Happy World Day for Cultural Diversity! At Argyle, we pride ourselves on working across sectors and borders – and on being one of North America’s most culturally diverse communications firms. That makes cultural diversity a priority in both our client work and within our teams.
Argyle aims to communicate truth and earn trust through relationships between organizations and stakeholders, leading to better decisions, more reputable businesses and institutions, and a healthier, more sustainable society. Two of our leading values are inclusion — we believe in opportunity and equity for all — and impact; at Argyle, we strive to serve our clients while being agents of change and a force for good.
So, what better way to observe this international holiday than to highlight our own staff members’ investment in promoting inclusion and cultural diversity?
Argylers, what does cultural diversity mean to you?
Titilayo Ajibose, Consultant: It means recognizing that no two minds or perspectives or individuals are the same. It’s giving equal opportunities and platforms to individuals of different races, cultures and backgrounds to contribute and share their views because their perspectives will be unique, insightful and equally valid. It’s looking at your smaller or larger team and seeing different cultures or races represented.
Pereina Choudhury, Vice President in Agriculture and International Trade: In my ideal world, cultural diversity embraces inclusion. It authentically acknowledges and respects the values and ideas of various cultural and ethnic groups, ultimately leading to deeper understanding and respect, benefitting the greater good. Whether at work (in a boardroom or on a Zoom), at play or voting at the polls, I want to be surrounded and represented by people who reflect the diversity that our city and our country, is built upon.
Shruthi Dinkar, Recruiter: Culture is part of everyone. It is what defines and moulds us. I would go one step further to say it’s the backbone of everyone. Cultural diversity, to me, is the recognition and celebration of each individual and their specialty!
Argylers, how do you think Argyle supports cultural diversity?
Vinicius Kran Machado, Graphic Designer: Moving to Canada from Brazil three years ago was the first time I left my country. I wanted to continue working in my field, in a welcoming environment for me to adapt to the culture and the new language. This was no small feat! Fortunately, I knew it would be a great place to be from the day I met the team at the Argyle office for my job interview. I was happily surprised by everyone’s support and patience. I am grateful to be in a place with people prepared for cultural diversity, with people who understand that each person comes with different backgrounds and abilities. Not to mention the luck of finding other Brazilians on the team and having a little piece of home this way! I think success is being matched with good people, and Argyle continues to select and invest in people with this noble and profitable spirit of collaboration.
Titilayo Ajibose, Consultant: To me, diversity at Argyle is most evident in the hiring practices and work culture. Argyle has demonstrated that cultural diversity is a value that is important to the organization. Their actions in hiring people from different backgrounds and races show this. The collaborative and friendly culture at Argyle allows all employees to contribute and share their ideas.
Pereina Choudhury, Vice President in Agriculture and International Trade: Reflecting on the completion of my first year at Argyle, the company’s commitment to cultural diversity was clear from Day 1, and it was evident that education would form a critical component. I remember being immediately enrolled in two courses – Diversity and Inclusion Fundamentals and Respectful Workplace Training – requirements for all employees. Three weeks later, I observed in action the passion and dedication of my new colleagues as they hosted Argyle’s second annual Community Day in support of non-profit organizations advancing equity and social justice. For me, one of the most memorable Argyle undertakings was a company-wide virtual session in honour of the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (on September 30th). Kevin Lamoureux, Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, educated Argylers on Indigenous relationships, treaties, and reconciliation. These initiatives highlight the company’s ongoing commitment to educating and elevating its employees to achieve greater respect and understanding of others. Ideally, as we continue our journey, we will unite towards values that all cultures have in common.
Shruthi Dinkar, Recruiter: As a recent immigrant to Canada, I was told by many that without Canadian experience, it’s almost impossible to get a job here. However, through my interview process at Argyle, I was never made to feel that my lack of Canadian experience was a deterrent. Instead, the focus was on the skills, experiences and values that I would bring to Argyle. This helped me feel part of the team quickly, focus on my job, and not feel disoriented by the culture gap. Working in the shared services team has given me an excellent platform to interact and learn from colleagues, and the culture established has been forthcoming and transparent. I believe learning culture directly supports cultural diversity, and I have seen the importance and value given to that learning at Argyle.
We understand that cultural inclusion is not a box to check, but an ongoing commitment that extends from our workplace to the clients and causes we serve. From inclusive recruitment and hiring practices, to organizational learning, a friendly and collaborative work culture, and a commitment to continuous growth, we at Argyle are proud to highlight how we strive for inclusive cultural diversity.
Keen to integrate cultural diversity into your organization, or have tips to share from your workplace? We’d love to hear from you.
About the Authors
Taruni Singh, currently works as a Consultant at Argyle on the Social Change team.
Rhianne Fiolka, currently works as a Senior Consultant on urban planning and equity-related public engagement projects at Argyle. Rhianne is passionate about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and consistently integrates social justice into her work.