At Scotiabank, we seek to foster an inclusive culture in which every employee is valued and appreciated for who they are and is motivated to reach their full potential. 

Scotiabank’s ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) celebrate diversity and foster equity and inclusion by providing all employees with opportunities to learn, grow and communicate.

We approached the DiversAbility ERG group for updates and recent developments. 

Nathalia | Manager, Enterprise Marketing: Could you inform us about the People with Disabilities ERG (DiversAbility) and how it has evolved in recent years?

DiversAbility ERG: DiversAbility is an ERG that is passionate about championing a culture of Inclusion at Scotiabank. Our mission is to be a resource where all Scotiabankers can connect, learn, and develop to influence change and promote accessibility for the full participation of persons of all abilities at Scotiabank. In the height of the pandemic, it really forced us to look at how we can work differently, and still support employees with accessibility needs. During that time, our ERG worked extremely hard with our partners at Microsoft to promote accessibility features for employees that are still being used to this day. So we have really evolved by doing that, and restructuring our ERG into pillars to focus on key components.

Nathalia: How is the ERG structured? How many members does it have?

DiversAbility ERG: The ERG has an Executive Champion and two co-chairs, as well currently has four pillars to help with our undertaking (Events, Operations, Communications and Recruitment/Volunteering) and we are about to launch the 5th and 6th pillars (Mentorship and Community Programs). Each pillar is led or co-led by an employee with support from pillar members. Currently we have approximately 60 dedicated members and we are looking to grow this number in 2024.

Nathalia: What is the purpose of the DiversAbility ERG and how does it support its members?

DiversAbility ERG: The purpose is to raise awareness and educate people about unconscious bias and the challenges those with disabilities face, and how we can work towards being accessible by being an inclusive workplace. This provides us a safe space and a platform where people with disabilities and their allies can openly discuss issues and influence change. (As well as employees with disabilities, the group embraces those whose families have a member with a disability.)

Nathalia: What activities/events does the ERG organize for its members?

DiversAbility ERG :The ERG organizes a range of events and activities to support its members and the broader bank. Some of these events include  sessions to educate and raise employees’ awareness about different disabilities, promote understanding and challenge any misconceptions. We invite guest speakers to share their knowledge, experiences and inspire others. We also introduce new technologies and organize workshops focused on knowledge related to accessibility and best practices in the workplace. This year we have some amazing events planned.

Nathalia: How does Scotiabank support the DiversAbility ERG?

DiversAbility ERG: ERGs are important drivers to Scotiabank's DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) purpose. Through various benefits that evolve over time, the Bank recognizes and supports the efforts chairs and members make to advance a culture of inclusion. This includes financial support to implement initiatives, the opportunity to include ERG-related work in employees' Annual Performance Plans, and the inclusion of ERGs in the yearly recognition system. Furthermore, the bank provides learning tools and resources for chairs and directors to better manage their groups and make a broader impact.

The DiversAbility ERG provides a platform for support, resources and opportunities to employees with disabilities to connect, share experiences, and collaborate with other who may have similar lived experiences. The events the group organizes encourage participation and fosters a safe and inclusive environment.

Nathalia: How is Scotiabank a supportive employer for People with Disabilities?

DiversAbility ERG: Firstly, the bank values diversity, equity and inclusion, creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for all employees. Secondly, they are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities throughout the employee lifecycle. Additionally, Scotiabank offers various Employee Resource Groups focused on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. They prioritize creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and has equal opportunities for success.

Through these initiatives and more, the Scotiabank DiversAbility Network is continuously supporting its members.

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