Canadian Western Bank enacts and expands measures to take a stand against racism
For too long, senseless acts of violence have impacted Black, Indigenous, and other racialized people in our communities. We must act with urgency to find ways to end the inequality that is built into our society. There is discomfort in acknowledging this, but that discomfort is where we need to begin.
We denounce all forms of racism and advocate for a society in which racialized people are equally valued and respected. We know that statements are not enough. Anti-racism takes contemplation, conversation, listening, learning and, most importantly, action. We must be thoughtful, and deliberate in our actions. We acknowledge our gaps and own our commitments. We have real work to do, and we will tackle it with intention.
At CWB, as part of our core values, we put people first and believe that inclusion has power. These values are more than words on a poster, or bullet points on a page. They really mean something. They drive our work on inclusion and diversity. They strengthen our protections for employees and clients. They inform our decisions to address racism and discrimination.
While we continue to listen and learn, here’s what we’re committed to doing, right now:
- Today, we strengthen our commitment to continued funding for community and not-for-profit organizations that focus on inclusion. We will make an immediate $50,000 contribution to an organization that supports economic and professional growth for the Black business community in Canada. Over the last year, and through the remainder of 2020, our ongoing contributions to Canadian organizations that advocate and work to benefit marginalized communities will total nearly $500,000.
- By July, we will start three new Employee Represented Groups (ERGs) for Black employees and allies, Indigenous employees and allies and new Canadians. Our ERGs are a support structure for employees with shared experiences to come together and advance CWB’s culture.
- We will sharpen the lens through which we represent and tell stories about CWB. Our marketing, advertising and employee communication must continue to expand its diversity of voices to include racialized persons.
The actions above are in response to the protests, calls to action, and our own reflection on significant events over the last few weeks, and come from a foundation of diversity and inclusion work that is already in place at CWB:
- We encourage employees to report ethical violations, including instances of racism and discrimination. We will promptly address all issues and provide access to mental health support for employees where required.
- We continually review our recruiting, developing, hiring and management practices to ensure they are inclusive and do not discriminate. We will continue our work to carefully review these processes to minimize the impact of unconscious bias leading to differential treatment of racialized persons.
- We will build on improvements we’ve made to representation of racialized employees in our senior leader levels, with increased focus on addressing representation at our executive level as we move forward.
- We will continue to deliver unconscious bias, respect in workplace and anti-racism training in our onboarding and annual learning and development programming.
We acknowledge the significant work ahead of us. CWB will continue to reject racism and commit to working towards a future within CWB, and across society as a whole, that is inclusive, equal and fair.