3. Program Implementation and the Role of Leadership

In this lesson we will consider the steps required to implement successful diversity programs and policies for the entire organization.

Having a structured program in place helps turn good intentions into reality. There are a number of factors to consider when you want to build workplace integration and diversity into your strategic plan.

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“What gets measured gets done.” With that in mind, there are several ways to start intentionally building diversity into your organization:

  • Share or find existing resources and programs from other organizations—there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
  • Start with research into community demographics and a staff diversity survey; look at the group or groups that particularly need support.
  • Create a committee; create a focus group.
  • Have a framework and strategy in place.
  • Understand the importance of equity and inclusion.
  • Understand that it will take commitment over a number of years.


Leadership Buy-in
A strategic plan is important, but guidelines and legislation alone aren’t enough to change an organization’s vision or its DNA. Role models are key, and when leaders are role models, the environment changes.

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Leaders can make all the difference in helping to create an environment where diversity can thrive:

  • When staff know that leadership will also be held accountable on diversity and inclusion issues, equity is more than just a concept.
  • Management and leaders’ support can help staff to embrace initiatives in a way that is more than just adhering to legislated programs.
  • Leaders are the ones who need to be at the forefront of recruiting IEHPs.

The organization Hire Immigrants Ottawa (click here) has a tip sheet for employers, summarized below:

1. Find diversity and inclusion champions
2. Build the case, make the plan, communicate
3. Enhance diversity and inclusion skills


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