OPB Stands with Black and Indigenous Communities & BlackNorth CEO Pledge
July 21, 2020 Update:
On behalf of OPB, I am pleased to share that today, I have joined many other CEOs from Canadian private and public sector organizations in signing the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO Pledge Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism. The BlackNorth Initiative is centred around Canadian business leaders coming together to identify systemic barriers and developing concrete action plans to remove them. The pledge will be an important part of the broader approach that we’ll be working on in the months ahead.
As I stated in my letter last month, I will continue to provide updates on our commitments towards greater diversity and inclusion at OPB, and look forward to sharing a further update on our action plan this fall.
President & CEO
June 30, 2020 Update:
Black and Indigenous communities are experiencing deep pain and trauma from racism. OPB unequivocally condemns any form of racism and discrimination.
I know some of you may be wondering why we didn’t share a message of support sooner. While statements of support matter, with an issue this important, we recognize that what’s really needed is meaningful action. Over the past month, we have been focused on listening, learning and having in-depth discussions about what we need to do.
At OPB, we hold diversity and inclusion as core values and we have a strong culture of treating one another with respect and dignity. That said, I acknowledge that while we have a diverse staff-level workforce, we need to do more at the leadership level. I also recognize that real change will require taking a systemic view of our organization, programs and processes and challenging our current thinking, biases and ways of doing things. I have declared my commitment to further diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way to the Board and our employees, and the entire leadership team stands with me in this commitment.
First, we need to listen to the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. This is particularly important given the progress we need to make on leadership diversity. Once we’ve had the opportunity to hear from these communities and to educate ourselves more deeply, we will develop an action plan for the whole organization which we will share and provide ongoing progress updates on.
While I know that change won’t happen overnight, here is what we are committing to doing this year:
- mandating inclusion, diversity and bias awareness training for all employees
- supporting our leadership team in understanding and working through their unconscious biases
- reviewing our HR practices and policies
- providing a progress update before the end of the year
We may not always get it right as we move forward, but I want to assure our employees, members and stakeholders that we are committed to doing the work to ensure a safe, diverse and inclusive environment for everyone.
President & CEO
We adopt the foregoing remarks as our own.
Peter Shena, EVP & Chief Pension Officer
Val Adamo, Chief Technology Officer
Chris Kautzky, Chief Investment Officer
Mila Babic, Vice-President Client Services
Armand De Kemp, Vice-President Finance
Jasmine Kanga, Vice-President HR & Corporate Services