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Proud to support Pride at Stantec

June 25, 2021

Pride: a deep sense of satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished; in who you are; and in what makes you unique. To celebrate Pride this month, we’ve encouraged our colleagues to share their stories and show that by championing inclusion and diversity (I&D), we can feel more empowered and united.

In 2017, we launched our Pride@Stantec Employee Resource Groups around the world—an initiative to create a supportive space for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies to come together. Let’s go on a global tour of the work and activities carried out by all our Pride@Stantec teams. 

Starting in the UK and Ireland, we’ve participated in national Pride activities including parades in various cities, and a 2020 Virtual Pride Parade. Last year, we established a partnership with Stonewall, dedicated to empowering individuals and transforming institutions to better support the LGBT+ community. This year, we’re holding virtual Pride celebrations from 28 to 30 June, producing role model videos around What Pride Means to Me, and are getting involved in Manchester Pride. Each reception area of our UK offices also now has an amazing ‘Everyone is Awesome’ Lego set.

In the Netherlands, you’ll notice a flash of colour on entrances, as you print a document, grab a coffee, or visit a bathroom. Our Pride symbol, a rainbow pixel heart, in the form of stickers are placed in locations to communicate our inclusive culture, and a rainbow flag proudly flutters above our Arnhem office.

In San Francisco, our Pride events coincide with the city’s world-famous LGBT+ Pride. To help new employees feel welcome in our large office, our staff send emails with their photos so everyone can quickly recognise and greet new starters.

In New York City, we hosted an event called Express Yourself! Arts and Crafts Night where employees joined together (mostly virtually) for an evening of self-expression and community spirit.

In Minneapolis, we’re hosting a virtual lunch presentation with Avenues for Youth, a homeless youth advocacy and support group in Heppin County, Minnesota. The presentation will focus on how LGBTQIA2S+ youth are disproportionally affected by homelessness.

In Canada, this year the Alberta chapter hosted a discussion about learning and strengthening our actions to create a more inclusive and welcoming space for trans and gender diverse individuals into our work and home lives.

In Edmonton, Canada, we held our first ever Pride float in the city’s 2017 parade. The float helped colleagues get to know each other better and also encouraged to build up a local contingent of allies. The blend of people involved has demonstrated the concept of inclusion—it isn’t about creating exclusive clubs; it's about bringing everyone together.

In New Zealand, we launched inclusion workshops for teams which gave participants the opportunity to share their own experiences in a safe setting. The focus is also leading by example, and at the end of each inclusion workshop, the leaders ask participants what they’ll personally do to increase inclusion.

Globally, we’re hosting a global webinar, ‘Comparing Experiences: Being Out in the Workplace’, available to all employees, which will include three employees sharing their stories and insights about their experiences in the workplace.

A family friendly anti-bullying story time and show supporting the Skipping Stone Foundation will be put on for employees and their families to take part in. Hosted by two Calgary drag queens, it will include an introduction about drag culture, reading of children's book "From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea" by Kai Cheng Thom, a discussion on the importance of anti-bullying, self-love and acceptance, and an upbeat drag performance to close the event.

Confidence to call out

We encourage our staff to call out things that need to be corrected and be a voice for those who might not be brave enough or ready to be the voice themselves. This year, we’ve created Pride banners for our virtual meetings, and encourage staff to use pronouns on email signatures and LinkedIn profiles. Our people share their stories, through webinars, internal communications platforms and employee groups.

Other activities to increase the inclusiveness of our Company include examining our language, our policies and benefits programmes, setting up Inclusion & Diversity Councils, and hosting unconscious bias training. We’ve been named by Forbes as a top employer for diversity, are proud of our new partnership with Workplace Pride, and joined forces with other organisations, including Stonewall in UK, OK2BME and Pride at Work in Canada, and Rainbow Tick in New Zealand. 

The next level

Over the years, we’re proud to say we’ve made some incredible progress. However, as we continue to evolve, so does our understanding of how we need to take this to the next level. The inclusive workplace we want to achieve empowers and inspires and provides psychological safety and wellbeing. Without inclusion, diversity is that much more difficult to achieve. To attract and retain top talent from all walks of life, we need to ensure inclusion is a way of being. Truly transformative work is born from diversity. Harnessing the power of all the characteristics that make us who we are is vital to our success. We design with community in mind and to genuinely fulfil that promise, we commit to equity in design and to be representative of the many communities we serve.

Read some of our staff stories here:

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