Happy Pride Month! Every June, we honour Canada’s Pride history. In 1981, a raid known as “Operation Soap” happened in Toronto. Police stormed four gay bathhouses and arrested 286 people. In response to the police brutality and injustice of the raid, Torontonians held rallies. The events of “Operation Soap” is what sparked Pride in our country. Today, we believe it’s important we recognize the struggle for equality and celebrate the LGBTQ community.
At PPO, we’re proud to celebrate this month. We work hard to create an environment where everyone feels welcome on our team. We’ve also been actively practicing ways we can support each other.
PPO and Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
To mark the beginning of Pride, we had a colourful team meeting! We displayed the rainbow to support the LGBTQ+ community and to show our commitment to a diverse culture.
Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are reflected in our three values:
People: We are creative learners who demonstrate trust, humility, empathy and respect. We believe that work is only one part of our lives, and we perform better with a healthy balance.
Purpose: We are an inclusive and resilient team that takes initiative and focuses on our customer. We hold ourselves and each other accountable for exceptional quality work, every day.
Outcomes: We are proud to be creating a more sustainable future together with our customers: higher quality food, reduced waste, and a healthier planet.
These values help us create a working environment where everyone feels valued, heard and seen. Over the past year, we’ve fostered a more diverse workplace. Since last June, over 50% of the people we’ve hired identify as a member of an under-represented group (women). And over the last 12 months, we’ve updated our hiring process. We’ve included inclusive language in all of our job descriptions as well as accessible interview questions and approaches. Right now, we’re working to include LGBTQ language in our company’s tone and voice guidelines and employee handbook. We’re also continuing our hiring outreach into minority communities by expanding our reach to a wider range of job boards.
We’re proud of the strides we’ve made in the past year and are excited to continue growing. We recognize there’s still more we need to do. And sometimes our values may be different than those of companies we work with. Navigating this will take hard work, tough conversations, open hearts, empathy, listening and a willingness to make change.
Resources to Cultivate Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
While Pride Month is only one month of the year, we are working all year round to recognize and include those from different minority communities. We’re actively learning how to be better allies and encourage others to do the same.
Here are just a few of the many resources we’ve found helpful in our journey towards inclusion for the LGBTQ2S+ community:
- 10 Ways To Support LGBTQ Rights During Pride Month (Forbes)
- How the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace (McKinsey)
- Pride at Work Canada Resources
- The Rainbow Pages Resource Directory (Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space)
- How to Make Your Pride Celebrations Anti-Racist and Remote-Friendly (Bloom Workplace Consultancy)