Meaningful change begins when you take a close look at current practices. Start by taking into consideration existing hiring, training and management practices, and then develop your strategy to hire and retain more women. Why are you doing this? What will you do? How will you do it?
WHY: THE BUSINESS CASE
Successful workplace change starts with commitment from leaders at the highest level. At the beginning of your journey it’s important to determine your WHY.
- Make your business case: Why does your organization need to focus on diversity and inclusion? What does it mean for your bottom line (staffing, spending, training, profits, etc.)?
- Do an honest assessment of your current practices and behaviours related to equity, safety, and inclusion. Identify and record what needs to change and why.
- Assess the language of your organization. How are you communicating your values to the public, such as on your website and in your marketing?
WHAT: BASELINE MEASUREMENT
You need to know where you’re starting from. Record baseline measurements so you can track changes over time and note trends. Ask questions about who is represented in your workplace at all levels, including leadership. Suggested indicators of a safe and inclusive workplace include:
- Percentage of women in trades workforce*
- Percentage of women in leadership positions*
- Formal Assessments (Workplace Culture or Inclusion Surveys)
- Attrition rates (by gender)
- Number of complaints/grievances
* Minimally recommended
HOW: THE PLAN
An effective strategy for change is driven by an employee-led team and is supported by management and senior leadership. Develop an effective workplace inclusion strategy including:
- Senior leadership support through words and actions
- Strong employee and union involvement
- Clearly defined targets for improvement
- Consistent language
- Short-term and long-term goals
- Keep it simple!
EDUCATE AND ENGAGE
All levels of the organization must be engaged in the journey. As much as it is important for an organization to determine steps for their inclusion journey, it is equally important that leadership and individuals within the organization take responsibility towards their own self-awareness and understand their powerful role towards making change happen within the organization. There are many ways to increase awareness and knowledge of safe and inclusive workplaces including:
- Share We Are Trades
- Make a formal commitment. The We Are Trades Pledges can be a powerful symbol of commitment and sends the right message to everyone that you are ready to create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. Get your printable version of the pledges here!
- Provide inclusivity training for all employees and contractors. Key areas of education are bullying and harassment, allyship, unconscious bias and microaggressions.
- Share the strategic plan with all employees and contractors.