Authenticity is a core value of our brand because it is a core value of our people. Together, we all make up the “Goose Crew.” As a company, we work to provide each member of the Goose Crew with the freedom and the resources to stretch themselves, speak out, and be proud of who they are in every aspect.
Each year, we lead Goose Crew members around the globe in our “Respect in the Workplace” training, which is designed to reveal biases and educate our people about the connections between workplace diversity and achieving objectives like efficiency and effectiveness. Passionate individuals have taken the initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways in their departments and projects. In our annual employee engagement survey, Goose Crew members have consistently ranked our workplace well in matters of inclusion.
When the events of summer 2020 ignited a global movement to address racial inequity, Goose Crew members helped us as a company realize new ways to build our commitment to inclusion into the fabric of our organization.
Building the Inclusion Advisory Council
As the world reacted to ongoing instances of racially motivated injustice and violence, Goose Crew members and the Canada Goose executive team responded with action. We started by donating Ca$100k to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and US$100k to the American Civil Liberties Union. Our executive leadership encouraged Goose Crew members to do so as well, announcing that the company would match employee donations to any charity that fights racial injustice.
These funds, significant in themselves, were only the beginning. Goose Crew members did not shy away from the challenging conversations sparked by this tragedy and ongoing injustices. Our HR department, internal communications team, and leadership listened to employees’ concerns and honored their passion by launching the Inclusion Advisory Council.
In June of 2020, we issued the call for council applications, and by the end of July, the 15-person council was established with members from six Canada Goose locations around the globe. Dani Reiss, President and CEO, as well as Kara MacKillop, Chief of Staff and EVP of People and Culture, were appointed as executive sponsors.
The council’s creation was a natural outcome of our deep commitment to authenticity. “Canada Goose is built on that value,” one council member said. It made sense for us to update our authenticity value internally to embed inclusivity into our everyday culture.
“In today’s world, authenticity has even more currency to it,” the council member explained. “So it’s not just about making sure there’s diverse representation in outward-facing communications. It’s making sure there is an inclusive culture and all people have equity internally.”
The council was tasked to act as thought leaders and advisors on matters of inclusion within our employee community. The council spent its first few months laying the foundation for this role and establishing project workstreams: metrics, communications, cultural programming, and training.
It began educating and engaging employees by appointing liaisons within various departments and launching a dedicated GooseNET page. From that page, employees can access a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) key events calendar, a multimedia resource library, and a speaker series.
The council also made new LinkedIn Learning resources available and plans to set up Employee Resource Groups in the future to provide avenues for more tailored support and learning.
While education was a priority, that’s not all the council accomplished in its first months. It also guided Canada Goose on taking D&I into account as we considered a new product collaboration partner.
Shaping a D&I strategy
The council kicked off 2021 with its first Townhall video to connect with the global Goose Crew. Council members updated employees on the council’s purpose, progress, and plan for the future.
That plan centers on a three-year D&I strategy for the company. The council has begun the process of gathering the information and input necessary for shaping this strategy in three key ways:
Updating the annual employee engagement survey with four new D&I-related questions
Conducting an audit of our practices
Leading sessions between the Inclusion Advisory Council, Canada Goose executive team, and our third-party D&I consulting partner, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
CCDI is an ideal match for helping Canada Goose create our D&I strategy. They’re a self-described “made in Canada solution” dedicated to helping companies effectively address the full picture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace.
CCDI will particularly aid the council in reimagining what a meaningful D&I training program can look like – one that genuinely engages people and inspires them to be open during important conversations. Through this, Canada Goose will be equipped not only to live out our core value of authenticity in new ways, but to respond wisely and humbly to ongoing circumstances in our world.