Building Better Workplaces through Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Creating thriving workplaces by embracing the concepts of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are goals for which many employers strive. In some instances, policies, training programs and even headcounts are used as a proxy for achievement of those goals but in reality, it’s an area in which employers and employees often struggle.
“Demographics are changing and our province is attracting more skilled workers from around the world,” says Pauline Streete, University of Regina Senior Advisor to the President on EDI & Anti-oppression. “Most employers recognize the growing need for greater education in this area as a way of maximizing the potential of their workforce, but despite the best of intentions, progress has been slow.”
Recognizing the critical nature of this training, CCE set out to expand its offerings. “Based on research and demand, CCE will embed an EDI module as a mandatory component of its two existing Leadership and Management Professional Certificates, beginning in Fall 2023.”
“People don’t realize what they don’t know. EDI knowledge affects everyone regardless of race, gender or ability. - Pauline Streete
Karen Merz, Manager, Career & Professional Development, explains the rationale behind the decision. “Our hope is that by making it a required module it will set the groundwork and introduce people to that foundational piece. In many cases people don’t select EDI because they assume that they already know it.”
Streete agrees. “People don’t realize what they don’t know. EDI knowledge affects everyone regardless of race, gender or ability. We need to be aware of the language we use, how we engage and how we go about doing the things we do. People assume that being nice to everyone is enough, but sometimes in being nice we have those missteps that do harm. Our vantage point is sometimes exclusionary.”
For some companies, not preparing employees for differences can lead to workplace conflict. “The goal is to avoid these worst-case scenarios,” adds Merz, “and help people to become not just open to the differences but to understand that there is value in those differences.”
Streete often interacts with newcomers who arrive in Canada eager to put their education and skills to use. “Anyone who gets to work with the people I’ve talked to will be getting rock stars. So if we can create a sense of belonging when they show up at work and eliminate preconceived notions, then that will be a big step forward.”
In addition to the existing courses and modules already available, CCE anticipates that they will be adding more in-depth EDI programs in the near future.
“The demand is there,” says Merz “and this is a great non-judgmental environment in which to challenge our beliefs. For many students it becomes a self-defining ‘aha’ kind of moment and that’s always amazing to see.”
Learn about Our Programs
Professional Development Funding Options
Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant for up to $10,000 for employee training.
Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy for 100% training cost coverage.
URAA Alumni Professional Development Award valued at up to $500.
Canada Training Credit for $250 per year (unused years carry forward).