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Creating a more gender-inclusive workplace

Creating a more gender-inclusive workplace

Pride is an occasion dedicated to celebrating, commemorating and recognizing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, and two-spirit (2SLGBTQ2+) communities.

With the City of Edmonton celebrating Pride in August this year, ECVO took the opportunity to connect with our human resources director, Katie Whittingham, to discuss how Edmonton non-profit organizations can create a more gender-inclusive culture that is safe and welcoming for all. 

Creating Core Values  

Inclusivity should be embedded in an organization’s core values. By defining inclusivity as a core value, it becomes easier to integrate and prioritize inclusive policies in the workplace.

In a survey of 1,000 respondents, the job website, Glassdoor, found that 67% of job seekers look at workforce diversity when evaluating an offer.

Use Personal Pronouns   

A non-profit organization that creates a safe space that allows people to be their authentic selves is not only fundamental but beneficial to staff recruitment and retention, as well as the overall organization’s function. Creating a pathway to inclusivity can start with policies as simple as:

  • Encouraging employees to include pronouns on their email signatures.
  • Using gender-neutral language in internal and external communications.
  • Encouraging staff, volunteers, and clients to share their pronouns first, thereby inviting others to share their preferred pronouns with them.

More robust measures can include:

  • An overall assessment of workplace opportunities to promote inclusivity.
  • A gender pay analysis.
  • Providing genderless washrooms.

Organization-Wide Diversity Training  

There is no doubt that education and training lead to more inclusive organizations. During budget planning, non-profit leaders should set aside funding for annual inclusivity training. Training and education lead to a better understanding, and the ability to create a psychologically safe space for employees to come and discuss any accommodations or needs they may have.    

Inclusion is an important aspect because it’s really about creating a sense of belonging in the workplace and a sense of belonging is closely tied to job satisfaction and overall employee retention.” – Katie Whittingham

Whether attending individually or with a team of coworkers, there are a myriad of upcoming Pride events taking place in Edmonton this month:  

This year, the Edmonton Pride Festival Association celebrates Pride in August. Festivities kick-off with Alberta’s first-ever 2-Spirit Powwow, an indigenous cultural experience on August 24, 2023 at Churchill Square. For more information, please visit

Who doesn’t love a 90’s themed dance party? On August 25, 2023, Edmonton Pride Festival’s 90’s-themed dance party comes to Churchill Square! Attendance is Free. Visit  

On August 26, 2023, Edmonton’s biggest Pride event is back! Click on the link for more information