Town of Oakville to develop first inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility multi-year plan

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

On August 9, 2022, Oakville Town Council received an update on the Town of Oakville’s inclusion and diversity efforts, including plans to develop a multi-year plan to support inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA).

Over the last year, the town has been working closely with CCDI Consulting, a leading organization in diversity and inclusion in the workplace, to conduct an assessment of the town’s current state, including gathering workplace demographics, capturing inclusion sentiments in the town’s workforce and community, and undertaking a comprehensive policy review.

A summary of these findings was shared with Council and staff, including opportunities the town can explore that will lead to a more inclusive workplace and community. The town’s overall strengths include recognizing the value of IDEA and starting to implement programs throughout the organization, having a strong representation of women employed in all primary roles at the Town of Oakville, and fostering an inclusion climate where employee’s feel that the person they report to promotes a respectful and inclusive workplace. However, community engagement with more than 60 community groups and feedback from the community diversity and inclusion online survey indicates participants have mixed feelings when it comes to the town meeting the needs of the community, and more than half of participants felt reluctant to participate because they feel they don’t belong. Some participants noted that while representation is improving, the composition of town staff and Council lacks the visible racial/ethnic diversity that is represented of Oakville residents.

Work has already begun, and in the coming months, CCDI Consulting will be continuing to help the town through the development of the IDEA multi-year plan. The town is ready to dive into the work that will include ways to increase accountability and transparency, increase employee well-being, provide more equitable opportunities, reduce attitudinal barriers and strengthen and build trust and psychological safety. The plan will also identify initiatives within the community to help people feel more of a sense of belonging.

A draft of the multi-year inclusion plan will be shared with council in early 2023.

For more information, visit the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan page. 

“The town is committed to building on our strengths and will continue to foster an inclusive and equitable community for everyone. Council looks forward to receiving the inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) plan and has been unanimous for 16 years in advancing initiatives that support the diverse and equitable community we strive for."

 Mayor Rob Burton

“We all have a role to play in supporting a workplace and community where there is space for everyone in a respectful and welcoming environment. The town remains committed to promoting this culture of inclusion by providing accessible and equitable programs, services and facilities to residents and employees and is deeply committed to the necessary work ahead that supports a more inclusive Oakville.”

CAO Jane Clohecy