Samantha: Talk about it! Some people are still of the mindset that things like disabilities should not be talked about and it is better for everyone to mind their own business. However, the more training, seminars, events, blog posts and meetings there are about inclusivity, the more accepted and valued it becomes. With these videos we wanted to share with the community the fact that people with disabilities work the same way as able-bodied people, and give them an opportunity to share their stories in their own words. The DWA has partnered with local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade to develop peerto-peer strategies to educate employers on the business case of recruiting youth with disabilities for student jobs, co-ops and internships. What do Durham Region employers and HR leaders need to know to help? Samantha: Employers need to know that not every person who has a disability identifies as having a disability. Employers may have previously screened out people with a disability, assuming that it would be

difficult to accommodate them and that an able-bodied person would be of equal or greater value to the workplace. To welcome diversity and inclusion, they need to look candidly at their hiring policies and practices as well as their company culture to be sure it is inclusive. Employing people with a disability starting from a young age is important to ensure that they have the same opportunities as an able-bodied person, including things like interview etiquette, social skills, time management, etc.— things you would learn from a first job. What practices can employers and HR leaders use in their workplaces to promote accessibility? Samantha: Sometimes accessibility is more about consideration than actual accommodation. This includes making interview and common meeting spaces accessible to those with mobility issues, making sure there are quiet spaces for those with hearing impairments, etc. It’s important to have an inclusive culture with open communication so applicants and employees feel comfortable addressing HR/management directly with accessibility concerns. What educational resources are available to the general public, employers and HR professionals? Samantha: There are tons of different organizations and services within Durham Region that offer training, employment support and outreach for persons with disabilities. The DWA’s website has links to many different service providers. There’s also META Vocational Services, Community Living, Abilities Centre and Participation House. Each region has their own accessibility coordinator as well. Do you believe employers should include specific diversity and inclusion programs in their recruitment process to target persons with disabilities?

Samantha: That’s tough to say. I think it is unnecessary to “target” persons with disabilities, per say, but focusing on the inclusivity of your workplace and cultivating a culture where people are accepted will invite applicants of all types. With that being said, having people with disabilities involved in recruitment in some way enables you to consider all types of things that able-bodied people may not. Do you think HR professionals could be doing more to help applicants with a disability succeed? Samantha: I can’t stress it enough: consider the accessibility of the workplace from the application phase, from job descriptions even. How flexible are you about employees carrying out their jobs in a way that they are comfortable but most efficient? How willing are you to cultivate trust, provide feedback and offer training for progressing? Finally, there is sense that employees with disabilities may require extra time to train and may be higher users of sick and health benefits. What do you have to say to that? We need to break down the negative perceptions that surround learning [and other] disabilities and focus on the benefits of adopting an inclusive employment strategy. [For example,] HR should focus on the processes that create barriers— complicated forms, online-only applications, formal interviews—all of which make it more difficult for a person with a learning disability to gain paid employment. They can help explore different ways of attracting people with a learning disability and creating a more accessible process. Persons with disabilities could demonstrate their ability to complete tasks rather than their ability to answer questions about the role when being interviewed. Create a hiring process outside the box.

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On the Road to Inclusivity Rosanna Keys, CHRL

Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Disability defines disability as “the relationship between body function and structure, daily activities and social participation, while recognizing the role of the environmental factors.” This includes people who reported being “sometimes,” “often” or “always” limited in their daily activities due to a long-term condition or health problem, and those who reported being “rarely” limited if they were also unable to do certain tasks or could do them only with a lot of difficulty. In late 2017, the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA) and the Durham Region Employment Network partnered to address the employment-related issues concerning persons with disabilities (PWD) in Durham Region. It is recognized that the opportunity for meaningful employment is essential to not only an individual’s economical security but also their physical and mental health, personal well-being and sense of identity. A project plan was developed to focus on the customized local labour market information (LMI) collected on persons with disabilities in Durham Region who have an employment goal, and community outreach to engage both employers and job seekers.

