Day One: Tuesday, September 26, 2023

11:00 EDT

45 min
Ogho Ikhalo Tenesha Craig-James

Capitalize on the Power and Potential of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to Drive Positive Results

Ogho Ikhalo, Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Hydro One Networks Inc.

Tenesha Craig-James, Equitable Design Lead, Community & Hiring, Culture Amp

  • Where, when and how are ERG’s created
  • Leading effective initiative Keeping people connected
  • Leveraging leadership support
  • ERGs as a conduit for providing insights to leadership
  • Focussing on  connectivity, careers and marketplace to drive retention, progression and brand
  • Communicating, setting goals and action items

11:45 EDT

45 min
Dana J. Campbell-Stevens

Bring Anti-Black Racism to Light So You Can Take Appropriate Action

Dana J. Campbell-Stevens, Workplace Investigator, Trainer & Mediator, Rubin Thomlinson

  • Understanding racism in the workplace
    • Is it individual or systemic?
    • Subtle or overt
    • Intentional or unintentional
    • How does the impact manifest
  • What the case law tells us about anti-Black racism
    • Difference between racism, racial discrimination
    • What’s illegal? What violates human rights legislation?
  • How to use organizational assessments to bring anti-Black racism to light
    • What does an assessment include?
    • Tools
  • Responding to anti-Black racism when identified
    • Further methods of intervention
    • Need for cultural sensitivity
    • Manage emotional triggers

12:30 EDT

60 min


13:30 EDT

45 min
Stephanie Braid

Moving Forward With Intention: Partnerships, Role Models, People Networks, New Benefits, Reconciliation Action Plan and More at KPMG

Stephanie Braid, Director, ID&E, KPMG Canada

  • Trace the journey of this progressive organization
  • Understand the initiatives that were most effective
  • Ongoing efforts
  • Providing role models that represent the communities we serve
  • Enabling employees to connect, build awareness, promote allyship and experience belonging
  • New inclusive benefits

14:15 EDT

45 min
Stephanie Lue-Kim

Create an Inclusive Benefits Strategy to Meet the Needs of Your Organization’s Diverse Workforce

Stephanie Lue-Kim, Principal, Mercer (Canada) Limited

  • The four step process
  • The need to ask employees what’s actually important to them
  • Importance of the total reward statements to show an employee the monetary value of benefits
  • Insights into market practices across the following areas:
    • Ethnicity/race/third-party nationals/refugees
    • General inclusive benefits strategy
    • Inclusive family planning
    • LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) benefits
    • People with disabilities
    • Pregnancy-related care
    • Preventative care
    • Mental health
    • Multi-generational workforce

15:00 EDT

15 min


15:15 EDT

45 min
Karen Wensley

The Importance of Numerous, Courageous and Uncomfortable Conversations About Diversity and Inclusion

Karen Wensley, Karen N Wensley Consulting

  • Why are workplace conversations about diversity and inclusiveness important?
  • What are the possible purposes of a conversation? Should you decide on the purpose(s) before you start? Do all the parties need to agree?
  • What makes a conversation productive? How can you increase the likelihood that a conversation will be productive?
  • What is the difference between an uncomfortable conversation and one that is hurtful?
  • How to prepare for a conversation and how to respond to the unplanned conversation.
  • What are the minefields?  What if the conversation goes badly wrong?
  • How can you coach others to have more productive conversations?
  • How can you develop the culture of your organization to encourage productive conversations? What tools and resources can help?

16:00 EDT

End of Day One

Day Two: Wednesday, September 27, 2023

11:00 EDT

45 min
Trina Maher

Developing an Effective Indigenous Inclusive Workplace Strategy

Trina Maher, President, Bridging Concepts

  • Identifying your company ‘why’ for implementing an Indigenous inclusive workplace plan
  • Key management competencies needed to support Indigenous talent development
  • Tips to create and sustain an Indigenous employee network
  • Indigenous community engagement promising practices

11:45 EDT

45 min
Mohamed Elmi

The Intersectional Experience of Black Muslims in the Workplace: New Research to Inform Policy, Programs & Future Advocacy

Mohamed Elmi, Executive Director, Diversity Institute

Key features and experiences of the Black Muslim population, including demographics, housing and home life, immigration, education, employment, income and activities

  • Comparing the experiences of the Black Muslim population to other groups in Canada
  • Applying an intersectional lens to the realities of Black Muslim women and individuals of different ages.

12:30 EDT

60 min


13:30 EDT

45 min
Jennifer Laidlaw Nadine Spencer Mackenzie Kolton

Best Initiatives for Overcoming Challenges Facing Under - Represented Groups: Learn From Leading Authorities!

Jennifer Laidlaw, Country Head, 30% Club Canada

Nadine Spencer, CEO, Black Business and Professional Association, CEO, BrandEQ Group

Mackenzie Kolton, Director of Learning, Egale

  • Why increasing gender and broader diversity at the board and senior leader level is critical
  • Best and most effective initiatives for enabling the needed change
  • Why a seat at the table is important
  • Importance of developing succession plans and supporting under-represented groups to get into leadership roles
  • Role of mentorship and support

14:15 EDT

45 min
Nadir Ebrahim

How to Foster Inclusion in a Remote Workplace

Nadir Ebrahim, Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, WorkTango Inc.

As employers continue to have employees work from home, how can organizations measure for diversity and inclusion remotely?

Why is it critical to actively listen and measure employee sentiment around equity and inclusion rather than just focus on diversity demographic metrics to better understand the Employee Voice?

What are some questions employers can ask when measuring for diversity, equity & inclusion?

15:00 EDT

15 min


15:15 EDT

45 min
Faelyne Templer

BMO’s Career Advancement Program to Overcome Structural Inequities, for Increased Engagement, Career Progress and Reduced Turnover

Faelyne Templer, Senior Manager, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) & Governance, BMO Financial Group

  • What good is ramping up hiring for underrepresented groups only to bucket them into entry-level positions with no opportunity to advance?
  • Barriers to career progression
  • Factors that are a part of marginalized employees’ day-to-day experience
  • What is  “equitable” rather than equal employee development
  • Is your organization providing all employees with access to growth opportunities?

16:00 EDT

45 min
Wendy Cukier

Understanding and Managing the Backlash

Wendy Cukier, Founder & Academic Director, Diversity Institute, Academic Director, Women Entrepreneurship Hub, Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre, Toronto Metropolitan University (Formerly Ryerson University)

As diversity proponents endeavour to create change within their organizations, we must face the reality that not all employees or managers are supportive of  workplace diversity initiatives. This session will look at ways to constructively respond to different perspectives on DEI:

  • What are the other perspectives on diversity that we should be aware of?
  • Understanding other points of view
  • Myth vs fact
  • How to avoid frustration and burnout when diversity initiatives are not moving as quickly as you would like them to
  • Respectfully responding to naysayers

16:45 EDT

End of Day Two