Diversity in this context refers to human difference. Each person is unique, yet we are often identified in groups that are perceived to have shared traits. These traits can be defined by gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, interests, and countless others. Just as diverse species make for a healthy ecosystem, diverse humans make for a healthy workplace. At Ecology Action Centre, we value that diversity tremendously because it makes us a stronger, more effective, more just, and more interesting organization.
Human diversity is one of EAC’s core values, and links to a healthy and sustainable Nova Scotia.
EAC is an independent environmental non-governmental organization that strives to work with partners to:
- Provide up-to-date environmental information;
- Pursue researched solutions; and
- Act as a watch-dog for the Nova Scotia environment.
To ensure that this partnership approach is effective, EAC must strive to be inclusive so that we can work with Nova Scotia’s diverse communities. This means that all levels of our staff, volunteers, committees, membership and Board should reflect the community at large.
It is recommended that EAC adopt and publicize widely a Vision of Diversity, to be included in the EAC’s Code of Conduct. This vision statement will clearly state our values with respect to human diversity, as given below. Such a vision statement is needed so that our staff, volunteers, members, board members, and the general public understand and take ownership of the fundamental importance EAC places on diversity and equity. For diversity and equity to become a mainstay of EAC’s organizational culture these must become part of the organization’s vision and mission.
EAC’s Vision of Diversity:
EAC envisions a Nova Scotia where all people work together to preserve and protect the environment in which we live. Toward this end, EAC staff, volunteers, members, board members, and committee members will engage in honest, open, respectful dialogue with all people, including traditionally under-represented groups, to achieve common goals. EAC will recognize the importance and value of diverse sets of values, needs, and perspectives.
EAC will strive to recognize and embody the following Diversity Values:
- Identity is complex and involves a myriad of ways in which human beings categorize themselves, and each other. As an organization we recognize these categories, that they sometimes intersect with one another, and that all people have the right to their own unique, complex identity. We also recognize that some groups of people have been historically excluded, and continue to be excluded, from participation and decision-making, and believe in the need to address historical and current inequities.
- EAC believes that culturally diverse organizations perform better, and are more just and more resilient, because of their diversity.
- EAC values employing diverse staff, board members, and volunteers, and working with diverse members and stakeholders. EAC will welcome all people who are committed to our vision.
- EAC values a workplace where people are equally empowered, well trained, and respected as professionals regardless of their gender identities.
- EAC values a workplace where people are equally empowered, well trained, and respected as professionals regardless of their sexual orientation.
- EAC will respect people regardless of their region or country of origin, and will celebrate cultural diversity.
- EAC will respect people of all ages and embrace generational diversity. EAC believes that valuable wisdom, ideas, and energy come from people of all ages.
- EAC will respect religious diversity and will embrace religious differences with respect for humanity, the natural world, and the spiritual world.
- EAC will acknowledge that we all have abilities and disabilities; strengths and weaknesses. In concordance with its anti-harassment policy, EAC will respect people regardless of any physical, mental, or emotional impairment, and acknowledge that these things should not prevent a person from participating in society and work.
- EAC will respect all forms of family that are based on mutual love and respect.
- EAC will be a multi-disciplinary organization that respects a diversity of skills, and encourages people with varying skills to work together to achieve more.
- EAC staff, volunteers and stakeholders will have diverse approaches to, and styles of, working. EAC admires the abilities of our people and acknowledges the strength in this diversity.
- EAC will maintain an organizational structure that is based on skills and experience. We will respect people at all levels of this structure regardless of title, role, rank, or salary.