Holland Bloorview recognized for strategic focus on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the second year in a row. This award recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. Finalists are leaders in their industry and geographic region of Canada. See the full list of winners.
“Inclusion, diversity equity accessibility and anti-racism (IDEAA) is especially important for our organization where we are continuously working to break down barriers,” says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. “Being recognized for this award is an honour as we continue to build a better, more inclusive, more just world for our next generation.”
Holland Bloorview promotes an environment that seeks to meaningfully welcome, understand and respect the diversity of clients, families, staff, volunteers, students, trustees and community partners. The organization is committed to incorporating practices that enhance diversity into all areas of our work. The dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, cultural orientation, national origin, language, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age and the spectrum of possible intersection across these factors. These dimensions are consistent with those outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code.
In close partnership with Holland Bloorview’s IDEAA office, IDEAA task force helps to provide the critical input needed to drive Holland Bloorview’s social justice-seeking work plan and prioritize key activities. Created in September 2020, the taskforce includes staff advisors, youth leaders and family leaders and their goal is amplify the diverse voices, perspectives, and justice-seeking change ideas offered by staff, students and trainees, volunteers, clients, families and alumni who have been historically marginalized by the health system.
In addition, they also aim to create a space where members feel brave and safe enough to bring their whole selves to work and to encourage discussion around the difficult work of sharing experiences that can lead to new understandings. This year, the task force’s work plan includes the collection of equity-seeking data, education and training, inclusive service re-designs, and forging new community partnerships across the health system and beyond.
“Receiving this award is a reminder that we must continuously strive to bring an inclusive, diverse, equitable, accessible and anti-racist lens to healthcare,” said Lorraine Thomas, interim manager of IDEAA. “As an organization we seek to create a workplace where everyone is included, yet not lose sight of the individual; to highlight the importance of creating accessible and welcoming spaces for everyone, with the understanding that even the smallest of actions in this regard can create the most impact.”
Among the initiatives recognized this year:
- Holland Bloorview created an equitable recruitment and selection process toolkit for hiring managers to support inclusive hiring practices and actively audits its recruitment, employee retention and discrimination -- the organization recently added new equity, diversity and inclusion questions to its employee engagement survey, and conducted a staff equity survey to gauge sentiments on whether employees feel they have been treated less favourably due to their ethnicity, race, age group or religious beliefs.
- The Ward Family Summer Student Research Program’s specialty streams, housed in Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Bloorview Research Institute, offers undergraduate students living with a disability and those of Indigenous descent a unique interdisciplinary research opportunity in the field of childhood disability. These streams are generously supported by CIBC.
- Holland Bloorview is a co-site host for Project SEARCH, a school-to-work employment training and transition program for high school students with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
This award follows Holland Bloorview’s recognition as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers, announced December 9, 2022 for the thirteenth year.
Learn about Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in The Globe and Mail, and read up on why Holland Bloorview was selected.
To see more awards received, visit our website.
About Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
This competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: (a) women; (b) members of visible minorities; (c) persons with disabilities; (d) Indigenous peoples; and (e) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) peoples. To determine this year's winners of the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition, Mediacorp editors reviewed diversity and inclusiveness initiatives at many employers that took part in this year’s Canada's Top 100 Employers project.