By Jenneth Hogan
The Law Society was delighted to present it’s first full-day session co-hosted by the Canadian Bar Association, The Benefits of Diversity. We hosted the sessions first at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon on Tuesday, October 23rd and then in Regina on Wednesday October 24th at the Delta.
The morning sessions started off with keynote speaker, author and founder of bhasin consulting inc. Ritu Bhasin, LL.B MBA, who took participants on an interactive journey identifying their own internalized biases and the self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that often accompany them. Bhasin then provided participants with the background knowledge and skills that are vital in understanding and interrupting those biases – both conscious and unconscious – and the tools required to incorporate these practices into their workplace environments and day-to-day interactions.
The morning ended on an informative note as Curtis Woloschuk, Government of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Monica Hwang, University of Saskatoon, walked participants through Saskatchewan’s ever-changing demographic landscape highlighting the effect of said changes and the challenges and benefits they present. Dr. Stuart Wilson from the University of Regina facilitated this portion of the program, along with Woloschuk, at the Regina seminar.
The afternoon was comprised of two panel discussions, the first of which was made up of individuals from underrepresented groups in the profession and centered around lived-experiences and personal perspectives on the impact of bias. The second panel took a closer look at these challenges from a workplace perspective and offered up strategies for incorporating diversity into, and achieving inclusion within, an organization to improve overall business function and morale.
The Law Society of Saskatchewan would like to thank the Canadian Bar Association for their part in hosting such a unique and important seminar. We would also like to thank our guest speakers for sharing their experiences, knowledge and guidance on such a personal (and often-times quite sensitive) topic. Your insights and guidance are invaluable. To our participants, thank you for bringing light to the challenges that surround diversity and for playing their role in becoming a profession that’s more inclusive, empowered and authentic.