At OECM, our people are at the core of our success and our strength is in our diversity. Our values are evident throughout our organization, in our inclusive hiring practices, the diversity of our workforce, and the willingness of our staff to openly embrace, celebrate and share their culture, experiences, ideas and beliefs with each other.
We believe in the inclusion of all people regardless of their race, colour, sex, gender, sexual orientation / identity / expression, age, national / ethnic origin, disability, religion, creed, marital and / or family status. We have a shared mission as a company, and we share our authentic selves as families and friends. We make earnest effort to find common ground.
At OECM, we believe that our internal actions speak as loudly as our words. We give people a chance to be heard and help them to grow into their successes. As a reputable organization, we stand against systemic racism in its totality, and with respect to our value chain, particularly in educational institutions. We must stand united on this front, and we encourage our customers, supplier partners and stakeholders to do the same.
In addition to continually supporting principles of diversity and inclusion in our workplace, OECM affirms our commitment to be an organization that supports anti-racism. This means that:
- We stand in solidarity with the members of the Indigenous communities, and with members of all communities and racialized groups who experience institutionalized violence and discrimination in Canada.
- We acknowledge that systemic racism impacts members of marginalized groups both professionally and personally, and we recognize that such structures underpin many of our institutions.
- We also acknowledge that there’s been a long history of race-based injustice and inequity which continues to persist into the present.
- We stand with the educators, students and their parents who have become targets of racial abuse in schools and on campuses.
- We believe that educational institutions, their governance structures, and their administrations must be held accountable if their institutions are known to perpetuate systemic racism.
To address such concerns, we must do better, while bearing in mind that trying to do so can be uncomfortable, and even painful to some. We must be willing to tackle the tough questions regarding how systemic racism creates barriers and inequality in the workplace and in society. Therefore:
- We at OECM pledge to do our part to support those who speak out against injustice and inequality.
- We will continually do the work to self-educate and seek out new resources to foster anti-racism practices within our organization, while upholding our values around diversity and inclusivity.
- We will continue to provide professional development to our staff members in ways that address the needs of the workforce today and of the future by purposefully studying and responding to the impacts of racism throughout our organization in a timely manner.
- We will continue to make OECM a safe place to work where everyone is welcomed, respected, and celebrated and are able to bring their whole selves to work.
- We will continue to ensure our policies and practices are inclusive and we will continue to hire diverse candidates into our organization.
- Lastly, we will work to support supply chain initiatives and community programs aimed at breaking down systemic barriers and achieving concrete and meaningful change.
OECM has recently implemented the following initiatives and actions to support our commitment towards upholding principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within our organization:
- We have developed a Diversity and Inclusion Program, spearheaded by our Human Resources team, and represented through a staff-led Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Committee.
- We have engaged in a partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and Indigenous Works to help us as we further our collective understanding of workplace diversity and inclusion.
- We have established a Diversity and Inclusion Council, comprised of senior leadership, whose goal is to identify barriers to diversity and inclusion through ongoing review of policies, practices, goal / priority-setting, and strategy alignment.
We have committed to measure and monitor the outcomes of our Diversity and Inclusion Program with a view of continuous improvement. The ongoing success of the program will be achieved by ensuring that:
- representation continues to be achieved at all levels within the organization, including at the Board level
- recruitment efforts continue to be inclusive of non-represented groups
- monitoring of employees’ sense of inclusion and belongingness is conducted through focus groups and surveys
- access to promotions, training and professional development is available to all
- regular and appropriate organizational analysis is conducted to identify diversity and inclusion gaps
- supplier diversity in our service offerings is encouraged and promoted where possible
- learning and education for staff and Board members on diversity and inclusion issues is consistent.
Through this statement, we lend our voice to speak out against racism and all forms of discrimination in our society and commit to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and OECM team.
John A. Sabo
President & CEO
Dr. F. Haider Alvi
Chair of the Board