Current Issues, Challenges and Activities One of the most pronounced challenges with service coordination is the element of trust. There remains room for improvement to ensure Durham Region residents have access to the programs and services they need to create meaningful labour force attachment.

Promoting productive and decent employment is a complex task. It was discovered that the required marketing and communications activities around PWD require significant support. Career awareness activities include working closely with community partners to connect with employers for research to identify employer issues and seek out PWD champions. The DWA will partner with regional HR professionals to develop barrier-free hiring processes for small- to mediumsized businesses. A survey was created, reviewed and tested with several service providers; however, despite reassurances that the survey would be confidential and the results would be aggregated, respondents were reluctant to complete it. Improvement efforts include creating an interview guide along with new marketing materials, and conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups with selected persons with disabilities.

What’s Next? Significant social change requires new modes of cross-community engagement and coordination by working collaboratively to solve long-standing social and economic concerns. The DWA has partnered with local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade to develop peer-to-peer strategies to educate employers

on the business case for recruiting youth with disabilities for student jobs, co-ops and internships. Further research is underway to establish a common understanding of the nature of the various factors defining challenges and opportunities for increasing productive PWD employment. The DWA will focus on marketing deliverables, including developing regional marketing campaigns to promote the hiring of youth with disabilities; creating short informational videos to educate employers on accessible employment practices; educating youth on their employment rights; and partnering with local Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, and industry associations/ sectors to explore the development of an Employer Accessibility Award as part of its annual business awards. The DWA will plan and host an annual Action Forum to ensure community communication and project participation, and make efforts to engage in discussions with community representatives and identify collaborations, as well as share and expand on key activities that the community can leverage or adapt. Rosanna Keys, CHRL, is HR Manager at Community Care Durham and a member of the HRPA Durham’s Communications Committee.

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Understanding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Asha McClean, CHRP

Equity, diversity and inclusion are becoming consistently vital topics of discussion among leaders and employees in contemporary organizations. With the advent of various employment and human rights legislation, as well as case law, it is imperative that companies fully comprehend the importance of having a diverse workforce that is equitable and inclusive in nature. While the HR department may be perceived as the primary source of facilitating and enabling equality and diversity in the workplace, this concept should be an integral part of all organizations’ overall business strategies.

DEFINING EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Equity: Equity involves the fair and just treatment of all employees (and consumers and third-party providers where applicable) through the removal of systemic barriers and the creation of opportunities in an effort to address the inherent disadvantages experienced by marginalized groups. Diversity: Diversity in the workplace addresses the value of various world views and experiences that come from membership in different groups. Persons from various cultures, nationalities and backgrounds ultimately contribute to enhancing the work environment.

Inclusion: Inclusion is the shared responsibility of key decision makers in an organization to ensure that a welcoming, supportive and respectful work environment is fostered. IN PRACTICE Although the HR department does not act in silo with regard to facilitating and advocating the importance of the roles of equity, diversity and inclusion, it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the policies, procedures and overall business strategy in any organization are fair, transparent, inclusive and equitable in nature, and take into account the diversity of the workforce. While some organizations have yet to illustrate how equity, diversity and inclusion help to drive the conceptualization of their policies and procedures, several have proven to be well ahead of the curve. At Ryerson University, for example, various programs and initiatives have been launched through their wellestablished Equity and Community Inclusion Office in an effort to reinforce their commitment to fostering an equitable and inclusive workforce. Some of these programs include the following: Truth and Reconciliation Community Consultation Report: This report demonstrates Ryerson’s commitment to building relationships with Indigenous communities as an inherent part of the University’s culture. This commitment has been further reinforced as the report has been embedded in the University’s academic plan. Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review: This review was launched

