Creating A Culture Of Loyalty

Creating A Culture Of Loyalty

Currently, most of our clients are dealing with large numbers of staff turnover as the Great Resignation is upon us.

It is a difficult time to be a leader currently as there is so much that is unknown and new, where old strategies don’t fit into this new world of work we are experiencing. 

This is a great time to remember and find out what keeps your team members loyal to the organization and their roles. 

This simple question can provide great insight as to what is important to them, why they stay, and what else you can do. 

We suggest asking this question during an all-staff meeting, providing different avenues for them to provide their insights from written to verbal to the discussion. 

When was the last time you asked your team members – “What makes you stay?”

Learn about how you can become an inclusive leader. Veza Global offers a range of EDI topics, like inclusive terminology, and anti-racism sample statements. Start your EDI journey toward inclusive leadership with these resources.

St Joseph’s Mission Residential School

St Joseph’s Mission Residential School

In Canada, more unmarked graves were found as the tragedy of the residential school system continues to impact the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

Our hearts are with Williams Lake First Nation who have discovered unmarked burials at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School.

We are committed to honour those that did not make it home, listen to those who survived and continue learning and unlearning, reconciliation, decolonization, and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities across the globe.

1. Do your part. Read the Truth and Reconciliation Act and take action on the calls to action. Applicable even outside of Canada.

2. Support your local Indigenous community.

3. Volunteer to support Indigenous-focused programs

4. Attend the cultural centres to learn more about their history. Many museums have resident exhibits with Indigenous history.

5. Champion Indigenous team members. Share postings for positions available within your org with new channels. Be a mentor. Help someone work on their interviewing skills or resumes

6. Buy from Indigenous-owned companies

Responding to Microaggressions and Racism

Responding to Microaggressions and Racism

Responding to microaggressions and racism can be very difficult. Whether you are a person experiencing or witnessing microaggressions or racism,  the definitions and suggestions below can support you in determining the best course of action. It is important to note that racism is embedded in our systems and structures. The information below does not address systemic or structural racism, but rather focuses on interpersonal racism. Systemic and structural racism is addressed through addressing processes, procedures, policies and personal biases. 

Microaggression: According to Dr. Derald Wing Sue, “microaggressions are the everyday slights, indignities, putdowns, and invalidations” that members of equity-deserving groups experience on a daily basis. Oftentimes, they occur in “interactions with well-intentioned, well-meaning people who are unaware they have delivered a putdown or invalidation.”  Microaggressions can have long-term physical and psychological impacts.

Racism: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi defines racism as a “marriage of racism policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities.” Racist policies can be “written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people” and “produce and sustain racial inequity between racial groups.” Furthermore, “a racist idea is any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group.”


Steps to consider when responding to microaggressions and racism: 

1. Clarify:
Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine if what you have experienced or witnessed is a form of microaggression and racism. If there are other people around, asking them if they also heard the same comment, for example, can be a form of validation. Reaching out to loved ones for support can also be helpful if there are no witnesses. 

2. Assess for risk and safety:
When you have experienced or witnessed microaggressions or a form of racism it is also important to assess the risk of your response or not responding.

3. Considerations before responding:
If you have decided to respond, there are many potential ways of addressing the behaviour.  Some important factors to consider include:

    • Timing: Do you want to respond as it is occurring or immediately after? Do you want to wait and respond after some time has passed?
    • Potential Impact: Do you want the perpetrator to be aware that their behaviour is a form of microaggression or racism? Do you want your response to be an educational opportunity for everyone who is witnessing the behaviour? Do you want the perpetrator to be held accountable for their behaviour? Do you want an opportunity to express how you are feeling? Do you want to feel validated? Do you want to feel support/be supported?

4. Respond:
In “ A guide to responding to microaggressions,” Dr. Kevin L. Nadal highlights that there are main ways of responding. 

