Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
It’s Literacy Month and the theme for this year is literacy connects us! Literacy connects us at a home, at work and in the community. A diverse workplace with an inclusive environment encourages a sense of belonging among employees. Cultural literacy can be one tool for strengthening diversity, inclusion and connection in a workplace.
“Cultural literacy means being able to understand the traditions, regular activities and history of a group of people from a given culture.” – ABC Life Literacy
Cultural literacy can be an important part of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Here are some habits suggested by Sylvia Gonner for building cultural literacy in yourself and at your workplace.
- Be conscious of your own culture. “We cannot appreciate the cultural diversity in others if we are not aware of the lens we wear when looking at the world.” Be aware of the values and filters your own culture encourages, whether formal over informal, egalitarian over hierarchical, etc.
- Be curious. Research, ask questions and seek to understand what cultural beliefs and values drive others’ behaviours. This can prevent misjudgment and avoid frustrations.
- Be accepting of other cultures. We must be open to other perspectives to increase our cultural literacy. “Chances are your culture influences many fundamental aspects of your work style. But does it mean it’s the better way.” Understand and value the fact that there are many ways to get a task done.
Cultural literacy is just one aspect of diversity and inclusion. Alberta Workforce Essential Skills (AWES) has created a series of helpful videos on the topic of workplace diversity and inclusion with many applicable suggestions, including those in the video below.
For more ideas, helpful hints and tools for increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, check out the resources below.
- The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) toolkits and educational and inclusion guides
- Diversity at work : recruiting and retaining immigrants
- Gender-neutral Pronouns
- Greater progress on diversity and inclusion essential to rebuild productive and resilient workplaces
- Respectful Disability Language
- Words Matter: Guidelines on Using Inclusive Language in the Workplace
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