by the University to identify and adequately address the individual experiences of black people and to explore opportunities for growth. All Gender Washrooms and Inclusive Signage: This is a key initiative in making the campus safe and welcoming. These washrooms provide a safe space for trans and gender diverse individuals, who may otherwise experience verbal and physical harassment in gender segregated spaces. Similarly, this level of commitment has been largely demonstrated at University of Toronto. In his Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, President Meric Gertler said: Diversity, inclusion, respect, and civility are among the University of Toronto’s fundamental values. Outstanding scholarship, teaching, and learning can thrive only in an environment that embraces the broadest range of people and encourages the free expression of their diverse perspectives. Indeed, these values speak to the very mission of the University. They spark education, discovery, and understanding and so take their place among humanity’s greatest forces for good.1 Organizations such as the two universities above have demonstrated a significant commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Now it is time for other organizations to take some pivotal steps to catch up. We, as HR practitioners and leaders, have an important role to play in this regard, such as ensuring we educate managers about the importance of encompassing key concepts in day-to-day operational activities as well in standards, practices and procedures. Asha McClean, CHRP, is an HR Consultant at Ryerson University and a member of the HRPA Durham’s Communications Committee. 1 https://www.president.utoronto.ca/ presidents-statement-on-diversity-andinclusion

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2019 · 13

Student Perspective:

The Crucial Task of Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion Jamie Duff

Canada is becoming increasingly more diverse each year. Ensuring not only diversity but also inclusion in the workplace is an important matter that should be top of mind for all HR professionals for the long-term success of their organizations. We know employees are an organization’s greatest asset. However, organizations must consciously acknowledge and value their different capabilities and unique skillsets to make certain they are benefitting from those talents. Having a workplace that proactively welcomes diversity and ensures inclusion also helps increase employee morale, resulting in better performance measures and overall perception of the organization.1 Therefore, ensuring our workplaces are diverse and inclusive should be seen is an opportunity, not a burden. Diversity relates to individuals possessing different qualities, values and characteristics that make them unique. Inclusion, on the other hand, is about the workplace as a whole, creating an environment that embodies equality and acceptance of everyone’s differences and values. In other words, diversity can be seen as a fact, whereas inclusion can be seen as a choice. By taking action in both these areas, we can create an environment that is supportive, respectful and collaborative for all workers. When workers feel accepted and welcomed in their workplace, it benefits everyone, not just individual people. For HR professionals, building a workplace with both high diversity and high inclusion results in increased 1


employee engagement, morale and productivity—which ultimately help improve our organizations’ bottom lines. Implementing both diversity and inclusion strategies and programs in the workplace helps ensure the goal of having a workplace culture that is accepting and embodies equality is met. This dual focus in important for all of us as HR professionals, since diversity and inclusion are two things that go hand in hand. Facilitating an inclusive culture at work is just one part of the strategy to introduce the two into your workplace. One of the first steps in this process is being aware of any unconscious biases that may exist. Once you have established strategies in that regard, you can build on that awareness to start implementing real change.2 2 https://www.ceridian.com/blog/sixways-to-support-diversity-and-inclusion-inthe-workplace

There are also best practices to consider when it comes to ensuring the workplace is diverse and operating inclusively. Examples include ensuring fair treatment, education and training on diversity, equal access to opportunities and advancement, a focus on collaboration and teamwork, and more.3 Employees are more likely to contribute to their fullest potential when they feel they are accepted at their places of work. Awareness and best practices are stepping stones to achieving diversity and inclusion. These aspects of the workplace will continue to grow in importance, and our contributions as HR professionals toward ensuring our workplaces are inclusive and diverse will only become more crucial as time goes on. Jamie Duff is an HR student at Durham College. 3


14 · Diversity & Inclusion

No Passport Required:

