Building a Representative Workforce
Saskatchewan Polytechnic considers the diversity of our workforce to be one of our leading strengths and greatest assets. Sask Polytech recognizes that people differ in many ways, including life experience, ethnicity, religion, language, gender, physical abilities, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Our employee diversity enhances our ability to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
To enable a better understanding of Indigenous issues through events and activities, Sask Polytech students, staff and faculty have access to various cultural activities and events throughout the year. Events include lunch-and-learns, Pipe Ceremonies, smudging, Indigenous Storytelling, crafts, meetings with elders, and cultural information sharing.
Representative Workforce Initiatives
A continued emphasis on the development of a representative workforce is one of Sask Polytech's strategic priorities and, as an organization, we are making significant efforts to attract and retain Indigenous employees. Sask Polytech has put in place a number of initiatives to welcome and actively recruit members of groups that are under-represented in our workforce. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- Indigenous Awareness Training to ensure Sask Polytech is able to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for Indigenous employees.
- Representative Workforce Agreements to actively display our commitment.
- A Self-Declaration Process to measure our success in moving toward a Representative Workforce.
- Representative Workforce Commitment Statement which is included in all advertisements and postings.
- Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee to assist in the development of plans to allow Sask Polytech to move closer to a Representative workforce.
Sask Polytech is actively looking for new employees in the communities we serve:
- Distribution of our advertisements and postings to various community based organizations to actively recruit qualified candidates.
- Using existing Partnerships in the community to help achieve a Representative Workforce.
Indigenous Awareness Training dispels myths and misconceptions, creates awareness of the history of Indigenous peoples, and improves race relations and understanding of differing cultures by providing information from an Indigenous perspective. These sessions provide a safe atmosphere for any participant to ask questions in an open and non-judgmental environment.
Sask Polytech has adapted training to include the Blanket Exercise, an interactive learning experience developed by Kairos Canada that teaches Indigenous rights history. These sessions are designed to be fun, educational and thought provoking. Each session is a full day and can accommodate up to 30 people. Participants receive a training manual as an informational resource once the session is complete.
Indigenous Awareness Training includes the following topics:
- Cultural Perspectives: an overview of the First Nations world view perspective on cultural beliefs and teachings.
- Historical Perspectives: information regarding the Indian Act and the implications it had on Indigenous peoples from past to present.
- Treaties and Treaty Rights in Saskatchewan: the results, implications and current situation of Treaties and Treaty rights in Saskatchewan.
- Introduction to the Métis: overview of the Métis people, who they are and some of their past and present-day struggles.
- Sask Polytech culture: what we need to do to improve our Indigenous employee experience and what we can do as individuals.
The Indigenous Fall Gathering brings Indigenous staff together from all areas of the organization to experience, support and encourage cultural connections. This two day event promotes professional and personal development sessions in a variety of Indigenous cultural practices.
The Indigenous Fall Gathering has proven successful for faculty and staff to meet, be encouraged and support one another. It is a retention initiative proven successful in influencing positive change in the workplace and ultimately benefits our students and Saskatchewan's future workforce.
Self-Declaration is the process of identifying yourself as a member of the following groups: Indigenous person, member of a visible minority group, persons with a disability, and/or being female. Sask Polytech has a commitment to achieve a workforce that reflects the following provincial statistics set by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission:
- 14% representation by Indigenous people.
- 12.4% by persons with disabilities.
- 11% by members of a visible minority group.
- 46% by women in under-represented occupations.
The personal information of applicants, faculty or staff is not included in the statistical reports provided to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The self-declaration information is held in the strictest confidence. Only summary data is shared with limited internal and external stakeholders.
Sask Polytech embraces diverse cultures, heritages and thoughts in its efforts to enrich the learning and work environment and foster inclusive decision making. As such, Sask Polytech promotes a culture designed to enhance the growth of a welcoming, nurturing and empowering environment.
At Sask Polytech, the practice of Indigenous traditions and ceremonies, including smudging and pipe ceremonies, will be protected, promoted and accommodated while ensuring acceptable air quality for occupants of adjacent spaces and places.