Diversity and Inclusion Critical to Ongoing Success of Air Services Provider
The technical skills of NAV CANADA’s professionals are – figuratively and literally – instrumental in keeping Canadian skies safe. They provide critical air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services, and electronic aids to navigation that are indispensable to pilots.
But NAV CANADA’s management is also keenly aware that keeping a well-trained team of 5,000 employees content requires maintaining a positive work environment, and one of their key strategies for doing that is by placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
“Having a diverse and inclusive workplace really is critical to the continued success of our organization in terms of us being a world-leading air navigation service provider,” says Misty Giroux, the organization’s national manager of diversity and inclusion, and privacy officer.
“Continuing to evolve a diverse and inclusive business culture puts us in a really great position to not only continue to attract but also very importantly retain top talent. Training air traffic controllers and flight service specialists is quite a significant undertaking. So it’s really important to make sure that we’re creating a work environment where people will stay – and want to stay – with NAV CANADA,” she adds.
In fact, NAV CANADA lists diversity & inclusion (D&I) as one of its core values, along with respect, excellence, and customer service.
“We’ve made D&I one of those four corporate values in order to establish and entrench its level of importance within the organization. We include everyone in our vision of diversity, and we are communicating this clearly to all our stakeholders,” Giroux explains.
When employees with different backgrounds are comfortable and confident in being their authentic selves in an inclusive work environment, they get a true sense of belonging, which provides both physical and mental health benefits. It also helps people achieve their full potential, be innovative, and achieve business success, to the advantage of all of NAV CANADA’s stakeholders, says Giroux.
NAV CANADA developed its D&I plan meticulously, with input from key stakeholders from across the organization, to ensure it would be fully reflective of all of those different people’s past experiences and expectations for the future, says Giroux.
Tone from the top is also important, and NAV CANADA’s senior leadership team, its board of directors, chief executive officer and executive management committee, actively support a sustained D&I effort. “This has really been critical to our success so far and is a best practice that is one of the most important elements of a successful diversity and inclusion strategy,” says Giroux. “Ongoing involvement of our employees is also a vital element, and they are actively engaged through eight regional D&I committees across the country.”
NAV CANADA also encourages diversity of thought.
“If everybody comes up with the same solution to the same problem, you’re not going to get as much creativity as you would if you had diverse views and opinions where you have people with different backgrounds, and experiences, and opinions on things. So that is a positive contributor to business,” says Giroux.
She notes that although inclusion is harder to measure than diversity because inclusion is really a measure of how people are feeling, NAV CANADA is on top of that.
We’ve made D&I one of those four corporate values in order to establish and entrench its level of importance within the organization. We include everyone in our vision of diversity, and we are communicating this clearly to all our stakeholders,”
“We’ve started measuring using a diversity and inclusion census that we’re conducting every two years. We did the first one in 2019; we’ll do another one in 2021. We hope this will enable us to measure our progress over time and identify the current and relevant focus areas that our employees are identifying through their experiences in our work environment,” Giroux explains.
“A successful D&I strategy is not a one-stop shop check-box exercise. It has to be a sustained and meaningful priority,” she stresses.