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March 13: Commonwealth Day (Canada)

What You Should Know About Commonwealth Day in Canada

Each year, Canadians celebrate Commonwealth Day on the second Monday in March. This day celebrates and honors the values of diversity and inclusion that are held by all 54 countries of the Commonwealth. As a  Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) consultancy firm based in Canada, Global Learning understands that celebrating this day helps to build strong workplaces for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about Commonwealth Day in Canada and why it matters to Canadian workplaces. 

History of Commonwealth Day 

Commonwealth Day has been celebrated since 1977 as an annual event marking the anniversary of the creation of the modern Commonwealth. The date was established at the first Commonwealth Consultative Meeting in Singapore in 1971. Each year, countries across the world host events and activities to commemorate this special day that recognizes each country’s commitment to peace, democracy and sustainable development. 

Why It Matters To Canadian Workplaces 

The values celebrated on Commonwealth Day—such as respect for different cultures, shared heritage, equality of opportunity and support for others—are essential pillars of any successful workplace culture. According to research conducted by Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), only 19% of organizations have fully implemented DEIB practices into their HR departments[1]. Celebrating days like Commonwealth Day gives employers an opportunity to reinforce their commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace environment through meaningful conversations with their teams or events such as webinars or panel discussions that promote understanding between cultures and celebrate differences. Moreover, employers can also use moments like these to engage employees from diverse backgrounds with hiring processes or other initiatives related to DEIB within their organization. 

Celebrating moments like Commonwealth Day is an important step in advancing DEIB initiatives within Canadian workplaces by promoting diversity and inclusion among coworkers while also fostering understanding between cultures outside of work environments. By celebrating this special day each year, employers can create meaningful conversations centered around respect for different cultures while recognizing their team members’ diverse backgrounds that will help create a workplace where everyone feels included and recognized for their race or ethnicity. At Global Learning, our mission is to promote understanding through meaningful conversations so that all Canadians have access to safe and equitable workplaces where they can thrive professionally and personally without fear or discrimination. We hope your organization takes some time today to recognize this special day.


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