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Big Ideas in IDEA

CCDI Consulting's Monthly Newsletter for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility.

March 2024
Welcome to the March edition of Big Ideas in IDEA! Throughout this issue, we're excited to present articles and resources that contribute to fostering a more inclusive and diverse society.
Front and center in this edition is our spotlight on wage transparency. IDEA Specialist Saranya Manoharan explores the significance of transparent pay practices in promoting workplace equity. In addition, our Interim CEO, Zakeana Reid, explores the stark resurgence of extreme ideologies and hate crimes in her article 'The State of Hate,' including how DEI Professionals can navigate emotionally challenging work while addressing hate in professional environments.
As we approach International Women's Day, we've gathered resources aimed at honouring and empowering women globally. From learning toolkits to inspiring movies and books, there's something for everyone to engage with and support.
Mark your calendars for our upcoming webinar, "Building Resilience Together: Strategies for Supporting IDEA Practitioners." Join our exclusive panel discussion with CCDI Consulting's experts, focusing on self-care and community support within the IDEA sphere. Gain valuable insights on managing well-being in demanding roles and enhancing resilience.
Don't forget to participate in our IDEA Research; we're eager to learn which areas of your organization would benefit most from an inclusion and diversity assessment. The poll closes on March 31st!
Lastly, don't miss our "In Case You Missed it" section, featuring links to must-read articles and resources.
Get ready to be inspired, informed, and empowered as we dive into a month filled with enriching content and opportunities for growth.

Lisa Rogers

Director, Marketing and Sales

Towards Fairness: The Rise of Wage Transparency in Canada

As a newcomer to Canada, it was rather hard for me to figure out what a reasonable salary for a position might be. Since many factors influence compensation, including the industry, geographic location, years of experience, educational requirements, skills, etc., it is not easy to gather this information from a friend or a neighbour. For some, it is also a social taboo to speak about income. So, I was happy to hear that Ontario is introducing legislation that requires employers to disclose salary ranges in job advertisements. Wage transparency laws have already been passed in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, and there are plans for similar legislation in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. While it is not yet obligatory across the country, employers across Canada are considering advertising salary ranges for all positions, irrespective of the location. If you are one of these employers, please read on to find out more about the benefits of wage transparency.

Many organizations highlight Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) as one of their key values to attract a diverse workforce and support an inclusive work culture. They offer training to their employees on these topics and engage consulting firms to audit their policies and procedures through an IDEA lens. While these are excellent steps to achieve greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace, there is another strategy that is much less explored: wage transparency. When companies are obligated to post a salary range for a job, they are also compelled to reevaluate their internal pay scales for current employees. If they are not able to logically explain the disparities in salaries paid to various employees in the same role, this serves as an opportunity to take corrective measures. Data from Statistics Canada shows that women earned 89 cents for every dollar earned by men and that nearly two-thirds of this wage gap was unexplained, even after controlling for human capital, job attributes, occupation and industry, and demographics. Compared to Canadian-born men, immigrant women landing as adults earned 20% less when working in the same occupation in the same industry. The average income of a racialized man two years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree was $51,600 compared to the average of $54,100 for non-racialized and non-Indigenous men. Thus, if unconscious biases and stereotypes had been at play in undercompensating some employees, this would be the time to rectify these decision-making errors before they turn into pay equity lawsuits. 

Wage transparency can also contribute towards supporting equity in the workplace by minimizing or even eliminating gender differences in salary negotiation. We know that women are less likely to negotiate salaries in general, but they are just as likely as men to negotiate when the environment makes clear that salary information can be discussed and when there is a pay scale advertised. Unfortunately, training women to negotiate more has not been found to be as effective as policies around wage transparency. 

Posting salary ranges in job advertisements can also help you attract more skilled workers. Surveys show that candidates are more likely to apply for jobs that have a salary range attached to them. Since 37% of online job postings in Ontario include salary information, candidates might be more drawn to these postings than ones without any salary information. Thus, employers that are transparent around wages would have more applicants and access to a larger talent pool. Moreover, when candidates are aware of salary expectations beforehand, we also minimize the possibility that a candidate refuses an offer because of mismatched expectations. Thus, a company is less likely to waste resources on unfruitful hiring.

