At Scotiabank, there are a number of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that help advance our inclusive culture. Through grassroots initiatives, our ERGs support our culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging by providing all employees with opportunities to learn, grow, and communicate. We operate 14 ERGs with more than 8,500 employees participating globally, and nearly 100 educational events are hosted each year!
Our ERG Spotlight series this month focuses on our Middle Eastern Employee Resource Group – one of our newer ERGs at Scotiabank! We had the opportunity to chat with Mona and David – two members of the ERG Executive Team – to learn more about the Middle Eastern Network and their mission to rewrite the narrative that has been written around the Middle East.
- Mona, Co-chair & Event Planning
- David, Founder & Co-chair, Marketing & Communications
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 centering marginalized communities into the inclusion narrative. We created the ME ERG so that all Scotiabankers can meet, network, and communicate about issues 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 to connect and network with our peers. This group was created so that we can share our culture(s) with our fellow Scotiabankers, but also to show a different side of the Middle East that you don’t see in mainstream media. I decided to get involved because volunteering for social equity causes has always been important to me.
Meaghan: What is the mission of the Middle Eastern Network ERG?
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, breakdown 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 supports a sense of community and provides an opportunity to be involved directly in shaping Scotiabank’s global culture of diversity and inclusion. We are passionate about teaching and learning from one another. Personally, I eagerly want to hear and learn from others and share my culture and experience to create an environment where everyone feels that their voice is heard and seen.
David: Scotiabank’s diverse culture provides an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging, and the ME ERG helps continue to foster an inclusive workplace for Middle Eastern employees. It is important to me that our peers have a place to gather, network, and give back to the communities that we serve.
Meaghan: What are some of the key initiatives that the ERG has been involved in thus far?
Mona: We had our virtual launch event in March to showcase the ME ERG, hear from our Executive Champions, and educate employees on Middle Eastern culture. This launch was a great success and kickstarted our many events in the coming months, including a panel discussion on experiences around being a middle eastern Canadian in the workplace!
David: The ERG has been working with some of our community partners to help newcomers and immigrants in their career journeys. This work greatly supports our mission of giving back to the local communities in which we serve, and truly be a part of the inclusion narrative.
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 and inclusion both inside Scotiabank, and outside with several community initiatives 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.