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March 1: Zero Discrimination Day



March 1 marks Zero Discrimination Day, an important day of international awareness to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion and fairness. As a top Canadian Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), and Belonging consultant, Global Learning understands the importance of this day in the workplace. Zero Discrimination Day was established by the United Nations as a way to raise public awareness of discrimination and its implications. The first celebration of Zero Discrimination Day took place in 2014 with the theme “break down barriers”. 


Zero Discrimination Day is an important reminder that work still needs to be done to ensure equitable workplaces and eliminate discrimination. According to Statistics Canada, almost one in five Canadians (17 percent) reported experiencing workplace discrimination at least once during 2017-2018 based on their disability status or other characteristics including gender identity and sexual orientation. This number is even higher for certain minority groups including Indigenous people (25 percent).


Zero Discrimination Day was first observed on March 1, 2014 as a United Nations (UN) initiative. The day is dedicated to promoting equality and inclusivity by breaking down the barriers of discrimination. It encourages all members of society to oppose any form of discrimination and champion respect for diversity. This UN campaign has been embraced by many countries around the world, with people from different parts of the globe celebrating by participating in various activities such as marches, debates, open forums, rallies, conferences and other events that call for an end to all forms of discrimination. Over the years, Zero Discrimination Day has grown in importance as it serves to remind us that we are all equal and that everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or any other distinguishing feature.


Unconscious bias plays an integral role in creating unequal playing fields in the workplace, with research showing that unconscious bias can cause hiring managers to reject qualified candidates from underrepresented groups who may not fit traditional stereotypes or backgrounds. Unconscious bias can also lead to exclusion which prevents certain individuals from feeling included in teams or processes at work. Companies need to recognize that diversity is a business necessity, not just a moral obligation, as studies have proven that organizations with DEIB policies are 45% more likely to report improvements in financial performance compared with those without such policies. While it may take longer for companies to create effective DEIB initiatives due to varying factors such as company size and budget constraints, implementing small steps can make a huge difference over time. 


At Global Learning we understand the power of DEIB initiatives in the workplace and have been helping our clients build diverse and inclusive cultures for over 30 years. We have conducted surveys for over 800 thousand employees across North America which have provided critical insights into any potential biases or discrepancies between how different groups are treated within their organization. Global Learning's services range from training programs to help develop inclusive environments where all individuals feel supported and valued regardless of background or identity; surveys designed specifically for measuring employee sentiment; consulting services dedicated entirely towards uncovering biases within organizations; and workshops focused on developing strategies for mitigating unconscious bias amongst organizational stakeholders. All these services contribute towards ensuring fair working conditions for all employees no matter their gender identity, race or ethnicity, physical ability or religion so that companies can truly unlock the potential of their teams through collaborative co-creation fueled by diverse perspectives. 


We believe that everyone should feel valued at work regardless of who they are or what they bring to their job - no matter if they are just starting out or already experienced professionals - because success is achieved when we make sure everyone has an equal chance at achieving it! That's why we proudly stand behind Zero Discrimination Day's mission: breaking down barriers together so all members of our community can flourish openly!


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