Our Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE)
Business prosperity requires a healthy community-at-large.
Systemic racism, inequity and exclusion undermines these shared and interdependent aspirations, and therefore must be exposed and unrooted wherever they exist.
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce commits to the long-term and continuous work of creating an equitable, inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
As a member association, we commit to working on our internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion efforts hand-in-hand with our community. Local members and community leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences will lead our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through advisory boards, community-wide consultations and public engagement events.
Three advisory boards leading our internal and external diversity, inclusion and equity efforts include:
An advisory board of 36 community leaders from the Indigenous community and/or organizations provides strategic oversight and guidance to our efforts advancing reconciliation. They also inform our truth and reconciliation information and programming that we make available internally and externally.
Together the advisory council publishes and frequently updates our free business resource the Truth and Reconciliation Roadmap (TRR).
An advisory body of 32 community leaders, diversity and inclusion practitioners, individuals with lived experience and allied stakeholders, provides strategic oversight and guidance to CODE in designing and delivering CODE information and programming.
A few organizations that are included in this Community Collaborative include: Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba, Education Canada Group, Inclusion Winnipeg, SCE Lifeworks, Pride Winnipeg, Rainbow Resource Centre and more.
An advisory council of 18 members that represent a mix of newcomer service agencies and businesses in Winnipeg, advise us on the creation and execution of our Newcomer Employment Hub initiative within CODE. The Hub aims to streamline connection between newcomer job seekers who are represented by newcomer service agencies with Winnipeg businesses who are eager to tap into a diverse talent pool.
In addition to these advisory councils, we have hosted 7 focus groups and several community consultations this year that allowed us to listen to more voices and experiences of people from equity deserving groups.
**These Chamber advisory boards are co-led by our Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Sanjana Vijayann and President & CEO, Loren Remillard.**
Communities in Focus
As we pursue the movement to equity and the rebalancing of opportunity and outcomes, CODE and our DEI efforts center women, Indigenous peoples, racialized persons, persons living with disabilities, and people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.
Our Actions Towards Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
We are committed to reflecting the community we serve through diverse and dynamic leadership teams, staff, board members, volunteers, members, and program speakers. Representation matters and everyone in our community deserves to see themselves represented within The Chamber community.
We have established a Diversity and Inclusion Employee Group that provides feedback, perspective and guidance on new diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives and what DEI means for our organization.
1. Working Together Towards Inclusion
Through ongoing learning, and commitment, there will be a continuous and intentional shift towards organizational wide alignment to progress diversity, inclusion and equity. All Chamber staff will participate in on-going training and education through our membership with the Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
2. Reviewing and Updating Governance and Human Resources Policies
Loren Remillard our President & CEO and Sanjana Vijayann our Diversity and Inclusion Manager are engaging in a complete review of our governance and Human Resource policies to ensure that they do not contribute to upholding systemic barriers and rather promote equity.
3. Reviewing and Implementing Fair and Unbiased Hiring Practices
Karen Weiss our Chief Operating Officer and Cindy Frost our Executive Assistant, have begun a thorough review of our hiring processes and are implementing changes to ensure equal and equitable opportunity.
4. An Inclusive Voice: Marketing and Communications
Kayla Buehler our Marketing Manager and Jess Korol our Communications and Program Coordinator work closely to ensure that our marketing and communications embrace and are reflective of the diversity within our community. Beyond diversity, we will work to be inclusive, and thoughtful in our messaging, and intentionally amplify voices of underrepresented groups.
5. Using Data to Understand What is Working and What Needs Work
We implemented a mechanism to collect self identification data from staff, our Board and our membership. This data will allow us to set goals and ensure representation among our members, staff, Board, and speakers to be truly reflective of the diverse community we operate in and serve. Demographic data from our event attendees will help us better analyze who attends our events, and reflect on how we can continue to create welcoming, inclusive, and barrier free spaces for members of equity deserving groups. We will collect qualitative data from employee resource groups, focus groups, roundtable discussion, interactive social media, and members of our Advisory Councils.
6. Accessible and Inclusive Events
Riele Bailey, our Events Manager, is working to ensure that our virtual and in-person events are accessible and free from barriers.
- Gender parity (50%) on our Board and senior management
- 30% of our Board of Directors and senior management comprise of people from other equity deserving groups: Indigenous peoples, racialized persons, persons living with disabilities, and people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+
- 50% priority demographic representation within all Chamber programming presenters/speakers/facilitators by 2022
- At least 30% of the vendors we use at The Chamber will be from equity deserving groups by 2023
Further to these goals, we are committed to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion to positively impact our staff, our members, and our community.
Our People: Through our efforts, we work to create a culture that fosters belonging, respect, and opportunity for advancement for every employee. We aim to attract, hire, and retain top talent from diverse backgrounds and ensure inclusive workplaces that encourage diversity of thought, experience, and ideas.
Our Members: As a member organization, we will work diligently to provide programming and services that are relevant to the diversity represented within our membership. We will continue to improve our inclusion efforts so that we continue to attract diverse representation within our membership. We will work to model the responsibility to work to progress diversity, equity, and inclusion and showcase the benefits in doing so.
Our Community: We will work collaboratively with community organizations and community leaders to guide our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to ensure that they are relevant, appropriate, and impactful. Through continuous reflection of our policies, procedures and practices, we will work to dismantle systemic barriers that continue to create unequal outcomes in society for equity deserving groups.
Our Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Pledges
The 50 – 30 Challenge: Your Diversity Advantage
The 50 – 30 Challenge is an initiative between the Government of Canada, business, and diversity organizations. The goal of the program is to challenge Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table.
The 50 – 30 Challenge asks that organizations aspire to two (2) goals:
- Gender parity (“50%”) on Canadian board(s) and senior management; and
- Significant representation (“30%”) on Canadian board(s) and senior management of other under-represented groups: racialized persons including Black Canadians, persons living with disabilities (including invisible and episodic disabilities), Canadians who identify as LGBTQ2, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as founding peoples of Canada are under-represented in positions of economic influence and leadership.
Winnipeg Indigenous Accord
The Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released 94 Calls to Action (CTA) in 2015. The CTA’s is an invitation for all Canadians to take action in order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The Winnipeg Chamber has responded by becoming a signatory to the inaugural 2016 Winnipeg Indigenous Accord.
Canadian Centre of Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) Employer Partner
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) is a made-in-Canada solution designed to help employers, diversity and inclusion/human rights/equity, and human resources practitioners effectively address the full picture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace.
Founded and run by experienced diversity and inclusion practitioners, CCDI’s focus is on practical sustainable solutions that help employers move toward true inclusion.
As an Employer Partner we offer our staff unlimited access to live and interactive webinars, workshops, resources, and facilitated community of practices events.
To chat with us about our (or your) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, email our Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Sanjana Vijayann at [email protected].
Please note that this page will be reviewed and updated periodically as we continuously work towards advancing inclusion, equity and reconciliation. Should you have any questions, please reach out to our Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Sanjana Vijayann at [email protected]