Canadian Occupational Safety

September/October 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 23 of 51

F E A T U R E 24 A SEAT AT THE TABLE In this CEO roundtable, three leading voices in this area discuss key issues in the push toward more diversity, equality and inclusion in the Canadian workplace — listen, learn, implement change. THE SPEAKERS: Nadine Spencer [NS] is the CEO and president of BrandEq Group and is also currently serving as the president and CEO of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA). Spencer is an accomplished philanthropist who has been involved with numerous charitable organizations and focuses strongly on battling poverty and advancing women's education. The BBPA was founded in 1983 as a non-profit organization. Its aim is to provide opportunities for Canada's Black communities in areas such as business, employment, education and economic development. Rod Graham [RG] is the co-CEO and president of modular solutions at Horizon North Logistics, which recently merged with Dexterra. Graham has a wealth of experience in the safety industry and has sat on 22 different corporate boards. He has been with Horizon North since 2015. Horizon North operates in 11 provinces and territories and has 50 Indigenous partnerships across Canada. This summer, the company employed around 1,000 Indigenous employees. Around 13 per cent to 15 per cent of Horizon North self-identifies as Indigenous. Kelly J. Lendsay [KL] is the president and CEO of Indigenous Works (formerly doesn't mean you're an inclusive organization; it means you've got the differences. Being inclusive speaks to the values; it speaks to the true engagement of your practices, your strategies and your ethos that you incorporate as a workplace. And it's not only organization-centric, it's people- centric. So, inclusion is something that you will put on your website, you will say you're inclusive, you make these statements — and those public types of statements are important when supported by leadership, when practised by leadership, by managers and by employees every day." [NS] "One expression, which has become so cliché now, is that diversity is being asked to the party and inclusion is the Aboriginal Human Resource Council). Lendsay is a social entrepreneur and proud Canadian Indigenous leader of Cree and Métis ancestry. He is recognized as one of Canada's foremost experts in workplace models, corporate/Indigenous partnerships and Indigenous inclusion strategies. Indigenous Works was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization with a mandate to improve the inclusion and engagement of Indigenous people in the Canadian economy. THE ROUNDTABLE: [COS] What does diversity, equality and inclusion look like to you? [KL] "You can be diverse but not be inclusive. You can be diverse and have women, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities, but that being asked to dance. Inclusion [is about language]. How can we have equitable language that is going to include everybody there so they don't feel isolated? How can the conversation be more of a neutral conversation where everyone can participate in that dialogue, in that inclusion? If you choose a particular type of language, it could exclude someone. So, yes, we can say we're inviting young Black women to participate, but if we exclude them at the meeting by having language that they can't participate in, there's no inclusion. You really have to focus on the inclusive part and actually making people feel like they're involved." "If you're looking at a diverse group of people and someone is not included, then it doesn't really make sense. So, diversity and inclusion [have] to go hand in hand. And it's interesting that it's two separate things, but I guess maybe it's about understanding. The inclusion part is the other piece of it. You can't have one without the other." [RG] "Inclusion is a very important word to me. As I take a look at the importance of how we're going to reconstruct our economy here, post this COVID experience, we're going to need 37 million Canadians pulling on a rope. We've always punched above our weight from a world perspective. And it's now more than ever that we're going to need every Canadians' help. And, so, this notion of inclusion is where you get 100% of the brain power. So, what does inclusion mean to me? It's 100% of the brain power in our country. And now more than ever, it's critically important. So, I use the term inclusion because we're bringing everybody along. And that's the only way that our country is going to move forward. "This notion of inclusion is recognizing the fact that we're better off if we can bring the skills and experiences of folks that have come from a bunch of different experiences together, because that's the only way that we're going to be a better country — and quite frankly have a shot of getting our economy back on the right track. Inclusion is taking the best of our differences and melting them into this mosaic that we are as a country." [NS] "I approach discrimination from what I call three perspectives of unique attributes: I'm Black and I'm a woman and I'm a Black woman. All of those are three unique different things. Diversity has the benefit of providing a company with a pool of fresh, creative ideas "The way we speak to each other should create a culture where everyone feels valued, respected and included, rather than undervalued or disrespected or demotivated." Nadine Spencer, CEO and president of BrandEq Group Kelly J. Lendsay, president and CEO, Indigenous Works Nadine Spencer, CEO and president, BrandEq Group Rod Graham, co-CEO and president, modular solutions at Horizon North Logistics

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