With the Calgary Pride Parade finally back in full force and all of us heading to the streets to show our love, I wanted to share my thoughts on how we show our Pride at Helcim. It’s an important topic and one I’ve given a lot of thought to before tapping away on the keyboard today.
I truly believe that the diversity and culture at Helcim is special, and I want to acknowledge that not all people have the same experience working as our team does. Our team members are advocates, members, and allies of the LGBTQ2S + community and have the privilege of working in an environment where everyone can bring their true selves to work.
We know that not everyone has this same privilege. There is still a lot of work to be done in creating spaces where people can truly be themselves without fear of repercussion. We also aren’t infallible. We make mistakes and aim to learn to make things better. I write this with the intent to inspire other workplaces (and ourselves) to do and be better for everyone who works with you.
1. Who you hire matters
Helcim is unique. The people who work here are unique. We’ve all come together to be on this incredible journey together.
One of the things that attracts so many people to Helcim is our https://www.helcim.com/theway/. It gives everyone a real sense of what matters, our values, and how we work together.
And it’s true.
We’re all here to help each other and the company succeed.
Helcim is a place where you should feel happy, safe, and supported coming to work every day. Culture can feel like a bit of an intangible thing, so a little evidence from our Diversity & Inclusion survey helps:
91.3% of the team feel like they belong at Helcim.
I’m proud of this number. It means our team feels connected, and we’re all responsible for creating a supportive environment for everyone who joins our company.
We truly believe that it’s the diverse backgrounds and the unique perspectives that make Helcim an energetic, innovative, and creative workplace. Amazing people build amazing companies, which is what we aim for when bringing on new team members.
2. Get involved, walk your talk, live your values
Sitting on the sidelines doesn’t create change. If you want to have a better workplace, you must do something.
One of our core values is: We are a Company of Many.
For us, this means our team is #1. We take care of each other first so that we can do our best work for our merchants. It means building a great team to accomplish great things.
And we show our pride in many different ways.
We 1st marched in the Pride Parade in 2019; in 2020, we joined the Alberta LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and were in our 3rd year of surveying the team on Diversity & Inclusion, on a mission to always do better.
We’re also huge supporters of Chic Geek and the Career Pathing program. Here we are both participants and allies in helping women build careers in tech. Our CFO Marjorie Junio- Read spoke on an International Women’s Day panel to highlight women’s careers in technology.
There are many ways to take action:
- Start by reading articles and books, building awareness, and having conversations.
- Create and complete a DEI Survey with your team.
- Show through your actions what matters to you by getting involved.
- Participate in events like Pride and promote STEM careers.
- Become involved with organizations like Chic Geek to gain insight, emulate best practices, and support women in tech.
- Bring your values to life at work by creating opportunities for solid relationships.
3. Be kind & show respect
It’s Monday morning, and it’s time for work. How do you feel? Are you excited by the opportunity to come to work and see your awesome workmates? Or does a feeling of dread overwhelm you?
Your experience at work matters.
Our goal is to always create a welcoming and supportive environment. We’re all responsible for creating a great workplace and helping each other learn and succeed. Our team members have good intentions, no one intentionally comes to work wanting to get it wrong, but that doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes. In fact, we make room for them to make mistakes. When they make one - we give them the opportunity to do better next time.
As a team full of people from many different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives, we will likely, at some point, do or say something that could be perceived negatively by others. Putting a foot in your mouth happens. It’s how you respond to a mistake that says so much more. Getting something wrong is the chance to understand, learn and show respect by getting it right the next time.
Sincerely, Cheryl Hooper