We can’t look back on 2020 without reflecting on the City’s efforts to confront systemic racism and take meaningful steps to improve diversity, inclusion and equity in the organization, and the community.
As an employer and local government, we’re reflecting on our role and the values that guide us to ensure our workplace and our community are welcoming places for everyone; Black, Indigenous, people of colour, people who identify as members of the LGBTQ2+ community, those who have disabilities and other underrepresented groups.
Employee data shows that women and people who identify as visible minorities are underrepresented in certain types of jobs in the organization. The City has used this information to develop partnerships, outreach campaigns, mentorship and internship programs to attract and retain employees as diverse as the labour market.
Building on Guelph’s previous Diversity Strategy, the updated Employee Diversity and Inclusion Plan sets out actions designed to help the City go further, do better and build a workplace where all employees feel safe, welcome, respected and valued.
The City is reviewing and updating how we recruit members of advisory boards and committees to measure and improve representation from LGBTQ2+ BIPOC and people with disabilities. These groups directly influence public policies and local government decision-making and it’s important they’re reflective of our diverse and growing community.
Guelph’s award-winning Community Plan is being used as a platform for further conversations about race, diversity and inclusion. The City is listening to and learning from people and organizations already working to address racism, to amplify their voices and promote meaningful change.
Early examples include support for the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership to research local experiences with racism and discrimination, and the Guelph Black Heritage Society’s Anti-Racism Summit, Black Town Hall and the development of an anti-systemic racism action plan.
The City is headed in the right direction, and we have a lot of work to do to ensure policies, programs and services are designed to serve Guelph’s diverse and growing community. This is a journey, and we’re committed to taking this journey together.