Wage transparency can help improve retention and productivity rates as well. If employees have access to clear compensation guidelines and they believe the process is fair, they are more likely to feel valued and satisfied with their organization, which would improve the chances of them staying longer. Such transparent compensation structures within company policies can also illustrate their opportunity for growth and advancement, so they would be motivated to increase their productivity and move up the ladder.

Hence, there are many benefits to reap by disclosing salary ranges in job advertisements, even if you are not required by law to do it. You will gain access to a wider talent pool, and you will be able to retain better the diverse staff you already employ. At CCDI Consulting, we review policies and documents from an IDEA lens. We conduct focus groups to gather information about how employees are feeling and report on trends, including those relating to compensation. So, if you would like to get started on this journey, please reach out to us at


The State of Hate

The growing commitment of organizations to foster inclusive and welcoming workplaces in recent years has sparked a glimmer of hope within me, suggesting a collective shift from our base, instinctual impulses to the more reasoned and compassionate capacities of our prefrontal cortex. This evolution seemed to signal a path toward greater enlightenment and understanding. Yet, the stark resurgence of extreme ideologies and hate crimes, especially antisemitism, has been a jarring reminder of the enduring shadow of history. The revival of Nazi ideologies, once thought relegated to the annals of history, now spreading not only in their places of origin but globally, including in Canada, is deeply troubling. The significant increase in antisemitic hate crimes and the widespread proliferation of hate speech online demand our urgent attention and action.  

This alarming trend is underscored by stark statistics from the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre, which reports a staggering 182% increase in antisemitic hate crimes in Canada from 2015 to 2022, with a notable spike following geopolitical tensions in October 2023. The data reveals a 192% increase in such crimes compared to the previous year, positioning antisemitism at the forefront of hate crimes, accounting for 40% of all police-reported incidents. However, the surge in hate crimes extends beyond antisemitism to target other religious, racial, ethnic, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, reflecting a broader societal challenge where fear, ignorance, and intolerance surge against those deemed 'other.' This rise in hate, often fueled by fear in times of upheaval, such as the recent pandemic and economic struggles, calls for a decisive and holistic approach to foster understanding and acceptance. 

In response, Canada's proposed Online Harms Act, Bill C-63, emerges as one potential measure to combat online hate by holding digital platforms accountable for the content they host. The bill, which aims to curtail the spread of hate speech, child exploitation, and nonconsensual intimate images, proposes the establishment of a Digital Safety Commission and an Ombudsperson to ensure a safer, more inclusive online space. This legislative initiative highlights the pivotal role of digital platforms in the spread of hate and endeavours to mitigate this at its source. 

Amidst this backdrop of rising hate, the role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) professionals becomes increasingly vital, not only in advocating for legal and societal reforms but also in promoting a culture of understanding, belonging, and inclusivity within organizations and communities. The relentless challenges and skepticism DEI professionals encounter underscore the imperative to not only persevere in their efforts but also to prioritize their well-being to sustain the momentum needed for this critical work. Here are two suggestions for DEI professionals to implement while navigating emotionally and mentally challenging terrain while addressing hate in professional environments: 

  1. Establish Boundaries and Practice Self-Care: DEI professionals should set clear personal and professional boundaries to prevent burnout. This includes designating times when they are "off the clock" and cannot be reached for work-related issues, ensuring they have time to disconnect and recharge. Engaging in regular self-care practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, physical exercise, or pursuing hobbies, can help mitigate stress and emotional exhaustion. Self-care also means recognizing when to seek professional support, such as counselling or therapy, to process and manage the emotional impact of their work. 
  2. Build a Supportive Community: Creating or joining a network of DEI practitioners can provide a valuable support system. Such communities offer a space to share experiences, strategies, and resources for coping with the challenges of DEI work. Collaborating with peers who understand the unique stresses of combating hate and promoting inclusivity can offer emotional support, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide a sense of solidarity. This network can also serve as a brainstorming group for finding creative solutions to common problems by distributing the emotional load and fostering collective resilience.

