Building a foundation of respect - Part 19 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 19

Welcome to the BuildForce blog on Respectful Workplaces! Here we explore issues and provide advice, research, tools, and checklists – everything our industry needs to create respectful and inclusive workplaces where everyone can succeed. Who will benefit? Leaders, managers, HR staff, and anyone who wants to understand how to create and support a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, the Canadian construction and maintenance industry must be able to recruit and retain workers with a diversity of backgrounds such as Indigenous people, women, immigrants, and young workers. This means building respectful, safe and inclusive workplaces where all workers can succeed. Some of these challenges are: A quarter of a million skilled workers retiring over the next decade. Increased globalization demands more awareness of different cultures. The changing needs of a changing workforce. Increased demands for corporate social responsibility such as fairness and equity.


Does your organization ensure that all development programs such as mentoring, coaching, skill upgrading and leadership are accessible to all workers?

Research has found that people of different genders and with backgrounds and circumstances that differ from the majority of workers experience barriers to development and advancement opportunities in many ways. For example, one large U.S. company discovered that being selected to work on high profile projects was connected with a greater chance of becoming a partner; however, very few people with a racial minority background had ever been selected for those projects.   

Here are some examples of what your organization can do to ensure equal access to development and leadership opportunities for all workers:

  • Create formal mentorship training to help ensure that those workers with weaker social networks within the organization get on-the-job training.
  • Support professional networks for women and people with backgrounds and circumstances that differ from the majority of workers to provide role models and inspiration.
  • Provide skill upgrading and training courses in a variety of delivery methods, such as online, or on a variety of schedules that accomodate family responsibilites or religious holidays.

International Day of Charity   - September 5, 2018 - International Day of Charity was declared by the United Nations General Assemply in 2012 to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity-related activities all over the world. The date of September 5 commemorates the anniverary of the passing away of Mother Theresa of Calcutta who recived the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace." --- Organizations that want to be leaders in respect and inclusion should consider building respect and inclusion into their charitable activities: promote the economic growth of the whole community;  provide resources such as skills training, employment readiness and co-ops to groups that have historically been excluded from access to resources; advocate for inclusion-related interests in government and societal affairs.

OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Are you confident that your leaders/managers and supervisors are knowledgeable about respectful and inclusive workplace principles?

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENT: Does your organization review recruitment, retention and advancement policies to identify and eliminate barriers to inclusion?

Read from the beginning. Click here to start at Part 1.


  • BuildForce Canada. Online Respect & Inclusion Toolkit. Release Date: late 2018.
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion. What Gets Measured Gets Done: Measuring the Return on Investment of Diversity and Inclusion. Report. 2013.
  • The Diversity Collegium. Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World. 2016.

What can an effective Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Program deliver? The BuildForce Canada Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool ~ Release date - late 2018 ~ The Respectful Workplace Self-Assessment Tool allows organization leadership to assess their progress toward a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace and benchmark their progress confidentially against other construction organizations.Each month we will feature an  "Assessment question of the month."  So make sure to be a regular visitor! Watch for the release of the BuildForce Canada Online Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit, including The Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool: to assist organization leadership in assessing their current situation and identifying where they may need to make changes; The Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Online Training Course: to train workers on how to create and support a respectful and inclusive workplace; and The Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide: to assist organizations in creating and implementing a policy that supports a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Join the conversation: Does your organization know what the specific barriers to advancement are in your organization?

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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.