The brand purpose at Canadian Tire Corporation is clear: “We Are Here to Make Life in Canada Better.” And that brand purpose is brought to life across the company, including the Gas+ network, through adherence to five core values, two of which are directly tied to its diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts: “Inclusion is a must” and “We are stronger together.”
“We are committed to creating a culture based on mutual respect, where everyone feels that they belong and can contribute,” explains Andrea Ongaro, division vice-president, petroleum operations and business development. “We know we are stronger together and make decisions that reflect diverse voices and focus on actions consistent with our brand purpose and core values.”
A wide range of steps have been taken to make this a reality: The company shares resources with corporate employees and gas station retailers that help foster a sense of inclusion and belonging; they’ve held “Courageous Conversations” sessions, on topics such as unconscious biases and discussed DIB Terminology, and why language matters. In addition, the company added land acknowledgements at the beginning of all meetings; shared days of significance and 2SLGBTQ+ topics; added pronouns as part of corporate email signatures, and hosted a presentation from Prism, the 2SLGBTQ+ employee resource group.
“What started with us providing learning materials for fundamental concepts led to people courageously sharing stories,” says Ongaro. “This impacted others to live boldly and discover that they are accepted and to accept others as we learn that our differences and similarities make us stronger together.
“People now recognize we’re just scratching the surface in our interactions with each other and are learning how to become allies and partners in a beautiful lifelong journey of growth and discovery.”