In the workplace, DEI professionals can amplify their impact, contributing to a cultural shift toward a more inclusive and tolerant society by implementing some or all of the following:

  1. Comprehensive Training and Education Programs: Design and conduct training sessions focused on cultural competence, unconscious bias, and the impact of hate speech and actions on individuals and the workplace culture. These programs should aim to enlighten employees about the value of diversity and the importance of inclusivity and respect in fostering a positive work environment. Regular training sessions can help dismantle prejudices and promote a deeper understanding of different perspectives. 
  2. Establish Clear Policies and Reporting Mechanisms: Develop and enforce clear, comprehensive policies against hate speech, harassment, and discrimination. These policies should outline the consequences of such behaviours and provide a safe, confidential process for reporting incidents. DEI professionals can work with HR departments to ensure these policies are not only in place but are also actively communicated to all employees, emphasizing the organization's commitment to a hate-free workplace. 
  3. Support and Empower Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Encourage the formation and support of ERGs that represent various identities and backgrounds within the organization. These groups can serve as a support network for employees, offer insights into specific DEI challenges and opportunities, and collaborate with DEI professionals on initiatives that promote a more inclusive workplace. Empowering these groups to lead and participate in DEI efforts can enhance engagement and drive meaningful change. 

By taking these steps, we, as DEI professionals, can play a pivotal role in addressing hate and fostering an environment of understanding, belonging, and inclusivity. Despite the daunting challenges, the collective endeavour toward understanding and tolerance promises a more hopeful future, with DEI professionals leading the charge in combating hate and laying the foundation for a society characterized by greater empathy and acceptance. 

Celebrating International Women's Day

As we celebrate International Women's Day 2024, we embrace the theme #InspireInclusion, a call to action for fostering a more inclusive world. This special day is not only a time to reflect on the progress made but also to advocate for continued change and celebrate the courage and determination of women who have played an extraordinary role in history. To aid in this celebration and learning, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources and materials that resonate with this year's theme:

Big Ideas in IDEA Monthly Poll: March Edition

How can an inclusion and diversity assessment most effectively enhance your organization?

You can vote and access the IDEA Poll by scanning the QR code below or by visiting this link:

QRCode for Big Ideas in IDEA_ March Poll

Previous Poll Findings

The February poll on strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion for the Black community in Canadian workplaces offered significant insights into avenues for improvement.


Notably, a unanimous 100% of respondents emphasized the crucial role of increasing representation in leadership roles. This underscores the importance of having diverse voices at decision-making levels to drive inclusive policies and practices.

Additionally, 75% of respondents highlighted the need for implementing anti-bias training and addressing systemic racism within organizations. This suggests a growing awareness of the importance of education and proactive measures to combat unconscious biases and systemic inequalities within workplace cultures.

Support for Black-owned businesses emerged as another key aspect, with 63% of respondents acknowledging its significance. This indicates a recognition of the economic empowerment and support needed to foster diversity and inclusion beyond organizational boundaries.

While mentorship programs were endorsed by 50% of respondents, it's evident that there's room for further emphasis on this area. Mentorship can play a pivotal role in providing guidance, support, and opportunities for career advancement within the Black community.

Interestingly, only 12.5% of respondents mentioned encouraging self-identification in the workplace as an avenue for promoting diversity and inclusion. While this percentage is relatively low, it highlights a potential area for growth and awareness-building regarding the importance of self-identification and creating safe spaces for authentic expression.

In conclusion, the poll results underscore the multifaceted nature of promoting diversity and inclusion for the Black community in Canadian workplaces. By focusing on increasing representation in leadership, implementing anti-bias training, addressing systemic racism, supporting Black-owned businesses, and fostering mentorship programs, organizations can take meaningful steps toward creating more equitable and inclusive environments for all employees.

In Case You Missed It

Disclaimer: Our newsletter and blogs feature personal opinions and diverse viewpoints. We aim to create a safe space for our team to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Please note that individual articles may not align with every reader's view or comprehensively cover a topic. We appreciate the diversity of opinions and respect our team's contributions.

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