When a support worker at an evangelical Christian organization that runs homes for persons with developmental disabilities entered a same-sex relationship, the organization found the worker had breached its “Lifestyle and Morality Statement,” which prohibited homosexual relationships. The organization, Christian Horizons, eventually terminated the employee on that ground, and the worker complained of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
June 21, 2013, is First Nations Day in Canada, and June 27, 2013, is Multiculturalism Day, and is worth mentioning.
We like to think we are all fair and objective. However, implicit bias is apparent in everyone, regardless of if you accept it or not. An Implicit Association Test by Project Implicit at Harvard Universityreminds us that while people don’t often speak their minds, we might actually not even know our minds. Are we purposely hiding something from others, or are we implicitly hiding something from ourselves? When it comes to strategic recruitment, implicit bias plays a big role. There have been countless implicit bias studies done in the field of recruitment and human resource development. Let’s take a look at a few standouts.
Workplace diversity efforts often focus on employees’ gender, race and ability. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants wants to broaden employers’ horizons and help them see the larger picture of diversity. “The concept of diversity encompasses factors including age, culture, personality, skill, training, educational background and life experience. The influence of a variety of perspectives and viewpoints can contribute to flexibility and creativity within organizations, which can help them thrive in a complex and competitive global economy.”
Is she suggesting organizations hire unskilled and inexperienced workers with poor personalities? Probably not.
“It is simple. Saying yes to diversity is saying yes to modernity, to opportunity, and to the very future of our country.” Those are the words of Canada’s Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, at a recent lunch sponsored by Toronto’s DiverseCity initiative.
Anyone who thinks that the days of individual and systemic racism in Canada are behind us should think again. It might not be nice to think about, but across the country, Canadians and visitors to Canada face racism every day.
I think most people recognize that racism—even overt racism—is still a factor in Canadian culture, but these strategy and news item make it clear: we’ve come a long way and can now openly say that racism exists and is something we want to eliminate; but we have also a long way to go yet before the Canadian dream of a multiculturally diverse society moves beyond mere tolerance toward true acceptance and equality.