Fundamental Behavior 5 – Embrace Diversity
I look at the history of my career at Erie AP and recognize that our company has come a long way accepting change and diversity in the workplace. When I first started at Erie in 2007, located in a small community in Blenheim, Ontario, the production team consisted of an entirely male workforce. I found it strange but not unusual as the manufacturing sector back then was primarily dominated by men. My goal then became: How do I diversify and integrate women and other cultures into the workplace? I knew this would not be an easy goal to achieve. I started reviewing every applicant’s resume, finding no qualified applicants and no further luck. The labor market was too small, and no one wanted to travel to Blenheim to work.
In 2010, we relocated to Lakeshore hoping to expand our talent pool and gain more access to a broader labor pool. Luck was on my side; in 2011, we hired our first two females in our manufacturing plant. We have continued to diversity our workforce every day. Today, 25% of our office consist of women and 15% of our production team are women. We have also done a good job integrating many other cultures into both the office and plant.
We must continue to be open to change, embrace diversity, educate our leadership teams on cultural changes and self-awareness. For myself, it has always seemed simple. Treat people like people, do onto others as you would want done to you, consider everyone the same, and lastly, treat everyone with kindness and respect. A please and thank you goes a long way no matter who you are.
Human Resource Manager
Erie Architectural Products