Equity and Diversity Policy
Approved by the Board of Directors 17 October 2010
Introduction and Scope
Oxfam Canada holds human rights, social justice, collaboration, learning and inclusion as core values driving its mission and focus on gender justice and women’s rights. It recognizes that it must align and embody these core values in all its activities and operations.
This policy provides a framework to which all other policies should conform. It provides direction to staff, members, volunteers, and the Board.
We recognize that Oxfam Canada will better reach its overall goals if it is successful in systematically identifying and removing barriers to full participation in all aspects of our work.
Oxfam Canada is committed to developing a diverse organization that is reflective of and responsive to the diversity of Canada and the world, in which women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversities, are respected and valued.
Oxfam Canada is committed to promoting an equitable organization where every member, volunteer, staff and Board member can realize their potential through valued contributions.
Oxfam Canada is committed to developing an inclusive organization which is able to attract, retain and accommodate a range of diverse people who will feel valued and confident within the organizational environment.
Oxfam Canada will be guided by the principle that equity means more than treating people in the same way; it requires special measures and the accommodation of differences.
Oxfam Canada will implement training and education programs so that it will be understood that discriminatory behaviour, such as harassment, name-calling, and disparaging jokes will not be tolerated.
Oxfam Canada will review policies, procedures and practices with respect to domestic and overseas programming, volunteer and staff recruitment, administration, physical structures, communications, and all operations and activities to ensure the elimination of systemic barriers and any discriminatory elements.
Oxfam Canada will include a commitment to diversity in the selection process and criteria for all staff and volunteer positions and appointments to Boards, committees and working groups.
Responsibility and Authority
It is the responsibility of all Oxfam members, volunteers, staff and Board to ensure that Oxfam Canada upholds its principles of equity, diversity and inclusiveness in all its practices.
All Oxfam members, volunteers, staff and Board will uphold the principles of equity, diversity and inclusiveness in carrying out their various roles within Oxfam and as Oxfam representatives in public.
The Executive Director will report to the Board once each year on initiatives taken in order to advance our inclusiveness, and demonstrate our commitment to equity and diversity.
Annex 1: Definitions
Attitudes, behaviour, procedures or physical impediments that undermine equity and diversity, inhibit inclusion and can prevent people from maximizing their contribution to an organization.
Any act, behaviour or practice which may be intentional or unintentional, which negatively affects or could negatively affect the environment of a person or group.
The visible and invisible differences that exist among people, including but not limited to, gender identity, race, ethnic origin, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation or identity, age, economic class, language, religion, nationality, education, and family/marital status. These visible and non-visible differences among people can also lead to differences in experiences, values, attitudes and ways of thinking, behaving, communicating and working.
Fairness of treatment for individuals or groups according to their respective needs, which may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities.
The ability of an organization to attract, retain and accommodate a range of diverse people who will feel valued and confident within the organization.
A form of discrimination that occurs where policies, practices or procedures which appear neutral have a discriminatory effect on a person or class of persons. Systemic discrimination is measured by its impact, not the intent.