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Do you want your workplace to be innovative, forward-thinking, and inclusive?

We each think differently based on our culture, language, lived experience, and personality. Teams that include people possessing a rich range of identity factors have been shown to work smarter; collaborating with people who are different from us can challenge our brains to think in new ways and boost its performance.(1)

The more viewpoints and perspectives are broadened, the more “group think” is challenged. This in turn can lead to more accurate decision-making and more creative and innovative problem-solving.

This innovative culture that diversity of thought can bring into our sector will help our employees be more engaged and productive, strengthen the capacities of our teams, and enhance our brand in the competition for talent—and so enable us to better serve our increasingly diverse customer base.

Group of diverse employees smiling for the camera

To encourage diversity of thought and perspective, four key elements must be integrated into our talent management approach:

Inclusion – Demonstrate the behaviours

To create and sustain a welcoming, supportive culture so all talented employees can contribute their best and feel valued for their contributions.

Equity – Create the opportunities

By making sure our HR practices are fair and free of systemic barriers, to ensure all members of our workforce are fully supported and have opportunities to advance.

Diversity – Reap the benefits

By attracting and hiring a range of talent—including women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), newcomers, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and beyond.

Accessibility – Remove the barriers

By making sure built environments, devices, and digital spaces are usable for as many people as possible.

It is always important to lead the way in bringing together a wealth of experiences, identities, ideas, and opinions to spark innovation and drive performance in our organizations.

Why use this toolkit?

  • Build and disseminate a rationale for a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and equitable people practices
  • Anticipate and mitigate common systemic barriers to recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining a wide diversity of talent
  • Influence, support and challenge decision makers (and employees), to enable your organization to fully harness the benefits a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce can bring
  • Role-model bias-aware communication and interpersonal skills to help foster a culture of inclusion

What does this toolkit include?

  • Good practice DEI “how-to” strategies.
    Covers the full HR cycle: Recruiting and hiring;
  • Onboarding and developing; Engaging and retaining.
  • Focuses on diverse talent groups that can “illuminate opportunity” for employers (such as women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, newcomers, and beyond).
  • Tailored to the needs of electricity and renewables employers.

Content Overview

The toolkit is organized into three sections, aligned with the three key stages of the employee lifecycle. Each section contains tips, tools and resources to support employers in enhancing their practices through a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion: the three elements required to “illuminate opportunity” in your workforce.

  • Recruiting & Hiring Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Onboarding & Developing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Engaging & Retaining Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


Interviewee shaking hands with her perspective employer


This toolkit contains a suite of resources to help you implement change:

Not sure where to start?

To help you determine how to get the most out of this Toolkit, the following chart highlights common good practices organizations can put in place to increase DEI. Use it as a guideline, adapting it to your own context.

If you’re just getting started, and so far you have…

  • Complied with employment equity/human rights legislation.
  • Focused mostly on “numbers” and increasing representation.
  • Implemented an anti-harassment and discrimination policy and enforced practices.

Next, you should:

  • Define the “why”: Articulate the benefits of IDEA for your business success, beyond your legal obligations.
  • Create a vision: Highlight the importance of IDEA in your vision/mission/values, to signal internally and externally that it is integral to who you are and how you operate.
  • Assess your current status: Gather baseline data on employee demographics and experiences to help identify where to focus efforts.
  • Seek early wins: As foundational practices, consider respect in the workplace education, inclusive job titles and work terminology, and recruitment materials that welcome and reflect candidates from all backgrounds

Start with Recruiting & Hiring

Group of diverse professional women having a meeting

If you’re ready to go further, and so far you have…

  • Experimented with several initiatives, but not in a strategic or integrated way.
  • Realized that subtle barriers might exist, but lack a coordinated approach.
  • Positioned IDEA primarily as an HR/head office responsibility.

Next, you should:

  • Focus on proven practices: Start with practices that deliver evidence-based value (such as robust orientation, mentoring and sponsorship, flexible work schedules and visible role models).
  • Formalize to prioritize: Building on your business case and values, set IDEA goals (both for representation and experiences of inclusion), establish accountabilities, and measure and report on progress regularly.
  • Consistently apply a IDEA lens: Develop a habit of questioning “how things have always been done”, and of assessing who is and is not included in organizational initiatives.
  • Engage leaders: Identify committed executives – including from operations – to champion diversity; facilitate opportunities to build their IDEA self-awareness, consult across the organization to stay informed, and to communicate and champion their vision.
  • Integrate IDEA throughout the business: For example, require search firms and other vendors to demonstrate support for IDEA.

Start with Onboarding & Developing

A senior engineer training his junior

If you want to sustain momentum, and so far you have…

  • Taken an integrated approach to IDEA.
  • Embedded IDEA in the organization’s culture.
  • Established internal accountability frameworks.
  • Established and aligned supplier and partner diversity initiatives.
  • Engaged role models.

Next, you should:

  • Make everyday inclusion part of your culture: Work to create a culture of open, positive behaviours where everyone is on board with inclusive workplace norms, and is comfortable resolving issues informally as they arise.
  • Keep track to stay on track: Update measurements and targets to reflect progress to date and any evolving needs. Sustain progress through ongoing ‘nudges’ using evidence you gather.
  • Cultivate high-impact partnerships: Collaborate with, share, and support both internal groups (e.g. employee resource groups), and external bodies (e.g. community, education and under-represented group-serving organizations) that will extend and support your IDEA efforts.
  • Communicate successes throughout your journey: Collect stories of positive impact, and of any setbacks and associated learnings, from across the organization. Equip champions with storytelling skills to spread your message and encourage further sharing about IDEA in your culture.

Start with Engaging & Retaining

Two professional women having an engaged meeting

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Checklist

Start practicing IDEA today

This checklist includes promising practices to help organizations prioritize, embed, and broaden their inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) initiatives. It covers multiple actions that can be implemented to create work environments and organizational cultures that are supportive of diverse talent. Your organization may want to consider tailoring its use to your specific needs.

DEI checklist cover page

Illuminate Opportunity Launch Q&A

To help you implement great DEI practices in your organization, we’re taking questions about DEI challenges that will be answered by our Program Manager of Diversity and Inclusion. You can share your questions below, either anonymously or with your email for follow-up.



The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.