Promoting Inclusive Workplaces
A Practical Tool for All
An inclusive workplace is one that is fair, supportive and respectful. It recognizes, values and leverages differences in identity, ability, experience and perspective.
"Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of our people and the ideas they generate are the source of our innovation."
Tips on Creating a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace
Be aware of your own unconscious biases: Building your own awareness is a first step towards real change. Be empathetic towards your colleagues. By listening to them and understanding their points of view, you become an effective ally in the workplace.
Create a safe space: Employees, including leaders, at all levels need to create a safe team environment where everyone's opinion is heard, considered and valued by the team. Simple things like acknowledging all religious holidays and demonstrating respect goes a long way.
Remove barriers: Barriers – physical, technological or social – prevent people from participating fully in a workplace and achieving their full potential. Physical barriers, like a conference room only being accessible by stairs, can be easy to spot. Social barriers like racism and discrimination, however, may require more awareness.
Flag microaggressions and discriminatory behaviours: Should you see actions or behaviours that are discriminatory or harmful, stand up and say something. It's no longer enough not to discriminate in the workplace. You must practice anti-discrimination by ensuring you're advocating for everyone in your workplace.
Communicate and ask questions: It's okay not to know everything about diversity and inclusion. If you're not aware of something, ask questions so you can learn more. Misunderstanding can often lead to conflict, so maintaining strong communication is key.
For more information on fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace, explore the Canada School of Public Service's learning catalogue on this subject.