CEO blog: Celebrating who we are – equity, diversity and inclusion at Holland Bloorview

June was Pride month around the world and being my first June as CEO at Holland Bloorview, I was curious to know what Pride at the hospital would look like. I was delighted to be part of the 2015 activities. As I walked in the door on June 23, I was greeted by employees handing out Pride flags for our lanyards and later that day enjoyed rainbow cupcakes courtesy of our Special Events Committee. Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee also invited people to provide input about what we’re doing well to create an inclusive environment and what more we could be doing.

Of course, celebrating diversity is not all about parties and cake, costumes and parades. It is essential that Holland Bloorview is an employer where people can bring their whole selves to work and a health-care provider where our clients and families know they are welcomed. Our very building represents inclusive design to make kids with disabilities and their families feel welcomed within our walls (and we are continually looking for ways to enhance this even more).

Our recently-formed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is building our culture of diversity from the grass roots and are champions of respect – one of our core values. We were proud to partner with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TCLHIN) and SickKids on a diversity survey for kids and families who use our services. The results of this survey will help us to better understand how health is impacted by factors like language, race, education and gender identity and how we can better serve our clients and families.

These are all great starts. And I’m excited to be a part of what’s to come:

What will a true “made by Holland Bloorview” equity, diversity and inclusion strategy encompass?

What feedback do clients and families have about how we can be more inclusive and respect their history, culture and diverse experiences in our care environment?

As an organization focused on the needs of kids with disabilities, what special knowledge of inclusion can we bring to our work and our care?

How do we measure equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in the care we provide?

These are some of the questions I have for the future of equity, diversity and inclusion at Holland Bloorview. What are your questions and what will you do to make a difference?

Julia
@hanigsberg

3 thoughts on “CEO blog: Celebrating who we are – equity, diversity and inclusion at Holland Bloorview

  1. I loved your statement about employees being able to bring their whole selves to work. It really captured the essence of inclusion, diversity and respect. Well said!

    Like

  2. A brilliant woman I know once posed the following question: “What does it take to be human?”

    For, section one, paragraph 15, of the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, guards against discrimination, upholding the principle of tolerance through diversity, equality and inclusion. And although I believe that a person’s civil liberties should be protected by law, I grew-up with a disability and realize that “inclusion” is also a personal choice –some may even view it as a precious gift from one human being to another. Hence, has the time not come to embrace equality, diversity, and inclusion through the emergence of a global ethnic and utter acceptance.

    For, “What does it truly take to be seen and loved as an equal?”

    Like

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