Hello and welcome to Big Ideas in IDEA. We're thrilled to be back with another edition of our monthly DEI newsletter.
This month, we're shining a spotlight on two important topics: Asian Heritage Month and Jewish Heritage Month.
But that's not all - we've also compiled a list of recently published posts from our blog, The IDEA Journey, that you may have missed. From thought-provoking articles to practical tips, we've got you covered. You can find these near
Join us as we continue to learn and grow together in our journey towards a more inclusive workplace.
Before we dive in, we have an exciting announcement to share! We are developing a series of free IDEA webinars. I invite you to review the upcoming events now.
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What is Asian Heritage Month?
Asian Heritage Month is an annual celebration in Canada that takes place in May to acknowledge and honour the contributions of Canadians of Asian descent. It is a time to recognize their significant achievements in various aspects, including cultural, social, and economic fields. The roots of Asian Heritage Month date back to the 1990s when the Canadian government realized the need to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity of Asian Canadians.
Why is it important to recognize Asian Heritage Month as part of Workplace DEI efforts? Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are essential in modern workplaces to ensure that employees from all backgrounds feel valued and included. By celebrating Asian Heritage Month, workplaces can help create an environment of inclusivity that promotes and celebrates diversity. An inclusive workplace culture is critical for employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
According to McKinsey & Company, companies with more diverse executive boards are 33% more likely to outperform their competitors on profitability. It is clear that organizations with a diverse workforce can better understand the needs of their diverse customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and revenue growth. The study also shows that a diverse workforce enables companies to attract and retain top talent from diverse backgrounds. In a survey by Deloitte, 67% of job seekers consider workforce diversity an important factor when evaluating potential employers.
Recognizing Asian Heritage Month as part of workplace DEI efforts is a positive step toward creating an inclusive culture that celebrates diversity. There are several ways in which organizations can recognize this month-long celebration. For instance, companies can host events that highlight the accomplishments of Asian Canadians, showcase the cultural diversity of their employees, and provide learning opportunities around Asian cultures. These events can be in the form of virtual or in-person workshops, seminars, or conferences.
In addition, recognizing Asian Heritage Month can help create a sense of belonging for Asian Canadian employees. This is important because a sense of belonging has been linked to increased engagement, motivation, and productivity in the workplace. It is critical that organizations strive to create a workplace culture that values all employees regardless of their cultural background.
Creating an inclusive workplace culture requires investment and intentional effort. Diversity alone is not enough; inclusion is what unlocks its full potential. Therefore, organizations need to create an environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive and feel valued. By recognizing Asian Heritage Month as part of workplace DEI efforts, organizations can create an environment where Asian Canadian employees feel included, valued, and recognized for their contributions.
Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions and achievements of Canadians of Asian heritage. Recognizing Asian Heritage Month as part of workplace DEI efforts is essential for creating an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity and fosters a sense of belonging for employees from diverse backgrounds. By investing in DEI initiatives and celebrating Asian Heritage Month, organizations can attract and retain top talent, improve financial performance, and better serve their diverse customers.
How Can an Employer Recognize Asian Heritage Month?
There are many ways that an employer can recognize and celebrate Asian Heritage Month in the workplace. Here are some ideas:
Host Cultural Events
One way to celebrate Asian Heritage Month is to host cultural events, such as food fairs, music performances, dance shows, or cultural workshops. This can help employees to learn more about the diverse cultures and traditions of Asian Canadians, and can also provide an opportunity for employees of Asian heritage to share their experiences and perspectives.
Decorate the Workplace
Another way to recognize Asian Heritage Month is to decorate the workplace with traditional Asian artwork, banners, or flags. This can create a festive and inclusive atmosphere and can show that the workplace values and respects the diverse backgrounds of its employees.
Employers can also provide educational materials about Asian heritage, such as books, documentaries, or online resources. This can help employees to learn more about the history, culture, and contributions of Asian Canadians, and can also help to reduce stereotypes and biases.
Employers can organize volunteer opportunities for employees to engage with Asian communities and learn more about their culture and traditions. This can include volunteering at cultural festivals or community events or partnering with local Asian organizations to support their initiatives.
Employers can recognize and celebrate the contributions of employees of Asian heritage through employee spotlights, awards, or other forms of recognition. This can show that the workplace values and respects the unique talents and perspectives of all employees, regardless of their cultural background.
McKinsey & Company. (2015). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters
Deloitte. (2019). Deloitte Millennial Survey 2019. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-millenial-survey-2019.pdf
Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity and Authenticity. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/09/diversity-and-authenticity.
