January 28, 2014

Peel board makes “phenomenal” progress on The Journey Ahead plan for equitable hiring, promotion

The latest update on The Journey Ahead: Our Action Plan for Equitable Hiring and Promotion in Peel shows the work continues to be on track. But the presentation to trustees at the Regular Meeting of the Board on January 28, 2014, highlighted that there is much more to do.

In presenting the report, Scott Moreash, associate director of instructional support services, noted, “If you look at the chart, you can visually see the progress we have made—and it is truly phenomenal and  truly reflects the incredible work of so many in our system to make equitable hiring and promotion a reality in our board. But the check marks do not show how much real, difficult and sometimes even controversial work is behind all of this.”

Continued, Moreash, “Make no mistake—this is not an easy journey—and as we go further and further along the path, the work does not get simpler. Quite the opposite. Because now, in many areas, the road is uncharted in the Peel District School Board and for us, the path is unmarked.”

Moreash, who is the organizational lead for The Journey Ahead, spotlighted the first-ever session for Aspiring Racialized Leaders as an example of that uncharted path. “Just a couple of weeks ago, we launched our first session for Aspiring Racialized Leaders. I’m proud to say that well over 200 people were there for an incredible evening. But it was interesting as we headed toward the session to see the conversations that happened. Because for every person who said, ‘At last,’ I met others who asked, ‘Why?’ Some felt that it gave an advantage to some, more than others. I think it is healthy that we can have those conversations—that we know not everything is easy on this journey.”

Moreash went on to note, “If people have said to me that this was about an advantage, I have been clear—a leadership development program for Aspiring Racialized Leaders is, in fact, all about fairness, inclusion and equity. We’re making absolutely sure that those who are racialized and interested in leadership have the information, experiences and understandings to be equally successful in the process as those who have traditionally had the benefit of power and privilege. That is hard work—but it is the key work of The Journey Ahead.”

Moreash also introduced the Peel board’s new Manager of Workplace Equity Jewel Amoah. He said, “Jewel brings extensive experience in the development of positive working and learning cultures that value diversity and foster inclusion. Trained as a lawyer, she has important knowledge of legal advocacy, policy development and human rights.”

The plan—The Journey Ahead: Our Action Plan for Equitable Hiring and Promotion in Peel—was the result of extensive review of the board’s hiring practices by an external consultant. This detailed action plan directly addresses the findings from the research and  ensures that the work of the board in the area of equitable hiring and promotion is bias-free, deliberate, planned, systematic and consistent with our goals, policies and mission.

Says Tony Pontes, director of education, “This plan is our roadmap to ensure a highly qualified, diverse workforce, and I am proud of the hard work and the progress to date. As we move forward, the plan continues to have the full and unconditional support of the senior administration and the board.”

For more information, visit the Peel board’s website at http://wwwnew.peelschools.org/ABOUTUS/EQUITY.

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Media contact:  Scott Moreash, Associate Director of Instructional Support Services, [email protected], 905-890-1010 ext. 2041

Reference:  Brian Woodland, Director of Communications and Community Relations Support Services, [email protected], 905-890-1010 ext. 2812

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