PERSON: “Hey I know another Indian person! Do you know Mr. Singh?”
ME: “Hey I know another Mr. Ass-hat! You guys must be twins!” 😉
PERSON: “Your name is Indu; are you Hindu?”
ME: “Your name is John; were you born in a toilet?” 🚽
PERSON: “Wow, you’re Indian – you must make awesome curry every day!”
ME: “Yep that’s me, ultimate curry making machine. Let me scarf down this lobster roll, and ketchup chips and I’ll send you all the Google links I’ve bookmarked.” 🔖
PERSON: “How come you don’t have that little red dot on your forehead?”
ME: “Same reason you don’t have one. Oh wait, here it is… actually that’s just a big ‘L’ across your forehead” 🙄
PERSON: “Your English is so good!”
ME: “It’s amazing right? I mean, I was born in Vancouver, BC so you’d think I’d learn to speak British or Columbian.” 🤣
The number of times I’ve heard these ignorant comments is astounding. I’m born #CANADIAN, raised #CANADIAN, live like a #CANADIAN and even went to French immersion, say “eh” after most of my sentences, have an obsession with plaid, and am a fiend for good poutine.
For over 50 years, Canada has been under the #MulticulturalAct and has been a diverse country with multiple cultural identities, supporting multiculturalism in many facets of community life. Comments like those above might be made naively, but they can be hurtful, discriminatory, and ignorant.
In today’s world, your business needs to have a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusivity charter. Benefits: bigger talent pool, increased employee engagement, fresh perspectives, innovation, diverse decision-making, improved performance, and stronger business results – all equating to higher profits.
Most corporations have something drafted, but how truly equitable is it? When creating such a document, did you discuss and collaborate with a DEI specialist or simply copy a template off of Google? Employees look for equitable working conditions, and it’s not just about the colour of someone’s skin: it’s about accommodating culture, providing accessibility, and creating a truly inclusive work environment even if it means embracing the remote work world. Although many companies believe they’re already promoting a diverse and inclusive work culture, they are not creating a true sense of belonging amongst their staff. Innocent perhaps but can be unintentionally discriminatory just like those ignorant comments.
Be sure to connect with a DEI expert to ensure you are communicating the right message to current and future staff, as well as to your target market. More often than not, your DEI charter needs to be customized to your specific operation and conducive to attracting top-notch talent.