EBDN Event: Sexual and Gender Diversity (May 9 2018)

On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, EBDN held a session about Sexual and Gender Diversity. We were thrilled to have Marni Panas, a Senior Advisor Diversity and Inclusion at Alberta Health Services, speaking at this session.

Marni was part of the work that led to gender identity and gender expression being added as protected grounds to Alberta and Canada’s Human Rights Acts.  Most recently she was a member of the Advisory Committee that helped draft the apology that Prime Minister Justine Trudeau delivered to LGBTQ+ people in Canada in the House of Commons on November 28, 2017 for discrimination and injustices faced by this community as a result of federal legislation, policies and programs.

Throughout this session, Marni shared her personal journey as a transgender woman and the challenges and barriers she faced along the way. Members were able to challenge their understandings about the realities that LGBTQ+ people face on a daily basis and how as employers we can create a safe and supportive environment. New and expanded terminology relating to the LGBTQ+ community and skills for communicating with this population on a meaningful and respectful manner were some of the important takeaways for our members.

Marni was filmed during this session as she is the Global News Edmonton: Woman of Vision for May!

In addition, Marni has a TED Talk where she shares information on her journey as transgender woman.

EBDN Event: D&I Policies (14 March 2018)

Diversity and Inclusion policies are often a source of confusion for many organizations. D&I policies can refer to employment equity, respectful workplace, Indigenous relations, duty to accommodate, as well as explicit diversity and inclusion policies.

Companies often wonder about how to get started or how their policies might stack up against other organizations. Our March event aimed to provide our membership with best practices and tools to take back to their organizations to start, or continue, on their D&I journey.

Shafana Mitha, Director, Diversity and Inclusion at Government of Alberta, was our first presenter at the session. At the Government of Alberta, Diversity and Inclusion is a relatively new initiative, and Shafana shared their policy development journey and the different pieces of policy that were impacted along the way. She also touched on related directives, implementation strategies and the engagement process.

Wade King, Safe Disclosure and Human Rights at the UofA, and currently in a one-year secondment to the City of Edmonton as a Consultant with the Office of the City Manage as well as an EBDN board member, followed Shafana to guide participants through creating D&I policies and the tools with which to do so.