“Permanency” in Canada is a discriminatory job requirement Jeffrey Stewart

In the recent decision Haseeb v. Imperial Oil Limited, 2018 HRTO 957, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) held it was discrimination on the basis of “citizenship” to require a successful job applicant be able to work in Canada “on a permanent basis.” The decision will impact Ontario employers covered by the province’s Human Rights Code, and may also indirectly impact employers operating in other jurisdictions where citizenship is a protected ground of discrimination, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Territories. What happened? Mr. Haseeb was an international student in the McGill engineering program. On completion of his degree, he was eligible for a post-graduate work permit that would allow him to work for any employer in Canada for a three-year term. He was also part of a special immigration program that allowed him to be processed for permanent resident status while working in Canada. He anticipated he would be able to obtain permanent resident status within a three-year period. Imperial Oil Limited (“Imperial”) was recruiting for project engineers and Haseeb applied. He was aware Imperial required an applicant to have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, so he lied to the recruiters and said he was able to permanently work in Canada. He ultimately ranked first and was offered a job conditional on proof he was able to permanently work in Canada. When Haseeb was unable to meet the residency requirement, the offer was rescinded and he was invited to re-apply if his status changed.

ment for the position. A candidate needed only be able to permanently work in Canada; a non-citizen with a permanent residency card was therefore eligible for hire. Second, even if the requirement of permanent residency is discriminatory, Haseeb lied during the hiring process, providing another valid basis to withdraw the offer of employment. The HRTO rejected both of Imperial’s arguments. In reaching this decision, it evaluated section 16 of the Code, which expressly identifies three circumstances in which citizenship may be a requirement, qualification or consideration in hiring: 1. Where the requirement is adopted to foster and develop participation in cultural, educational, trade union or athletic activities by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. 2. Where the position is a chief officer or senior executive position, and citizenship or domicile with the intent of obtaining Canadian citizenship is a requirement, qualification or consideration for the position. 3. Where the requirement of Canadian citizenship is otherwise permitted or imposed by law. Relying on section 16, the HRTO reached the following conclusions:

Allegation of discrimination

• Absent the three circumstances noted above, preferential hiring could amount to discrimination.

Haseeb filed an application with the HRTO alleging Imperial discriminated against him on the basis of citizenship.

• Haseeb does not fall within any of the three circumstances.

In its defence, Imperial advanced two arguments. First, it did not violate the Code because citizenship was not a require-

• The language of section 16 suggests “permanent residence” should be associated with the ground of “citizenship.”

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2019 · 15

The HRTO wrote: [T]he very fact that the Legislature saw fit to deem that in certain situations, hiring preference for “Canadian citizens” and “permanent residents” is not discrimination, means that conversely, in the absence of the s.16 defence, HRTO can find that preferential hire on the basis of Canadian citizenship and permanent residence status amounts to discrimination under the Code. The language chosen by the Legislature in formulating a defence in s.16 clearly contemplated that “permanent residence” (or “domicile in Canada with intention to obtain citizenship”) as well as “Canadian citizenship” are requirements that in certain context may properly found a claim of discrimination on the ground of citizenship. A plain reading of the text above indicates that the Legislature, in drafting the s.16 Code defence(s) expressly associated “domicile in Canada”, “permanent residence” with the concept of “Canadian citizenship”. In the Tribunal’s view, this association supports the view that “permanent residence”, although not expressly a listed “ground”, is properly associated with the ground of “citizenship” (or lack thereof) under the Code. As for the argument Haseeb’s lying about his immigration status disentitled him to the job, the HRTO held this was irrelevant to the central issue in the case—whether the permanent residence requirement violates the Code: For clarity, the fact that the applicant may be seen as untrustworthy is not relevant to a determination of whether [Imperial’s] conduct up to the date of the offer letter’s expiry is a violation of the Code. . . . The advertising of and application of the impugned policy

