Highlights of Selected Accessibility Initiatives
July 2009 – June 2010
8. Executive Office: Diversity and Disability Initiative
Diversity Exchange Program: Canada/Belgium
In 2009, Region of Peel Chief Administrative Officer David Szwarc presented Peel’s approach to equity and diversity, including disability, at the international workshop on Equity and Diversity in the Public Service in Brasilia, Brazil. This year, Peel received a request from a representative of Belgium government to meet and exchange information around Diversity, Duty to Accommodate and Human Resources Procedures and Policies. On June 1, 2010, representatives from the Region of Peel met with the Diversity Manager representing the federal government in Belgium. During this meeting, staff had the opportunity to discuss the development of a benchmark program between Canada and Belgium in terms of diversity management, equal opportunities, HR management, selection and recruitment policies, Accommodation Policies and other related functions with respect to diversity and inclusion. Belgium already has a certain reputation in Europe for its diversity management; however the Belgian representative found great benefits to be realized in the opportunities for information-sharing, learning and growth for both organizations, especially since Belgium keenly perceives Canada to be a pioneer in the field. The federal government of Belgium is currently striving to improve its diversity management and related functions, and is also recognizing the value in exchanging ideas with a highly reputable government such as the Region of Peel.
Corporate Initiative: Diversity Strategy Development Project
The Diversity Strategy Development Project officially kicked off in April of 2010 and is well underway. The intent of the project is to deliver a comprehensive diversity strategy to guide the Region of Peel in its commitment to be an employer and service provider who values diversity. The strategy will define the mandate of Diversity; identify strengths, gaps, barriers, and opportunities; set a vision for the future in reference to diversity; and provide a clear action plan for implementing and achieving the strategy.
While there has been a Diversity Program under development within the organization, it has mainly focused on internal awareness building and employee engagement activities. It has been determined that a greater external emphasis is now required. The development of a diversity strategy has been identified as an EMT priority for 2010, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
This project is the development of a comprehensive, measurable multi-year Diversity Strategy that guides the organization and:
- Ensures an equitable work environment (e.g. identification of tools and processes, plan of action to reduce diversity barriers, etc).
- Ensures sensitivity to citizens and customers of diverse backgrounds to maintain/achieve trust and confidence in the services we deliver.
- Fosters an inclusive community by partnering and building community relations (e.g. demonstration of active community support, presence and participation).
- Ensures that employees are engaged and equipped to actively participate in and support changes in the organization to address diversity needs and goals.
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