Celebrating the diverse abilities of Langley employees in the workplace

Celebrating the diverse abilities of Langley employees in the workplace

WorkBC hosted a breakfast, Thursday morning, to celebrate and support inclusive employers

At the home stretch of September, disability awareness month, WorkBC has kick-started an inclusive employer campaign to continue the conversation of diversity in the workplace.

October is inclusion month, an initiative WorkBC, Inclusion Langley, and the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) are marking with bright blue balloons.

If a local employer wishes to signify to the public and potential employees that they have or are open to hiring someone with a disability, these balloons are available to decorate businesses.

WorkBC held a breakfast Thursday morning, where 22 employers came to hear about different ways they could make their business more inclusive.

Questions periods, networking opportunities, and blue balloons were all made available as several speakers discussed ways employers can help foster inclusion.

Annette Borrows, president of CASE, spoke to the crowd about the stigmas many employers let stop them from hiring someone with a disability.

“What happens is one employer may hire fifty percent of their staff with people who has disabilities and another employer will see that and think ‘I don’t have the time’ or they feel that the problem of inclusivity has been taken care of,” Borrows said.

She discussed many different types of disabilities from mental health to physical handicaps, using her own brother who required the use of a wheel chair as an example. No matter the obstacle, Borrows illustrated that people’s hopes and goals are universal.

“Now, we are on a brink of a revelation to find meaning in our life,” Borrows continued. “We all want to have meaning and purpose in our job. The idea that people with a disability want to work in one industry is a fallacy; they want to be everything from welders to retirement facility care-workers – people with disabilities want to work everywhere and have that purpose too. They want to become service providers instead of only service users.”

Borrows noted that even smaller acts like installing an automatic door or providing clear and understandable information on products can go along way, pointing to a previous owner of the Mad Butcher in Abbotsford as an example.

Borrows said these adjustments, along with an inclusive hiring practise that led larger profits and a healthier environment.

Read More: VIDEO: Try this on for size…free suits!

Patricia Elgersma, an HSBC project manager, was also one of the speakers at the breakfast who touched on finding work with a visual impairment.

“I know it sounds cliche, but don’t ever give up,” Elgersma said to anyone with a disability looking for work. “Don’t be afraid to advocate and develop those advocacy skills for yourself.”

Borrows estimates thousands of balloons – environmentally friendly she stressed – will float in front of businesses throughout October, acting evidence that people’s attitudes and views on differing abilities are changing.

“You will be left behind as a business in this wave of purpose,” Borrows warned. “We need to bring equal employment opportunities to everyone.”

Ines Montoya, business and community liaison at WorkBC, said their doors are always open at the Langley branch, 110-19925 Willowbrook Drive.

People can walk in without an appointment to seek help finding work or to have any questions about diversity and inclusivity answered.

Of course, Montoya added that the balloons will be there for employers to take anytime throughout October.


Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Celebrating the diverse abilities of Langley employees in the workplace

Just Posted

The B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C. is shown on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Langley to seek COVID-19 infrastructure grants

The provincially-administered funds could be used in flood prevention

Langley’s Maryalice Wood, 71, won Cranberries BC Culinary Contest in October 2020 for her cranberry walnut cheese ball recipe. (Coreen Rodger Berrisford/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley woman creates winning cranberry walnut cheese ball recipe

Maryalice Wood won the Cranberries BC Culinary Contest

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley resident disappointed with paper’s lack of Nov. 25 coverage

Reader critical of paper for not covering International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women

Townhouses for sale in the Willoughby neighbourhood of Langley on Dec. 2, 2020. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Houses selling fast in Langley in November

Real estate markets continued to see high sales and rising prices

These three orbs in a triangular formation were spotted in the skies above Abbotsford/Aldergrove on Dec. 1. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Alleged UFO sighting in Abbotsford/Aldergrove

Footage from Dec. 1 shows three orbs in triangle formation in the skies

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read