or “permanence requirement” is the central issue in this Application. Even if the Tribunal accepted the fact that the applicant misled [Imperial] may have factored in [the] decision to not grant a waiver and to not hire him, it is clear to the Tribunal that the applicant’s inability to meet the permanence requirement contributed to [his] non-hire. . . . the Tribunal notes that the case law is clear that a protected ground need only be one of the factors involved for there to be a violation of the Code. What does this mean for employers? If you think Canadian citizenship or permanency in Canada is a relevant requirement for employment at your workplace, consider the following two questions: 1. Does or could the requirement fall within section 16 of the Code (or a similar provision in another jurisdiction)? 2. If not, is it possible to achieve the organization’s objectives in a way that does not run afoul of human rights legislation? If you would like assistance addressing these questions and/ or learning more about the options available to your workplace, contact the employment law experts at Sherrard Kuzz LLP. Jeffrey Stewart is a lawyer with Sherrard Kuzz LLP, one of Canada’s leading employment and labour law firms, representing management. He can be reached at 416-603-0700 (main) or 416-420-0738 (24-hour), or by visiting www.sherrardkuzz.com. The information contained in this article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, nor does accessing this information create a lawyer-client relationship. This presentation/ article is current as of May 2019 and applies only to Ontario, Canada, or such other laws of Canada as expressly indicated. Information about the law is checked for legal accuracy as at the date the presentation/article is prepared, but may become outdated as laws or policies change. For clarification or for legal or other professional assistance please contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP.

16 · Diversity & Inclusion

News from the Board PRESENTING THE 2019-20 HRPA DURHAM EXECUTIVE BOARD Chapter Chair & CEO Catherine Claridge, CHRL Past Chapter Chair Ernest Ogunleye, MSc, Chartered MCIPD, CPHR, SHRM-SCP, FRGS Secretary-Treasurer Jenn Janca, CHRL Professional Development Co-Chair Tisha Lorincz, CHRL Communications Chair Gladys Saenz Student Relations Chair Licinia Bennett, CHRL Mentorship Chair Leyland Muss, CHRL

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CERTIFED MEMBERS The overarching objective of HRPA’s certification process is to ensure that HR professionals certified by HRPA have the knowledge and skills needed to perform work activities at the level of competence required to protect the public interest. Congratulations to the following members who obtained their Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation—an accomplishment that shows their dedication and commitment to the HR field.

CHRP RECIPIENTS Chelsea Abbott Meherzad Xerxes Aria Alyssa Dufton Veronika Gruszczynska Archanaa Gunapalan Kelsey Hamilton Grant Harvey Kyla Hewitt Quinn Johnson Ashley Johnstone Richard Macina Daniel Morris Katherine Panowyk Michelle Poirier Alexondra Racicot Samantha Savaglio Natasha Smith Derek Stott Congratulations to the following members who obtained their Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation, a professional-level designation of qualification in Canadian HR management. CHRL RECIPIENTS Clayton Barranger-Mitchell Darryl Donaldson Catharine Jeffreys Paul Leckey Candice McAlister Krystina Newbury Lisa Marie Nurse-Bernett Funmilola Obomighie Oluwakemi Shiwoku Daniella Spencley Sydney Sun

CHRL RECIPIENTS DURHAM CHAPTER AWARDS The Board of Directors was pleased to present Rosanna Keys, CHRL, with the Member of Excellence Award and Tracey Starrett with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Annual Business Meeting. ROSANNA KEYS, CHRL Member of Excellence Award Rosanna is the HR Manager at Community Care Durham, a multiservice registered charitable organization providing a broad range of community support services for adults and their caregivers who have needs related to aging, physical and/or mental health. As a member of the Senior Management Team, Rosanna supports organizational growth and development. As an active volunteer member of the HRPA Durham’s Communications Committee and as an HRM student mentor, Rosanna raises awareness of the value of the HR professional.

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2019 · 17

TRACEY STARRETT Lifetime Achievement Award Tracey was a former Board Member and Chapter President, and has 30 years of experience in HR in business, consulting and teaching environments. She has overseen a wide range of HR programming in several organizations, including policy development, onboarding, disability management and employee relations. In a past position, reporting to the COO, Tracey launched and led an external HR consulting division, provided leadership to junior HR staff focused on developing their competencies and expertise, was responsible for the diversity and inclusion program, and managed corporatewide training programs. As an independent consultant, Tracey specializes in HR, education and communications in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has authored several educational resource materials and written articles on career development for various publications. She has also been highly involved in community and volunteer work in Whitby, including Girl Guides of Canada, Junior Achievement of Durham, School Parent Community Council and many more.

