Workplace inclusivity starts with acknowledging systemic racism: report

The Ontario Pension Board has released a statement addressing the role it plays in standing against anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.

“I know some of you may be wondering why we didn’t share a message of support sooner,” read the letter from Mark Fuller, the OPB’s president and chief executive officer. “While statements of support matter, with an issue this important, we recognize that what’s really needed is meaningful action. Over the past month, we have been focused on listening, learning and having in-depth discussions about what we need to do.”

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The OPB has a diverse staff-level workforce, he noted, but the organization needs to do more at the leadership level. “I also recognize that real change will require taking a systemic view of our organization, programs and processes and challenging our current thinking, biases and ways of doing things. I have declared my commitment to further diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way to the board and our employees and the entire leadership team stands with me in this commitment.”

Once the organization has had ample opportunity to listen to voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities, it intends to develop an action plan for the entire organization, providing progress updates along the way, said Fuller.

For now, the OPB has committed to “mandating inclusion, diversity and bias awareness training for all employees; supporting our leadership team in understanding and working through their unconscious biases; reviewing our [human resources] practices and policies; [and] providing a progress update before the end of the year.”

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