Durham’s diversity champion program celebrates inclusion
There’s a new certificate on the wall of the Durham Workforce Authority offices, recognizing the agency as one of Durham Region’s diversity champions.
In proudly displaying the certificate, the DWA joins 13 other organizations and individuals who’ve been celebrated as a diversity and immigration champion by embracing principles of inclusion, and committing to making Durham Region a welcoming community. Local organizations that have imbedded the principles of inclusion and diversity within their own environments can apply to the Region of Durham to be recognized with a certificate, which cites what the recipient has achieved.
The DWA, a founding member of the Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, has been embracing the principles of diversity for a decade. The certificate notes the agency is recognized for: Developing policies and procedures that ensure a long standing commitment to diversity and inclusion; ensuring the work of the Durham Workforce Authority reflects the diverse needs of the community; promoting labour force attachment through the provision of local labour market data; and creating a workplace that respects and celebrates differences.
The DWA embraces the diversity plan and is open to change, says executive director Heather McMillan. Staff receive diversity training and the office is bilingual.
The intent of the diversity champion program is to “create a community of champions that recognize diversity as a strength,” says Audrey Andrews, the Region of Durham’s manager of strategic partnerships and initiatives. Diversity means including everyone, whether they’re young, old, LGBT, newcomers or women, she adds.
“It’s more about raising awareness,” she says, using the metaphor of upgrading a street intersection to make it more friendly to everyone using it, including pedestrians, cyclists, and someone pushing a baby stroller. “It’s not about an issue, it’s about a lens, a way of thinking. Who am I serving? What’s my lens?”
The Region of Durham’s diversity and immigration champion program is now in its second year.
For more information visit https://www.durhamimmigration.ca/Pages/home.aspx