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Moving with the data

Carol Anne Hilton: A new project aims to help employers identify gaps, opportunities, and how they can move forward. After all, ‘what isn’t measured does not count.’

Later this month, I’m really excited about one particular hold in my calendar.

One of the biggest hurdles to Indigenous and other minority participation in the workplace is employers don’t know what they don’t know.

To help address that, The Inclusion Project is partnering with Excellence Canada to host an Employment Equity Partners (EEP) virtual roundtable on March 29- 30th.

Based in Victoria, The Inclusion Project is a social innovation network and resource hub for organizations, communities and institutions engaged in knowledge development and practice to enhance racial equity, diversity and inclusion.

The Employment Equity Partnership is a public-private sector partnership on data-driven solutions to address systemic racism and inequitable employment in Canada. EEP engages corporate sector employers and larger non-profits to benchmark the diversity of their current workforce – and from there, co-develop pathways for engaging talents from under-represented groups, including Indigenous, Black and other racialized groups.

In other words, help employers create good data, and use it to make plans that can make a difference – and, because it’s not one-size-fits-all, actually work.

It's about creating opportunity in communities that historically have had a harder time finding it – but it’s not charity. Employers gain from discovering how to tap into a wider, deeper, and more diverse talent pool.

The Employment Equity Partnership takes an intersectional approach to creating Workplace Equity Scorecards (WES) that highlight systemic inequalities and barriers to equitable employment and support services across civil society, tech, healthcare, tourism & hospitality and financial sectors.

The equity scorecards focus on developing performance metrics as well as highlight gaps in access to equitable employment among under-represented groups in the workplace.

As racial inequality and racism dominate the headlines, the partnership is growing a network focused on designing data in new ways to overcome systemic barriers across sectors.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Inclusion Project founder & CEO Ruth Mojeed.

“Shifting cultural norms, unpacking stereotypes, assumptions, micro-aggressions, conscious or unconscious biases and behavioural change begins with collecting disaggregated and experiential data with data-driven solutions for equity-seeking groups,” says Ruth. “That’s why we’re moving ahead on data.”

As Ruth points out, it’s an emerging shift.

“As a society, we have not done enough to account for inequalities within systems, structures and institutions – at the decision-making tables – and the huge gaps that have been further exacerbated by the pandemic.”

These inequalities have become prominent within the pandemic and within the required covid economic response, says Ruth:

“What is not measured does not count. There can be no economic recovery without an inclusive framework and a collective agreement that allows us reflect on current realities on employment and workplace practices.”

“Institutional change can only be supported and sustained through critical reflections, audits, baseline assessments, and clear goals on how we move forward, together, and ensuring no one is left behind.”

For more information or to register for this important and insightful forum please go to The Inclusion Project.

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute. Carol Anne is a recognized national Indigenous business leader and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.