By the Numbers

Persons with Disabilities

It is believed that there are significant numbers of persons with disabilities outside the labour force; however, not a lot is known about this segment, which impacts service planning and program delivery.

According to Statistics Canada’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics:

According to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Disabilities 2012:

• In 2002, the gap between youth aged 16-24 with disabilities and without disabilities who were employed a full year with less than high school graduation was 2.5 percentage points. By 2011, it had climbed to almost 16 percentage points.

• In 2011, there were 1,035,090 persons with disabilities in Ontario, of which 68,850 were in Durham Region. • In 2011, the prevalence of mental health and addiction disabilities was slightly higher among Ontarians (4.8%) than persons across Canada (3.9%). The same is true for persons with other disabilities (10.6% among Ontarians and 9.9% among Canadians). • In 2011, Ontarians with mental health and addiction disabilities were less likely to be in the labour force and more likely to be unemployed: • 54% of persons aged 15-64 with mental health and addiction disabilities were not in the labour force, compared to 42.9% of persons with other disabilities and 21% of persons without disabilities. • The unemployment rate of Ontarians aged 15-64 with mental health or addiction disabilities (22.6%) was more than twice as high as Ontarians with other disabilities (9%) and almost three times higher than Ontarians without disabilities (7.7%).

• In 2009, 16% of youth aged 16-24 with disabilities were in receipt of social assistance, compared to 2.4% of youth without disabilities.

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity According to the Regional Municipality of Durham Information Report dated April 13, 2018: • In 2016, immigrants (including nonpermanent residents) comprised 24.1% (153,930 people) of Durham’s population, which represents an increase to the proportion of immigrant population reported in 2011 (21.3%), 2006 (20.7%) and 2001 (19.1%). • In 2016, visible minorities comprised 27.1% of Durham’s population, which represents an increase from 2011 (20.7%), 2006 (16.8%) and 2001 (12.4%). • Respondents who reported being South Asian (8.6%), Black (8%), Filipino (2.3%) and Chinese (1.9%) comprise the largest groups of visible minorities. • In 2016, 11,930 persons in Durham (2% of the population) reported identity with at least one Aboriginal group.

18 ¡ Diversity & Inclusion

PHOTO GALLERY Annual Business Meeting on May 14, 2019

Member of Excellence Award Winner Rosanna Keys, CHRL


Recent CHRL Recipients

Panel on Durham Region Innovation Initiatives

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Tracey Starrett

Presentation from Mentorship Chair Leyland Muss, CHRL

Resource: Shaping Organizational Excellence · Spring/Summer 2019 · 19

Presentation from Outgoing Chair Ernest Ogunleye, MSc, Chartered MCIPD, CPHR, SHRM-SCP, FRGS

Employment and Labour Law Update on June 7, 2019

Presentation from Incoming Chair Catherine Claridge, CHRL

Presentation from Professional Development Co-Chair Tisha Lorincz, CHRL

Upcoming Events

20 · Diversity & Inclusion

The HRPA Durham Chapter offers events to help you make connections and expand your network while you learn something new. Your participation in certain ones also earns you continuing professional development hours to maintain your CHRP, CHRL or CHRE designation. We look forward to seeing you at an event soon! For more information and to register, visit our website: www.hrpa.ca/HRPAChapters/durham/programs

September 24 October 1, 8, 15 September 25 October 24

Mental Health First Aid Certificate • 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. • Durham Chapter Offices

New Member Welcome • 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. • Oshawa Golf and Curling Club How to Grow Human Capital Using Financial Intelligence • 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. • Amici's Restaurant

Check the website regularly for more events!

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