Expanding recruitment searches and practices to more diverse candidates widens your talent pool and increases your chances of finding the best hire. When employees feel connected and included at work, they have a higher sense of engagement and tend to work more productively, efficiently, and produce higher quality work. New and diverse perspectives bring fresh ideas to the table. Organizations that adopt diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIBs) practices therefore tend to see a direct impact on business results, employee retention, and innovation.
At Financeit, we put these principles into practice in how we build and cultivate our teams. We think our business results speak for themselves, but pure numbers are not the motivating factor behind Financeit’s continuous efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. Diversity and inclusion initiatives are about people—they’re about not only finding and onboarding a strong, diverse team, but creating an environment in which those individuals can thrive — where they feel safe and have a voice.
Our DIBs committee and People Success team collaborate to spearhead a number of initiatives designed to increase action and awareness in any and all matters related to diversity, inclusion and belonging. Just a few of our recent activities include:
- Group discussion for International Women’s Day
- Anti-racism workshop facilitated by The Get Real Movement
- Employee videos about Pride and Black History Month
- Pride panel discussion
- Company-wide pronoun blitz where employees were encouraged to include their pronouns across communication platforms
- Multiple Lunch & Learn sessions throughout the year to educate the team about the DIBs committee’s goals and activities
- Non-for-profit partnerships
Financeit has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to fundraise internally for multiple charity organizations that support diversity initiatives in Canada, such as Shoebox Project, Sistering, and Black Lives Matter Canada. This is just the beginning of many initiatives and partnerships we have planned for the future.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Eva Chu, a Learning and Development Specialist and member of the DIBs committee at Financeit regarding her journey with DIBs, why diversity, inclusion and belonging are important to her, and the ongoing efforts of the Financeit DIBs committee.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am a Queer Taiwanese Canadian who has been in public speaking and workshop facilitation for over 6 years. Which is very surprising since no one knew what I sounded like when I was younger—simply because I never spoke! However, that quiet listening laid the foundation for active listening and understanding different perspectives. I have since used that skill in my current role at Financeit, in both the Learning and Development team and on the DIBs (Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Committee.
Please share with us what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you, and why they’re important?
As someone who is a part of a couple marginalized groups, diversity, inclusion, and equity is important because I have experienced first-hand how much of a difference it makes when you feel included, and most importantly, safe.
I personally believe in the power of sharing stories and experiences to show others that, not only do inequities exist, but that they affect the people that they know too. And although it’s not the job of marginalized people to share their stories, I intend to continue sharing mine, and continue to help build that understanding with others—even if it’s one person at a time.
Of course, there are many oppressive experiences that I will never truly understand, so I aim to continuously learn and correct my own understanding of equity and anti-oppression. I want to continue creating those spaces and help others learn and grow, so that one day DIB and equity are not just special topics, but ingrained in our everyday lives.
And although cheesy, I do believe that everyone can and should play a part in making the world a better place, not just for themselves, but for everyone around them as well.
What inspired the DIBs committee at Financeit?
The DIBs movement at Financeit actually began before I joined. I was very fortunate to be in a position where there was already an understanding that DIB was important and a lot of our company’s leaders were already bought in. A lot of really amazing people paved the way for our current DIBs committee to take place.
Of course with any movement, having some structure and a strategy in place is important for making changes happen—which is how the committee came to be formed. Our People Success team approached me to (re)introduce Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and then we put out an open call for anyone interested in being on this committee. It was important for us to have voices from all levels and departments of the organization, and I am very grateful to be working with a team of passionate and incredible people.
What are the overall goals and objectives DIBs is trying to achieve?
Our overarching vision is to make Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging an integral part of Financeit’s culture and brand. To make that happen, our mission is to promote a culture of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Financeit through identifying opportunities, providing education, and implementing initiatives in collaboration with all levels of the organization.
How would you describe the climate for diversity at Financeit?
Again, I am very grateful to be in a position where amazing individuals already spearheaded a DIBs movement before I joined. I think a part of that acceptance has to do with how our company values were created in the first place. All 6 values (Trust, Personality, Excellence, Drive, Fairness, and Service) were narrowed down by suggestions from the employees themselves! So coming in, I could already see that there was a culture of trust and being able to speak out and actually have your feedback taken into consideration from the company’s leaders.
Not to say everything is perfect of course, there are still structural inequities and many opportunities for education here, but without the acceptance from our employees themselves, DIBs initiatives will fail. I believe that the culture here really is one of continuous improvement, so I am very lucky to be working in such an environment.
We would like to send out a big thank you to the DIB’s committee for all of their hard work, and a special thank you to Eva for participating in this interview with the People Success team. The team has done an incredible job leading DIB’s initiatives and inspiring our employees over the last year, and we are so grateful to have these passionate employees on our team at Financeit.
There is more to come for diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives over the next year, and the team at Financeit plans to continue to evolve the program as we grow. We are committed as an organization to hold true to our company values, and to continue to cultivate a working environment that embraces individuality.