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Big Ideas in IDEA

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


Some exciting news to share.  We are facilitating a free webinar on March 30, 2023, IDEA Fundamentals.  CSAE members will earn 1-hour of CPD credits. This webinar serves as a pre-workshop for those wanting to attend the April 14 Exploring Bias: A Team Workshop.  This webinar will give attendees a common understanding and language to prepare them for further DEI development better.   This event is open to all, but pre-registration is required.

Exploring Bias: A Team Workshop.
  • For one price, you can bring up to 10 team members.
  • This training day is open to both CSAE members and non-members.
  • CSAE members earn CPD credits.
  • Early Bird pricing is available until March 17!

Our May 25 research project is again underway.  To participate takes about 5 minutes to answer a few simple questions about the state of DEI initiatives at your organization. All data is strictly anonymous, and participation is voluntary. The survey closes on April 15, 2023.  We will post the results in May.

Thank you for your time.

Ian More
Senior Director, Marketing & Sales

5 Ways to Promote Workplace Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

Wondering how you can be more active regarding workplace inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA)? Here is a small list of ideas you can initiate in your organization.

Many of the ideas below are not stand-alone. Instead, they are intertwined and influence different areas simultaneously. For example, status quo bias, and the preference to maintain current affairs, can impact hiring practices, innovation, training, and communication. Therefore, addressing this bias can have far-reaching effects on an organization.

Acknowledge Bias

Perhaps the simplest way to promote workplace inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) is to acknowledge bias. This bias can be both organizational and individual.

Bias comes in many forms. Let's explore the more common types that impact workplace IDEA. 

Unconscious bias

An unconscious bias is a prejudice you are unaware of against something or someone. There are several types of unconscious bias, including and not limited to affinity bias and confirmation bias.

Affinity bias

Affinity bias is the unconscious attraction to people who bare a resemblance or with similar beliefs or tendencies. In organizational settings, this can lead to one homogenous group's domination of the workplace.

Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that validates existing beliefs. In turn, opposing data is often ignored, leading to inferior decision-making or discrimination towards an individual or group in the workplace. Such behaviour can stifle the organization’s diversification efforts. Moreover, this can lead to the marginalization of groups, damaging peoples’ feelings of inclusion.

Conscious bias

If you are aware that you have an affinity for or dislike of something or someone, you have a conscious bias. It may seem benign, but it leads to unintended impacts. For example, it could be as simple as hiring people from a particular educational institution because you believe the school produces superior candidates. However, for an organization, this can limit the applicants interviewed and therefore hired. This may lead to a lack of diversity and stagnation of the talent the organization attracts.

Conformity bias

People want to fit in with those with whom they work. They will often alter their behaviours to resemble those of co-workers. These changes can occur even if they go against the person’s ethics or beliefs. Managers must be aware that this can happen and be vigilant against the negative impact on their staff and peers.

Status quo bias

“We have always done it this way.” Is that a phrase you hear at your organization? If so, that is a sign of status quo bias. This bias stifles innovation, progress, and the evolution of organizations. If you are trying to develop an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible organization, this attitude will kill change.

Authority bias

The tendency to attribute greater accuracy to those in a position of power is authority bias. Leaders and managers need to be aware of this propensity. Their behaviours, both positive and negative, are therefore magnified. Thus their words and actions can have an impact out of proportion to their expectations.

The magnified impact should be considered when preparing messages and communications regarding diversity & inclusion initiatives.

Acknowledge Diversity

In Canada, we tend to live in a Judeo-Christian-centric system. However, an increasingly large number of Canadians hold other beliefs.

Create a plan to acknowledge your workforce’s different cultural and holy days. Be creative and use your existing communications channels, such as organizational social posts or recognition on the intranet. Though this is a simple idea, take time and be thorough in the execution.

Review Policies & Procedures

Policies are wide-ranging and touch every employee in an organization. Therefore, they must be considered part of an integrated inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility strategy.

Several things need to be addressed as part of a review. Consider factors such as inclusive language, pay equity, and recruiting practices, to name only 3.

For example, recruiting is often pushed down to the hiring manager. How is this controlled to ensure the manager’s personal bias does not contradict the policy? Do job descriptions and requirements accurately match the role's needs well? Is the interview process uniform so that candidates can be fairly judged? Where appropriate, is there a test with a standardized scoring that can be used to quantify the candidate’s skills?

Strategic Training & Development Plan

I have published several articles about the importance of good learning programs in an inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility plan. Therefore, I won't spend much more time on this important element.

It is important to note that training must be more than one-and-done mandatory courses.

At CCDI Consulting, we recommend a blended learning model that uses adult learning principles when developing the curriculum. Adults need a mix of theory combined with interactivity and real-world practice.

Track Progress

There are several reasons to track organizational progress, but perhaps the most important is that what gets measured gets done.

Measurement comes in different forms to accomplish various purposes.

Diversity can be measured by conducting a workplace census of demographics. Employee surveys, focus groups, or employee interviews can measure feelings of inclusion.

If you have been conducting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility projects for some time, measuring your effort’s progress or maturity is essential.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the above ideas can touch different factors concurrently. For example, at CCDI Consulting, we altered our Statutory Holiday Policy to be more representative of our people. We encourage people to change their stat holiday usage to fit days which they feel are more meaningful to their cultural or religious beliefs.

We do not ask why an employee wants to alter their stat holiday usage; we only ask that they book the change in advance in the Human Resources Information System (HRIS). This change is a way of acknowledging our people’s diversity, requiring a policy adjustment.

Be creative and proactive.  Look for both simple and systematic ways to drive Workplace IDEA. 


At CCDI Consulting, we will meet you where you are ̶ we can support your organization on its inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility journey.

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