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Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion - What Now?


Earlier this week I attended a webinar called Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: Why it matters now and after Covid-19 hosted by Manpreet Dhillon from Veza Global along with Kristin Bower and Jessi Dhanju. Kristin, Jessi and I discussed what we were seeing and hearing in the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) space during the pandemic and what the future holds.

During our discussion, we spoke about stories of Care Aides who are not provided the proper PPE equipment, women who felt family duties fell predominantly on their "plates", and ethnic minorities dying at a disproportionate rate. We cannot ignore these stories and these conversations help us understand long-standing systemic societal issues related to a lack of equity, diversity, and inclusion. With this in mind, I started thinking about what our future holds post-pandemic and how companies can support workers.

Here are my top 3:

1. Recognize the importance of mental health and provide more benefits. 1 in 5 workers face a mental health challenge every year. During the first couple of weeks of our lockdown in Canada, I remember feeling really irritated and scared. I was worried for my family and co-workers. Companies need to reevaluate their benefits with respect to mental health. Check out the resources here: https://drjotisamra.com/covid-19-resources/. Thank you to Kristin Bower for sharing and Dr. Joti Samra for creating these resources.

2. Provide flexible work policies. If a firm cannot trust employees to get their work done, then there is a bigger issue to address. I have been working from home since 2004 in a variety of roles. I may be working at 6:00 AM or at 6:00 PM on any given work day. Note, though, that I am not required to work 12 hours straight. My employer trusts me to get the work done and schedule meetings and work effort accordingly. Companies need to trust their employees and if they cannot, then it's time to have serious discussions as to why. Here is an excellent resource https://www.randstadrisesmart.com/blog/6-guidelines-implement-flexible-work-culture

3. During this pandemic, we are connecting more than normal. We're doing this virtually for the purposes of work and to ensure our colleagues are healthy and doing well. However, post-pandemic, I suspect we will go back go back to our norm. I suggest that we continue to connect just as much, either in person or virtually. Hold regular virtual coffee chats in addition to in person coffee or lunch meetings.

There's just one more thing I will be doing post-pandemic. That is, I will be checking in regularly with my team and extended family to say "I hope you are safe and healthy". I didn’t say or write that pre-pandemic, but this gives me an opportunity to demonstrate that I do care. This pandemic has shown us that the world is small and we are all connected. As humans we crave that connection and this is an opportunity for us to think about WE and not just ME.

#StaySafe #StayHealthy


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