Part 1 - Visioning Diversity & Inclusion


Policies are important because they demonstrate expectations, support compliance and standards, and remind everyone of best practices.

In developing any policy, consider the typical steps:

  1. create the content (working with people it involves or affects)
  2. write the policy (the formal statement of principle) and any accompanying procedures (how you will implement it)
  3. have it reviewed and approved (usually by your board)
  4. communicate to everyone a new policy or any changes to existing policies

Creating diversity/inclusion policy can be as simple as incorporating a clear reference to diversity into existing policies on harassment, anti-oppression, or equal opportunities or creating a stand-alone policy.

A stand-alone policy should include:

  • Values statement – what diversity means to your organization
  • What you’re committing to – what is the vision for your organization
  • Why it’s important to your organization – what are the benefits
  • How you will accomplish it  - specific steps that might include:
    • policies that reflect and support diversity and inclusion
    • broader and non-biased recruitment
    • inclusive workplace practices and procedures
    • accessibility and accommodation
    • anti-harassment measures
    • engaging with the wider community
  • Who is responsible for implementing the policy at various levels within the organization (employees, board, manager)
  • When this was reviewed and approved by your organization’s  board of directors
  • Optional components, depending on the formality of your other policies, can include definitions of key terms and refernece to applicable legislation

Some of the policies that you might want to review from the point of view of inclusion should include:

  • Hiring
  • Equal Opportunity and Equal Pay
  • Leaves
  • Harassment
  • Accommodation Requests
  • Accessibility
  • Code of Conduct
  • Conflict Resolution and Communications

Included in the resources are various generic policies which have been adapted from Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 



WorkInCulture – Example of Diversity and Inclusion policy

Toronto International Film Festival – Example of written diversity statement

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – expresses the commitment of the company to its mission and to its core values (difference, excellence and community)

Americans for the Arts – the diversity statement of an American arts service organization that links the network of organizations and individuals that advance the arts

Modern Fuel – mandate of a small artist-run centre in Kingston Ontario committing to diversity in its mandate

Generic Policy Templates:
Code of Conduct
Equal Opportunity and Equal Pay


Dig Deeper

HR Council’s  sample diversity policies – diversity policy examples from other non-profit organizations

HR Council – the website has a list of sample policies on a wide variety of common HR topics