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Equity and Inclusion Lens
Transcript of Equity and Inclusion Lens
The Equity and Inclusion Lens Defined
The Equity and Inclusion lens is a tool developed in 2009 by the Ottawa City for All Women Initiative and the Ottawa community. The lens acts as a guide and enables consistent, systematic, and intelligible promotion of equity and inclusion within the greater community through four particular functions.
1. It assists in an increased understanding and response to the needs and aspirations of increasingly diverse populations.
2. Through this increased understanding of diverse populations, greater recognition is given to the experiences, unique knowledge and skills of community residents.
3. The lens, and the specific information included within it, allows creation of policies, programs and services that address and attempt to eradicate the systematic barriers that vulnerable populations experience.
4. The use of the lens attracts, promotes and preserves the continuation of a talented community workforce.
Success of the Lens
Make the lens part of your daily work-- Incorporate it in your strategies and frameworks, and reflect it in your goals and outcomes.
-Mayor Kirkpatrick, Ottawa
Since it's creation in 2009, Ottawa city staff continue to use the Equity and Inclusion (EI) lens in their everyday work.
According to the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership and the City of Ottawa, the EI lens has acted as a significant informer to the development of important municipal plans, including the 2011-2014 Corporate Plan, the Social Recreation Strategy, the Cultural Renewal Plan, and the Older Adult Plan.
In 2012, the City of Ottawa was recognize and awarded for being one of Canada's Best Diversity employers-- the EI lens was credited as an important and key contribution to this achievement.
EI lens training is currently taking place throughout a variety of different departments across the city of Ottawa, including city managers and staff.
The Ottawa EI lens includes a user's guide and 10 Diversity Snapshots.
These Diversity Snapshots provide information about a particular vulnerable group. Information includes: who is in the group, how they contribute to the community and the barriers they experience, as well as relevant, successful inclusion practices from other cities.
Cities across the country have expressed interest in adapting the EI lens for their own communities.
The 10 Snapshot Groups are:
Aboriginal (First Nations,
People with Disabilities
The Economic Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity: Evidence through Investment in Women
According to the World Bank, investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it's smart economics. Investing in women leads to job creation, improved social and economic conditions for both present and future generations through the "ripple effect", and increased overall productivity and economic growth
According to the Clinton Global Initiative, and Valerie Jarrett of the Huffington Post, providing opportunities that allow women to reach their full potential leads to job creation-- communities who invest in women's inclusion will be in the position, according to the article, to lead the world economy.
The International Centre for Research on Women found that in communities where women's inclusion and participation grew the fastest not only experienced the largest reduction in poverty rates, but also experienced a boom in job creation and their labour force
The "Ripple Effect"
The ripple effect, as defined by the Canadian Women's Foundation, is a phenomenon where an increase in women's equality results in improvements in external social and economic conditions.
The World Economic Forum has confirmed through extensive research that reducing gender inequality is directly correlated with enhanced productivity and economic growth-- when a community achieves equality, they maximize their competitive status and economic potential.
This, according to the Women Deliver Organization, can be ascribed to women's tendency to invest in others; Data shows that women tend to invest 90 percent of their income back into their families and their communities. Therefore, women are not only feeding their families with their incomes--they are investing in their children's futures (such as through education) and contributing to the greater economic stability of their community as a whole.
Helping women reach their full potential is the best investment we can make as a nation
-Valarie Jarrett, The Huffington Post
Productivity and economic growth
"Inclusion is about a sense of belonging, about feeling respected, valued for who you are. It is an all-encompassing practice of ensuring that people of differing abilities related to, for example, sex, age, and race, feel a sense of belonging, are engaged, and are connected to the goals and objectives of the whole wider society."
Social Planning and Research Council data indicates that women's rising employment levels are crucial for the strength of the local economy, and stated that the increase of women in the labour force prevented the 2009 recession in Hamilton from being as severe as the 1990 Recession