Steps to Inspire a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

In 2013 a survey by the Ontario Non-profit Network (ONN) found that non-profit leadership did not reflect the communities which they served.  In a guest blog on Imagine Canada, Beth Clarke of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) says “as Canadian society continues to become more diverse, and our economies and communities more interconnected, charities and non-profits need to start prioritizing diversity and inclusion in order to remain effective in accomplishing their missions.”

Four main building blocks to help non-profits build more inclusive workplaces:

· Awareness and assessment. Often, the easiest place to start is with yourself: what are your own cultural competencies, blinds spots and biases? What are your expectations of a manager, of team work, of receiving and delivering feedback, as well as of gender roles? Recognize that your colleagues with diverse cultural backgrounds might have different beliefs and expectations than you do.

· Analyze how your organization finds and keeps talent. Recruitment, selection and onboarding processes often contain unintended barriers and biases that prevent diverse talent from being as successful. These can include policies like not recognizing education from foreign universities, to unconscious biases such as hiring managers preferring candidates with experiences and backgrounds that reflect their own.

· Review communications and development of human capital. A cornerstone of an inclusive workplace is a staff with strong cultural competency and cross-cultural communication skills. 

· Start outlining your diversity strategy, and work with your leadership. You now need support from the top and leaders to take the process forward. Identify the leaders who already value diversity and can lead the conversation. offers programs and resources to strengthen charities so they can support the communities they serve.