Celebrating Jewish Heritage Month in the Canadian Workplace
Jewish Heritage Month is an annual celebration that takes place in Canada every May. The month-long event is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the rich history, culture, and contributions of Jewish Canadians to the fabric of our society.
The roots of Jewish Heritage Month can be traced back to the province of Ontario, which became the first jurisdiction in North America to officially proclaim May as Jewish Heritage Month in 2012. Since then, the celebration has spread to other parts of Canada and has become an important part of the national calendar.
So why is Jewish Heritage Month important in the Canadian workplace as part of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)? There are several reasons.
First and foremost, celebrating Jewish Heritage Month helps to promote a more inclusive workplace culture. By recognizing the contributions and achievements of Jewish Canadians, employers can help to foster a sense of belonging and respect among all employees.
Secondly, Jewish Heritage Month provides an opportunity for education and awareness. Many Canadians may not be familiar with the history, traditions, and cultural practices of Jewish Canadians. By learning more about these topics, employees can expand their knowledge and understanding of different cultures and religions.
Thirdly, Jewish Heritage Month can help to address issues of discrimination and prejudice. Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is still a problem in Canada and around the world. By celebrating Jewish Heritage Month, employers can send a message that discrimination and prejudice will not be tolerated in the workplace.
How Can an Employer Recognize Jewish Heritage Month?
Recognizing Jewish Heritage Month in the workplace can take many different forms. Here are a few ideas for how employees can get involved:
Look for events in your community or workplace that celebrate Jewish Heritage Month. This might include cultural performances, art exhibits, lectures, or other special events. Attending these events is a great way to learn more about Jewish heritage and culture.
Take some time to read about Jewish history and culture, either on your own or as part of a book club or study group. This can help to increase your understanding and appreciation of Jewish heritage.
Consider displaying symbols of Jewish heritage, such as the Star of David or the menorah, in your workspace or on your clothing. This can be a subtle way to show support and solidarity with the Jewish community.
Look for volunteer opportunities with Jewish organizations or causes, such as food banks, community centers, or cultural festivals. This is a great way to give back and show support for the Jewish community.
If you witness discrimination or prejudice against Jewish individuals in the workplace or elsewhere, speak up and report it. It's important to stand up against hate and intolerance.
By taking these steps, employees can help to recognize and celebrate Jewish Heritage Month and promote a more inclusive and respectful workplace culture.
Jewish Heritage Month is an important event in the Canadian calendar and can play a vital role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. By recognizing the contributions and achievements of Jewish Canadians, employers can help to create a more inclusive, respectful, and welcoming workplace culture.
In Case You Missed It
- The Power of eLearning in Canadian Workplace DEI Programs
- From Diversity to Unity: How ERGs Can Benefit Your Workplace
- The Benefits of Investing in Workplace DEI During an Economic Downturn
- Recruiting & Retention: Tips for Attracting & Retaining a Diverse Workforce
- What is Invisible Diversity?
- 7 Reasons Workplace DEI Instructor-led Courses are Effective
- The Business Case for Measuring Your Employee Demographics in DEI Strategies
- Why You Should Invest in DEI Training
- Microlearning as Part of D&I Training & Development
Currently, what is the biggest challenge related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in your organization?
- An IDEA Strategy
- Effective Training & Development
- Effective IDEA Measurement & Metrics
- Employee Buy-in
- Ineffective Policies & Systems
- Lack of Financial or Other Resources
- Leadership Buy-in
- Other Issue
All responses are strictly anonymous and voluntary. We will share the finding of this poll next month.
Discover How to Measure and Improve Inclusion in Your Workplace
From Metrics to Momentum | Attend Free Webinar
You have probably heard much about inclusion and diversity, but have you ever experienced it? It's time to take action!
Join our FREE webinar, "Unlocking the Power of Inclusion: Measuring What Matters in the Workplace," facilitated by our Lead IDEA Consultant, Sheena Prasad.
In this session, you will learn how to assess the real impact of inclusion on your workforce and gain practical strategies for gathering and analyzing data. Our webinar will show you how to create a truly inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive.
Don't settle for token gestures of inclusion; join us and gain the tools you need to make real change. Register now for our free webinar and start unlocking the power of inclusion in your organization.
Date: May 31, 2023
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern
Duration: 45 minutes
Where: Zoom Webinar Platform
Please share this opportunity with your colleagues & peers. Looking forward to seeing you there.