    • Passive-Aggressive: This can include using jokes, humour and sarcasm as a way of indirectly highlighting the behaviour. However, it is important to note that this type of response may lead to further escalation. 
    • Proactive: Nadal explains that victims may sometimes feel frustrated and angry and respond actively, such as by yelling back, which “may be a therapeutic way of releasing years of accumulated anger and frustration.”. Similar to a passive-aggressive response, this type of response may lead to further escalation. 
    • Assertive:  This can include responding through sharing how the behaviour has impacted you and educating the perpetrator (and witnesses) how the behaviour is hurtful. Nadal highlights that by focusing on the action/ behaviour rather than the individual, you can create space for dialogue and learning

5. Document:
In many cases, particularly in situations where racism is taking place, it may be helpful to document and record microaggressions and racism. Having some form of record can help in holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions. If you are the witness, it is important to get the permission of the person who is experiencing the microaggression or racism before recording and/or sharing the recording.  

6. Support:
Microaggressions and racism can have long term impacts on our health. If you are experiencing microaggressions and racism, it is important to seek support. This can include speaking with family, friends and loved ones, speaking with mental health professionals, reporting the behaviour (e.g. speaking with HR), sharing common experiences with others, and practicing other forms of self-care. If you have witnessed microaggressions or racism, if possible, follow up with the victim to ensure they have access to support.  Organizations can also ensure that they have clear and accessible reporting and accountability measures in place so that people are aware that they can report microaggressions and racism when they occur in the workplace. Additionally, organizations can ensure that employees have access to different forms of support, such as access to mental health programs through their benefits.  


Veza Global is always here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further guidance. You can also take a look through our Resources page and go through the information listed on how to become an inclusive community member


1 – Derald Wing Sue, “Mini Moments with Big Thinkers,” Teachers College Columbia University, May 13, 2013.  https://www.tc.columbia.edu/bigthinkers/segments/derald-wing-sue/
2 – Ibid.
3 –  Ibram X. Kendi, “Extracts: Ibram X. Kendi defines what it means to be an antiracist,” Penguin Books Limited, June 09, 2020. https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2020/june/ibram-x-kendi-definition-of-antiracist.html
4 – Ibid.
5 – Ibid.
6 – Kevin L. Nadal, “A guide to responding to Microaggression,” CUNY FORUM 2:1 (2014) 71-76, https://ncwwi.org/index.php/resourcemenu/resource-library/inclusivity-racial-equity/cultural-responsiveness/1532-a-guide-to-responding-to-microaggressions/file 
7 – Ibid.

Recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Canadian Indigenous Flag by Curtis Wilson of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation near Campbell River. 


Recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – By Michelle Casavant, Veza Global’s Indigenous Consultant


September is historically a painful month for Indigenous peoples because it was the month when children were torn away from their families to return to residential school.

Bill C-5 establishes the new federal statutory holiday: the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30th.  This bill correlates to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action number 80, which called on the federal government to establish a holiday commemorating the history and legacy of residential schools and to honour the survivors, families, and communities.

The Government of Canada fast tracked the Bill after the announcement by Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc of the found remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops residential school.

September 30th was Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots movement which was a day to wear orange to commemorate and remember the children that attended residential school, the survivors, their families and communities.

The last residential school closed in 1996 and the effects of the system and colonization are still deeply felt in communities today.

Learning the truth is critical to moving forward with reconciliation. On September 30th, and every day, we need to reflect on the terrible history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, whether it is through personal reflection or with others.

You are invited to watch this powerful interview of former senator and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair.

Of note, Murray Sinclair states:

“reconciliation cannot come from a place where the non-Indigenous people think they are being benevolent.”   

He also notes that reconciliation will take 7 generations, and that Indigenous peoples are doing all the heavy lifting.

Do your part and help with the heavy work by learning the truth, reading the TRC Calls to Action, engaging in conversations, and more. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has a schedule of events for the week of September 27 – October 1, which you can access here.


Thank you for an impactful 2020

Thank you for an impactful 2020

Dear Veza Global Supporters,

It is important to set the goals, reflect and express gratitude where needed. I wanted to take this time to express my gratitude for all your support this past year. 2020 has been a year of learnings, growth, challenges, awarenesses and impact. For those within the Veza community, many of you have been great supporters in many ways. Our team at Veza, rose to the challenge when the lockdown’s happened, the anti-Asian racism increased, George Floyd was murdered and the #blacklivesmatter movement gained a second wind. We rose through supporting our colleagues through directing individuals in need to the right organizations who had stepped up. We ourselves, took a backseat while we funneled equity, diversity and inclusion work to other disproportionately represented groups who specialized in supporting Black, Indigenous and Anti-Racism. We knew for ourselves that was the right thing to do as it is a marathon, not a sprint. We wanted to remind you all too, exactly that – the work you do is a marathon, not a sprint so the impact you want to make will happen. 

