By: Megan Wickens
It’s easy to say that there’s a difference between diversity and inclusion, but drawing out the differences between these two goals is not as easy. In this guest post, Megan Wickens, head of our Alberta trades division and member of our Canadian Diversity and Inclusion Committee, looks at how inclusion policies are the next frontier in the corporate world.
There’s no doubt that we need to focus on building a culture of inclusion in the workplace and in the world.
What is diversity in the workplace? The dictionary defines diversity as the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety. And when we talk about diversity in the workplace, we’re usually referring to these 4 elements: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and age.
While diversity is buried in the corporate policy of most companies, I would argue that it’s worth so much more than that. Our goal should be to create a culture of diverse talent. Instead of thinking of it as an obligation to meet diversity targets, to check off an item on a checklist, we need to reframe diversity so that it considers the inclusion of diverse viewpoints.
It doesn’t have to be hard. We do it all the time in business: diversifying portfolios and product mixes to stay ahead of the curve. Now apply the same to people – why wouldn’t we want to include diverse viewpoints from people who add value to our business and our lives? Inclusive policies can help us get there!
By: Camillo Zacchia, Ph.D. – Psychologist
In this guest post, clinical psychologist Dr. Camillo Zacchia looks at the tendency to question whether we’re doing enough. He looks at the personality types that can get derailed by these feelings of inadequacy and offers a way forward when confronted by the sense that you’re not doing enough. Read on for Dr. Zacchia’s article on the art of good enough.
Can I do more? This question is a trap if I ever heard one.
Can I do more to help my parents? Can I do a better job on this assignment? Can I eat better? These types of questions are endless and the only answer to them is yes. The simple fact is we can always do more or do better. This means that in order to stop working on something, we have to accept this fact and just “be OK” with it. In other words, we have to accept that good enough is good enough.
We’ve talked a lot about the advantages young people contribute to the workforce, but there is also a lot to be said about what older workers bring to the table, and how a mix of youthful and mature employees can lead to competitive advantages with the right management. Plus, there is no shortage of older workers in Canada. According to a Statistics Canada finding published early this year, 60% of Canadians who left a long-term job (12 years or longer) in their late fifties re-entered the workforce within a decade of leaving it.
But still, in a time when mandatory retirement is a thing of the past and people are living longer than ever, many older workers who have left the workforce are having trouble getting back in based on stereotypes and prejudices that are utterly unfounded. Read more
According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 census, about two million people in Canada speak a language at home that is neither English nor French. When you add in people who speak at least some English or French along with another language at home, you’re looking at about a fifth of the country. So what are the most spoken languages in Canada? English is still number one, with 56.9% of Canadians calling it their mother tongue and 85% of the country possessing a working knowledge of it. At number two, French is the mother tongue of 21.3% of Canadians with 30.1% of all Canadians possessing a working knowledge of it. However, despite 94.4% of Quebec being able to speak French, according to the census, the Romance language is slowly declining across the country for two main reasons: French speakers continue to learn English as a second language and newcomers to Canada choose to learn English over French as their second language. So, if English is going strong and French is becoming more and more localized, what languages across the country are on the rise? And what do they tell us about the future of the Canadian market when it comes to creating a successful business – at home and abroad – and about attracting the right talent to make it all happen? Read more
Not that long ago, it was common for only one parent – typically the father – to work, supporting a family of three to four children and a stay-at-home mom. But, of course, times changed and women entered the working world in droves. Currently, they make up more than half of the North American workforce, and this cultural and socioeconomic shift has presented women with many choices and challenges: Forego a family for corporate success? Sideline career goals to raise kids? Or somehow juggle both? And with time, these questions have become even more daunting as work-life balance becomes more out of whack and the cost of living, including child care expenses, continues to increase despite more than 20 years of virtually stagnant income growth. In fact, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada’s highest earning two-working-parent families spend 18% of their net income on child care expenses – the fifth highest out of 30 industrialized countries that were studied. Considering this statistic, it’s no wonder that over two-thirds of Canadian women with children under the age of five are in fact working. Conversely, in some regions, a woman may choose to be a stay-at-home mom simply because the cost of daycare outweighs what she would make going back to work. But what happens when that stay-at-home mom decides to go back to work? Read more
This article originally appeared in Lēad Magazine, Issue 14: The Search for Balance.
By Adwoa K. Buahene and Giselle Kovary, Co-founders and Managing Partners, n-gen People Performance, Inc.
Today, more so than ever, the implications of a multigenerational workplace are felt across recruitment, retention, and engagement practices. Getting the balance right in responding to and managing the expectations of Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys is essential to productivity and performance. Organizations struggle with integrating Gen Xers and Gen Ys, while trying not to alienate more experienced generations. This is particularly true because most organizational cultures are founded on Traditionalist and Baby Boomer values, behaviours, and expectations. Leaders must respect that people are part of the capital of their organizations, and as such, human capital risk needs to be managed like any other type of financial or operational risk. Organizations need to be strategic in viewing the modernizing of their organizational cultures as a change initiative. The goal is to maximize the skill sets of all four generations, while managing the differences. Read more