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How I Learned a Unique and Unexpected Lesson in Diversity and Inclusion


By DAWOLU SAUL


When we think about diversity and inclusion, our initial reference point is to think about those who are marginalized. Whether because of ethnicity, skin colour, gender, ability, sexual orientation; and the list goes on. While we are not wrong in this perspective, I was recently reminded that this is not necessarily…well, an inclusive perspective.


Now, I will preface this by saying that all things are relative and that these are just my own thoughts and opinions on the matter, but as I have said before, we will not move the yardsticks until we can openly talk about these issues, in an effort to build awareness, understanding and respect for each other.


So on to my lesson…


I recently went through the task of launching a recruitment process for executive entry-level positions into the communications community of the Canadian Federal Public Service. For those who have had similar experiences, you will know that it can be a long and arduous process that involves colleagues, superiors and HR experts as we painfully try to craft a job poster that articulates the needs, defines the experiences needed, etc. all while trying to be mindful of who might apply, who we want to apply (based on the job) and in today’s social context promote diversity and inclusion.


Well, despite being a diversity and inclusion champion in my organization for Blacks, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), otherwise known as visible minorities, I dare say that I learned something new on the issue.


After launching the poster, I started receiving dozens of comments and personal messages and while they were all positive, there was one ongoing discussion that stuck with me and which provided the much needed lesson.


I was challenged as to why the job poster was written from a strategic communications perspective when the bulk of the positions were within my branch of Digital Media and Marketing Services. Well, that question gave me pause and as my mind often tends to work, I could not stop thinking about this perspective. So here I am at five o’clock in the morni