From DIVERSEcity Annual Report 2021–2022
The crisis unleashed by COVID-19 is still affecting every aspect of our lives, from health, jobs and education, to financial security, social relations and trust. It has also put a spotlight on equity challenges that existed well before the pandemic.
As a community-serving organization, we must prepare for an inclusive and transformative recovery together, one that puts people’s wellbeing at the centre. We can do this in three ways:
- Strengthening educational opportunities
- Supporting people, jobs and small businesses
- Measuring what matters in people’s lives
Equity in education
Education inequalities persist, with gender, socio-economic status, family background or geography still shaping our access to learning, whether or not we succeed in school, and the choices we’ll make as part of the education and jobs we pursue.
Equity in education benefits not just individuals but all of us together, helping us to realize strong economies and resilient societies. We cannot build a robust, sustainable recovery without it.
People, jobs and business
The COVID-19 crisis led to a fall in employment and millions of jobs and businesses in once secure sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, retail and construction, have been hard hit.
SMEs account for the majority of firms and jobs in Canada, particularly in these sectors. Many continue to struggle, as are their employees, often young people, women and racialized low-income workers. Many have experienced work disruption such as furloughs, job losses, leaves and resignations.
The human impact is clear: with a rising inflationary environment, conditions have been particularly tough for households with young people and children. People are concerned about their household’s overall wellbeing and about having the skills to secure a well-paid, stable job in the coming decade.
We need to provide adequate social protection to all people, as well as the necessary training for them to find work in new sectors as the recovery unfolds. We need to support viable firms and help industries develop new sectors and jobs.
What matters to people
Today’s reality has amplified our need for new ways to measure inclusiveness and wellbeing. Traditional growth indicators based on what countries produce and what they spend too often do not capture what matters most in people’s lives, like the quality of their workplaces and jobs, how healthy the environment is, or their trust in government and their fellow citizens.
New measurements are important for economic performance, too, as widening inequalities can undermine growth. We need to put people’s wellbeing at the top of the agenda and to listen to what people tell us about what matters most to them.
It is crucial to monitor how well we are doing in reducing poverty, bridging social divides and building a recovery that includes everyone.
We would like to thank our incredible staff, volunteers and Board of Directors for their unified commitment to this new path forward. To our funders, we thank you for entrusting us to deliver
results that centre a just and inclusive community.
Neelam Sahota, CEO, DIVERSEcity
Upkar Singh Tatlay, Board Chair, DIVERSEcity