“This Accord is a call to action, challenging organizations to support and promote greater gender diversity and equity in the workplace.” – City of St. Catharines CAO Shelley Chemnitz
News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario
Posted June 12th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – St. Catharines is one of the first Canadian municipalities to sign the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity.
At St. Catharines City Council on Monday night, City officials joined Kathy Lerette, senior vice-president of Business Transformation at Alectra Utilities to demonstrate a public commitment to support gender diversity in the workplace.
The City was asked by Electricity Human Resources Canada to be one of the first municipal signatories to the initiative, joining more than 60 organizations which have signed. St. Catharines joins Vaughan, becoming the second municipal partner in the province to sign the Accord.
It reinforces a motion passed by Council in 2018 to include gender equity in a corporate diversity and inclusion policy. “This Accord is a call to action, challenging organizations to support and promote greater gender diversity and equity in the workplace,” said CAO Shelley Chemnitz.
“While the City has always been committed to values of diversity, equality and inclusion, this is an opportunity for us to build on our success and reaffirm our dedication to making this a guiding value of the City of St. Catharines.
” The Accord, which was developed in 2017 by Electricity Human Resources Canada, is a public commitment by employers, educators, unions, and governments to promote the values of diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Signatories agree to support the development of women in the industry through fair hiring practices, comprehensive training, and mentorship opportunities that help all individuals reach their full potential.
“United action is required to support the advancement of women at all levels of an organization. This is more than just an investment in women – it is an investment in the future of the Canadian economy by supporting an equitable and inclusive workforce,” said Lerette, who also serves as vice-chair of the board of directors for Electricity Human Resources Canada.
“Research has consistently shown that diverse teams are more creative and innovative, while better representing the customers they serve. Organizations that take the lead in creating a culture of equity and fairness will secure access to a wider talent pool, which will inevitably be reflected in their bottom line.”
Mayor Walter Sendzik says City Council is proud to unanimously support the initiative and looking forward to utilizing any tools and best practices to improve policies and procedures for the benefit of City of St. Catharines employees and volunteers.
It also supports the strategic plan social sustainability goal of providing excellent customer service and communication with citizens as it promotes diversity, equality and inclusion and further creates a sense of community.
“We’re proud of our track record – women represent more than 40 per cent of the City’s senior management team, including key leadership roles – but making a public commitment sends a message about the importance of an inclusive workplace,” said Sendzik.
“It’s about more than opening doors – it’s creating a culture that attracts, supports and promotes gender diversity at all levels.”
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