This has been a special year for diversity and inclusion at Stantec in the Edmonton Capital Region.
Stantec employees from across the board spent time in June constructing, painting, and decorating a float to mark Stantec’s inaugural participation in the Edmonton Pride Parade. Over two dozen Stantec employees marched down Whyte Avenue on top of, or alongside, our multicoloured float, flanked on either side by cheering crowds.
Stantec’s participation in the 2017 Edmonton Pride Parade was spearheaded by the Stantec Edmonton Diversity & Inclusion (SEDI) group. Started in 2014, the group aims to create awareness about diversity and inclusion across Stantec’s Edmonton offices. Keith Shillington, Regional Leader for Stantec in the Edmonton Capital Region, signed on as executive sponsor of SEDI, lending leadership support to the group’s initiatives to make Stantec a truly equitable employer.
"This was an initiative we were excited to bring to our employees,” says Richelle Serink, chair of SEDI. “At Stantec, our diversity is our strength and it is imperative staff feels comfortable being themselves at work.”
The Edmonton Pride Festival Society (EPFS), a local nonprofit, has organized the festival since 1999. The first-ever Pride celebration in Edmonton took place in 1980 and has since grown into a series of annual events and celebrations in June.
The SEDI subcommittee organizing the Pride celebration, led by Bridge Engineer Hillary Flesher, helped create an artistic rendition of the Stantec float. Several employees volunteered to help build the float, which was pulled by a truck adorned with a giant rainbow unicorn horn—it was truly a collaborative effort underpinned by our core value of “we are better together.”
Prior to the participating in the Parade, Stantec hosted a lunch and learn to discuss the history of Pride celebrations in Edmonton. Following Pride, there was an overwhelmingly positive response from staff.
“Many people have said that Stantec’s part in the Parade has made them proud to work here,” said Richelle. “Whether they are part of the LGBTQ community or not, hearing certain stories is encouraging staff to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone—regardless of their sexual orientation.”
At Stantec, we are leaders in celebrating and finding strength in our diversity. Participating in the Parade in the very city that Stantec was founded in over six decades ago, was a point of Pride for staff, SEDI, and senior leadership. Building on the success of Edmonton Capital, Stantec in Calgary will participate in that city’s Pride Parade, taking place on September 4, 2017.