We were able to contribute to the conversation and our impact through having the conversations, speaking at workshops/panels, and educating ourselves on how to be better and do better. Through our own audits, advisory, training work, we were able to bring economic empowerment to disproportionately represented groups by impacting 500,000 people in 2020. We thank you for your continued support in sharing our services so that we could create this impact. 

In this last year, we have had a number of memorable highlights that kept us going. We relaunched the ASCEND program for skilled immigrants with the Immigrant Employers Council of BC. 

We worked in partnership with HR Tech Group to create a Diversity and Inclusion Hub of curated over 300 equity, diversity and inclusion resources. Through this partnership, we audited various tech companies to help them understand where they are on their EDI journey and their path forward. 

Our team created a number of resources to help individuals and organizations to be more inclusive.

We worked closely with the Women’s Enterprise Centre Team to support immigrant women entrepreneurs in the province in terms of peer mentoring, funding and resources. 

We had the privilege of working with Community Future’s Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program and coached a few of their entrepreneurs on their business ideas. 

We worked with some outstanding individuals who are so committed to creating inclusive cultures in various industries from not for profit, tech, real estate, restaurant, government and law enforcement.

What to look forward to in 2021

In the upcoming year, we are looking forward to continuing our equity, diversity and inclusion work and impact. We have some exciting new announcements of programs coming out this year. 

Thank you to each of you for helping us make the impact that we are working to make. There are so many people to thank for this journey, each of them contributed in their own way. 




Culturally focused groups empower us and are not meant to be racist

Culturally focused groups empower us and are not meant to be racist

This morning I was reading a tweet how there was a call out for black producers in a Facebook group and there were comments how it was anti-white, racist and whatever else the individuals decided to call it.

This thread triggered for me a lesson I learnt back in 2012 when I first fully stepped into working with at that time ethnic women (now use the term women of culturally diverse backgrounds). I was tasked with doing research on what are challenges for women in general professionally and business. I decided to include the angle of first generation and immigrants as I felt the challenges would be different than those of white women. At that time, there was not much research available how race and culture influences pay equity and career paths so I had to figure out a way to test my hypothesis that there was a double glass ceiling for women of culturally diverse backgrounds. I remember having many conversations during that time that the issues for women were all the same and it was not sitting well with me. It also wasn’t sitting well with me that we would make networking groups exclusive as then we are not practicing inclusion then either.

I continued to do my own research and held a focus group of women of various cultural backgrounds to understand what were their challenges and barriers they needed to overcome in the workplace and in business in hopes that I would be proven wrong that we don’t really need to have culturally focused groups.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I was proven wrong. In this focus group and much more research to follow, it was proven that individuals do find a deeper sense of belonging, acceptance and being understood when there were people who they felt would understand their background, upbringing and maybe even resembled them in some way. There was an affinity (the unconscious tendency to get along with others who are like us. It is easy to socialize and spend time with others who are not different) bias that shows up naturally and there was a sense of bonding and community that existed amongst others who felt familiar to them.

Over the last few years, I continued to support women of culturally diverse backgrounds while using the term “culturally diverse” to encompass all those who do have cultural influences either it be the race, ethnicity, culture and location. This was my way of creating inclusion for all women regardless of the color of their skin with the understanding the color of our skin does impact our experiences in this world differently.

As I read the tweet this morning, I was inspired to share that there is a place for groups to come together based on their commonalities as it provided them a safe space and a sense of belonging that other places can not provide. It provides them a place where others understand their experiences. It provides them a place where they can show up as their whole selves without having to explain anything. It is a place which may be less exhausting for them as they can just be. Therefore it is not anti-white nor is it a way to perpetuate racism. It is a space for them and that’s it. It is about them.