RRC proud of third consecutive Diverse Employers title

by Hayley McDonnell

Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the third year in a row, and the college is proud of that title.

“In this day and age we support each other and RRC dignifies that. It represents what we stand for,” said Francesca Infantino, a customer service representative at RRC who has been working for the college for three years. “Students feel comfortable with our staff. We give them a sense of belonging.”

Francesca sits at the Student Centre desk and comes in contact with students from a range of places and programs every day.

“Nobody focuses on race,” said Infantino. “It’s nice to see students comfortable with us and who feel safe.”

RRC hosts many workshops, which are a requirement to receive Canada’s Best Diversity Employer award. One such workshop is Mental Health First Aid, offered every year. Employees of RRC can take this to recognize mental health issues.

“[The workshop] is always full,” said Suenita Maharaj-Sandhu, who has worked for the college for 20 years in three different positions, her most recent as the workplace equity diversity coordinator. “A healthy workforce is a business necessity, not a nice to have.”

RRC conducted a year-long study, titled Inclusive Campus Climate Review, across all campuses. The study compiled opinions from staff and students on their experiences with diversity and asked for their recommendations on how to make RRC a better diverse workplace.

According to Maharaj-Sandhu, RRC will use the results of the study to develop a college-wide inclusion strategy. One major point the report highlighted said RRC should incorporate more indigenous teachings into the college.

Maharaj-Sandhu is a member of the LGBTT initiative steering committee and the staff and student wellness committee, both of which work on initiatives that make RRC a more inclusive and healthy place. Some of the activities and initiatives from these committees are posted on the RRC Wellness Blog.

Suenita and her team received over 100 recommendations from the Inclusive Campus Climate Review, which will continue to help RRC diversify its workplace.