It wouldn’t have been possible to create the Inclusive Workplace Competencies without the contribution of a working group. Experts in diversity and inclusion from across different industries played a role in developing the resource as part of this group.
One of those experts is Sarah Gauen, who joined the Competencies working group as a representative of the Mining Industry HR Council. Sarah brought a depth of experience from consulting for many different clients across multiple industries, helping them develop their diversity and inclusion practices. She recently joined Algonquin College to help the college build its capacity to integrate inclusion in all of its activities.
TRIEC: How did you find out about the Inclusive Workplace Competencies working group?
Sarah Gauen: I have worked in diversity and inclusion for a little over 10 years now with different clients and industries. Diversity and social justice are passions of mine, and that’s where my interest in the field came from.
In the course of my work I became familiar with TRIEC and the resources you offer. I got to know Anna Kostecka, TRIEC’s Senior Manager of Learning Initiatives, and she approached me with an opportunity to help develop the competencies. I was very pleased to be invited to help develop this new TRIEC resource.
TRIEC: When we’re thinking about employee performance at work, why is it important to consider using the Inclusive Workplace Competencies?
SG: To be effective in our roles, we need to know what behaviours contribute to inclusive workplaces. If we want to do better, we have to know better.
These competencies help us work with people who have different ways of thinking, cultural reference points, and approaches to work. An organization that embraces these differences in an inclusive way can really benefit from them.
TRIEC: Who can benefit the most from using the Inclusive Workplace Competencies?
SG: The competencies are very flexible and anybody with an HR function should embrace them. They can be used and applied in many flexible ways, whether by performance and training specialists in big organizations, or HR generalists in smaller organizations. This flexibility, I think, makes them powerful.
In the end, the benefit is for workers and managers where the competencies are used. The competencies facilitate better understanding between individuals, regardless of their background. It helps us all work through any kind of difference and create a truly inclusive environment.
TRIEC: What did you learn from taking part in the working group?
SG: This was my first experience developing a competencies framework. It was great to be part of this diverse group of HR professionals and work with CamProf – experts in developing competencies like this. And of course, your team at TRIEC brought the right people together to make it a successful project.