At Interac, we are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive organization that recognizes and celebrates diversity inside and outside of our walls.
We recently hosted our Second Annual Diversity Week benefitting United Way campaign where we raised money for United Way and their agencies that provide financial support and services to Toronto’s most vulnerable communities. COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on all of us, however, marginalized groups and organizations that support those communities are bearing the brunt.
“Ontario Nonprofit Network reports that demand for social services has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with over 40% of non-profits seeing an increased demand for their services.”
With that in mind, our staff rallied *virtually* and raised over $80,000 for United Way organizations. In addition to this, we also hosted several events throughout the week that featured Interac employees and partners, so we could all learn more about the role we can all play in building a more equitable future.
Over 200 employees participated in our Diversity Week benefitting United Way campaign, and with that came a lot of learning. See below for the key takeaways from the week.
It’s more important than ever to support our community partners
During Diversity Week, Frances Delsol of Black Business Professionals Association shared that COVID-19 has highlighted inequality in news ways and it’s vital that we all work together to maintain momentum to help our communities. This comes at a time when Ontario Nonprofit Network reports that 74 per cent of organizations anticipate or are experiencing a reduction in revenues from fundraising activities, while 58 per cent anticipate or have seen a decline in earned income sources. In order to support our communities, particularly those that make up marginalized groups, we must continue to invest time and resources into these organizations to ensure no one is left behind.
Allyship is critical to effecting change
Diversity Week taught us that we cannot expect marginalized groups to move their own rights forward. It is up to each of us to become better allies, understand the hardships of others, and work towards a more equitable future. This can be as easy as listening to someone’s experiences and investing what you can in organizations that support a social cause.
Each of us has different life experiences that we can learn from
Throughout Diversity Week we heard dozens of stories from staff and partners who come from unrepresented communities. They shared their experience growing up as a minority, the injustice they’ve faced, and what they’ve learned through those times in their life. One key moment from those discussions came from Hawley Kane, Vice President, Organizational Development for Interac subsidiary 2Keys Corporation. She shared, ‘Early in my career, I was often the only woman at the table. I sought out mentors who had a career that I knew I wanted to work toward.’
We can still join forces for a good cause – even in a virtual world
COVID-19 has tested all of us in different ways: how we work, how we socialize, and how we support others. Diversity Week benefitting United Way served as a reminder that even though we may not be able to support our communities in person, we can still make an impact virtually.
Interested in learning more about our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives? Click here.