Dufferin County approves Equity Strategic Plan
Dufferin County Council has approved the County’s first-ever Equity Strategic Plan.
Dufferin County underwent a strategy development and assessment process to collaboratively develop the Equity Strategic Plan. The four-year plan is focused on developing responsive solutions to the current systemic challenges, workplace experiences and emerging opportunities identified by the Equity Audit completed at the County in November 2022. Staff played an integral role in developing the Plan, which was developed in partnership with an internal equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) Strategic Plan Working Team.
The County’s vision under the Plan is to be an anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-oppressive workplace where employees feel a sense of dignity, wellness and belonging. The County’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion approach will focus on a shared commitment and responsibility to dismantle all forms of systemic oppression derived from white supremacy, including but not limited to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia and homophobia that operates on the personal, interpersonal and institutional levels.
The Equity Strategic Plan consists of four Areas of Focus to be completed across a four-year timeline. Each goal has corresponding strategies that will be used to highlight how the County will work to achieve them, and tactical actions that will be taken to reach the County’s desired outcomes. As part of the Strategy, the County will evaluate its internal policies, operations and management practices to ensure they meet the needs of current and future employees from various lived experiences and backgrounds.
In June, the County approved its 2023 to 2026 Strategic Plan. Equity is one of the key priority areas under the Plan, with corresponding goals. The rollout of the Equity Strategic Plan will support the Equity priority area as the County works to ensure that its programs, services and resources are responsive to the needs of community, reduce barriers to access and foster a workplace culture that embodies the values of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.
A fulsome Equity Assessment will be completed every four years to measure the County’s success in creating an anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-oppressive workplace where employees feel a sense of dignity, wellness and belonging. The County will continue to be transparent about this process, both within the organization and publicly.
Read the County’s Equity Strategic Plan here.
About the County’s Equity Audit
In March 2023, Dufferin County announced that it was taking steps to create a safe, accessible, inclusive and equitable work environment for all staff, beginning with releasing the results of an equity audit.
The Equity Audit is Dufferin County’s first organization-wide diversity, equity and inclusion assessment. The resulting Findings Report and Supplemental Review Report revealed data about the experiences of Dufferin County staff and provided opportunities to acknowledge and address issues of inequity impacting marginalized groups.
The Audit was identified as a key step to addressing inequities at the County as part of its 2019 to 2022 Strategic Plan and was conducted with direction from Council to apply a DEI lens to all aspects of governance and administration at the County.
Read the Key Findings Report here.
“Dufferin County is privileged to have a diverse staff of all ages, races, genders, sexualities, abilities, faiths and backgrounds, and we know that this diversity has given us access to a wealth of experiences and perspectives that have allowed us to serve our community for decades. We are proud to be embarking on a journey to become a more equity-informed organization, and by advancing the Equity Strategic Plan areas of focus, we will create an organization where every employee, especially those from communities that have experienced marginalization, is given the opportunities, resources and support that they deserve.”
- Wade Mills, Warden, Dufferin County
“At Dufferin County, we know that our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts will continuously impact every area of the organization and how we successfully deliver services for our community. That’s why all staff at every level of the County will adhere to and uphold equitable practices and policies as we work to redefine the organization as one where everyone looks forward to coming to work and feels supported as valued members of the County team. Together with County Council and key stakeholders, we will foster a culture where all staff feel safe, valued, heard, supported and included, and as a team, will make Dufferin County a better place where everyone can thrive.”
- Sonya Pritchard, Chief Administrative Officer, Dufferin County
Megan Ball, Manager of Communications