At Scotiabank, there are several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that help advance our inclusive culture. Through grassroots initiatives, our ERGs support our culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by providing all employees with opportunities to learn, grow, and communicate. We operate 14 ERGs with employees participating globally, and nearly 100 educational events are hosted each year!

This spotlight is on our Middle Eastern Employee Resource Group, which is one of Scotiabank's newer ERGs! We spoke with Mona and David, two members of the ERG Executive Team, to learn more about the Middle Eastern Network and their mission. ME Scotiabank's ERG currently has 8,700 subscribers globally.

•  David, Founder-Chair ERG

•  Mona, Co-chair ERG

Meaghan: Can you tell us about the Middle Eastern (ME) Network and why you decided to get involved?

Mona: Scotiabank Middle Eastern Network was created in 2019 by Scotiabankers, for Scotiabankers. Our ERG is based on diversity and inclusion while centring marginalized communities in the inclusion narrative.  We created the ME ERG so that all Scotiabankers can meet, network, and communicate about topics that are important to them. I have always been interested in diversity and inclusion initiatives and I deeply believe we can make a difference by creating and empowering employee resource groups.

David: The ME ERG is a place for us to connect and network with our peers. This group was formed in order to share our culture(s) with our fellow Scotiabankers, as well as to show a different side of the Middle East that is not typically seen in mainstream media. Volunteering for social equity causes has always been important to me, so I decided to get involved.

Meaghan: What is the Middle Eastern Network ERG's mission?

Mona: Our mission is to educate, raise awareness, create visibility, change perceptions, and rewrite the narrative that has been written around the Middle East. We have created a space to dispel myths, break down barriers, and dismantle stereotypes surrounding Middle Eastern cultures.

Meaghan: Why is this ERG important to Scotiabank? Why is it important to you?

Mona: Our Middle Eastern Network ERG fosters a sense of community and allows individuals to directly influence Scotiabank's global culture of diversity and inclusion. We are extremely passionate about sharing our knowledge and learning from one another. Personally, I am eager to hear and learn from others, as well as share my experience and culture in order to foster an environment in which everyone feels heard and seen.

David: Scotiabank's diverse culture fosters a sense of belonging for all employees, and the ME ERG helps to maintain an inclusive workplace for Middle Eastern employees. It is important to me that our peers have a space to gather, network, and give back to the communities we serve.

Meaghan: What are some of the key initiatives that the ERG has been involved in thus far?

Mona: We have hosted several great events this year to help raise awareness and educate employees on Middle Eastern cultures.

David: The ERG has been cooperating with some of our community partners to assist newcomers and immigrants in their professional journey. This work contributes significantly to our mission of giving back to the communities we serve and truly being a part of the inclusion narrative. Women in Business empowerment events, English language pronunciation sessions, iLead Learning sessions, and new Canadian job search/training workshops have also taken place.

Meaghan: What are you most proud of since being involved with the Middle Eastern Network ERG?

Mona: After our launch event, many Scotiabankers sent us messages and expressed their support and excitement for the ME ERG. This was very valuable and inspiring for me to foster this sense of community and create an environment where everyone feels included.

David: I am proud to work at an organization that has given us the space and support to create this ERG and impact change. With this support, I can be actively involved in championing diversity equity, and inclusion both inside Scotiabank, and outside with several community partners to foster a sense of belonging for every future.

Check out Scotiabank’s full list of Employee Resource Groups and learn how we are growing an environment to thrive.