We interviewed several ACEC-Ontario member firms to identify the 2SLGBTQ+ employee resource groups available at their companies, aiming to showcase their goals and values for those considering implementing similar resources. By spotlighting these firms’ efforts, we aim to inspire other organizations to create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We would like to sincerely thank representatives at Jacobs, WSP, Parsons, and Entuitive for their input.
Jacobs has established PRISM JEN, an employee group dedicated to supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies. Through organizing events, attending conferences, and building a sense of community, Jacobs aims to increase knowledge and understanding within their organization. In line with their core value of inclusion, Jacobs implements training programs, hosts events, and fundraises for charities that support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The company values diversity and encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work, fostering a welcoming and accepting environment. Their goals include expanding PRISM membership, enhancing engagement in events, and advancing internal policies to ensure employee well-being. To achieve these objectives, Jacobs plans to organize social events for employee connection, raise awareness of PRISM and related topics through various events, and conduct a third-party assessment (Pride at Work) to evaluate their 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadian policies. Ultimately, this assessment will inform an action plan to drive progress.
WSP has established an 2SLGBTQIA+ employee network called VIBE, which works with the business to create an inclusive environment where 2SLGBTQIA+ employees can thrive and reach their full potential. By supporting the community and fostering a sense of belonging, WSP enables individuals to bring their authentic selves to work, thereby facilitating both personal and professional growth. VIBE organizes various activities, including webinars on allyship and partnerships with external queer associations like EngiQueers and Pride at work. In line with their goals, WSP is actively engaging with Talent Acquisition to enhance inclusion and diversity in the hiring process. Through bi-monthly workshops, they are discussing strategies to incorporate inclusivity in job offers and recruitment procedures.
Parsons has established the PRIDE Alliance as an Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) to create a safe and inclusive work environment for 2SLGBTQIA+ employees and their allies. The PRIDE Alliance aims to amplify voices, recognize contributions, drive policy changes, and actively participate in 2SLGBTQIA+ specific events. As part of Parsons’ broader EBRG initiative, the PRIDE Alliance and other groups offer networking, mentoring, coaching, development, and community outreach opportunities. Together, these efforts promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering a supportive workplace and shaping policies that champion 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals’ rights and well-being. EBRGs are voluntary, employee-led groups dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment within the context of the organization’s mission, values, goals, business practices and objectives.
Entuitive, as part of their Member Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, established their 2SLGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG) or “Pillar” in 2021 alongside three other ERGs, with the goal of promoting inclusivity, diversity, and a sense of belonging within the company. Their efforts have focused on creating a more inclusive environment for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals within Entuitive and the broader consulting engineering industry. The goals of Pillar are to increase representation and recruitment of 2SLGBTQIA+ employees and senior leadership positions within the company, raising awareness about the community and the challenges it faces.