Part of the RCMP Respectful Workplace Initiative
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) held its first Diversity and Inclusion National Campaign from January 20-24, 2014 in support of a respectful workplace culture. RCMP divisions across the country scheduled events, activities and special messaging on topics related to an inclusive workplace.
The RCMP spearheaded a Respectful Workplace Initiative that included developing a highly successful annual Diversity and Inclusion National Campaign. The inaugural campaign commenced on January 20, marking the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This initiative introduced a change in culture; that is, one that values and capitalizes on the broader principles of diversity and inclusion within the RCMP, in support of a respectful workplace culture.
The campaign was a grassroots initiative that was implemented by employees across Canada who identified the theme of cultural inclusion and developed activities to reflect the cultural diversity of their employees and regions.
The popular events included cultural food festivals and presentations, cultural understanding sessions and cultural perspective speakers from external organizations. Creative examples included cadets who learned to tie a turban from a fellow cadet, a young person describing her life, employees sharing food from their countries of origin, trivia quizzes, posters signed in multiple employee languages and a video series on policing and diversity.
Workplace diversity and inclusion has become a key organizational pillar in policing for the RCMP. The operational benefits are evident as the current and future imperatives of competitiveness, demographics, immigration and globalization continue to supersede traditional notions of the 'right thing to do' and legislative obligations of the past.
Respect is one of the core values of the RCMP. Demonstrating respect by embracing individuality helps to establish and maintain an inclusive and respectful workplace where all employees feel valued.
Diversity supports a respectful workplace by accepting and valuing the differences and similarities of a collective mix of people. The concept of diversity is inclusive of everyone and fosters a work environment where all employees feel valued and respected, and are able to contribute to their full potential regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other personal attribute.
A diversity campaign is in line with the Canadian Human Rights Maturity Model. It is also considered a Best Practice for organizations to host diversity awareness events on an annual basis as it demonstrates organizational commitment, communicates a cultural shift and ensures that program objectives continue to build momentum.
The campaign is directed towards employees but it also reaches into communities served by the RCMP in order to identify individuals or groups interested in sharing their perspective on various aspects of diversity.
Community involvement during the 2014 campaign included members of the community providing a demonstration of African drumming, a Mi'kmaq archaeologist from a local museum delivering a presentation, and a provincial multicultural association showcasing ethnic food and culture.
The RCMP actively fosters a respectful workplace, which includes the elements of diversity and inclusion that the organization promotes as part of this initiative.
Making a Difference
Employees who attended activities within their division gave the campaign positive feedback.
In addition, feedback received during the campaign led one division to start a sexual orientation committee, which was followed by the creation of a National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Advisory Committee. Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan, the Commanding Officer for Alberta, was named by the Commissioner as the Champion of this new national committee, in a demonstration of commitment at the senior leadership level.
Time was the main challenge, given that voluntary resources worked 'off the corner of their desks' on planning and rolling out their divisional campaign activities.
The 2014 campaign was a success due to the level of engagement demonstrated by all divisions across the country. Representatives from every division collaborated with the project policy centre.
Vision for the Future
The RCMP plans to hold an annual Diversity and Inclusion National Campaign.
About the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety Canada.
The RCMP is unique in the world since it is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. It provides a total federal policing service to all Canadians and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (except Ontario and Quebec), more than 150 municipalities, more than 600 Aboriginal communities and three international airports.
The RCMP is committed to providing police services and a working environment free from discrimination and complying with all provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Best Practice Contact
Janet Henstock, Manager of Diversity and Employment Equity, RCMP
73 Leikin Dr. Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2