Spotlight On Diversity
With an estimated 500,000 people missing work each day due to mental illness, mental health is an issue that we can no longer ignore. To bring mental health to the forefront at FCC, and as part of our ongoing diversity initiatives, we’re proud to be a partner in the Not Myself Today 2015 campaign, administered by Partners for Mental Health.
Leading up to Mental Health Week (May 4-10), the campaign addresses the misunderstandings that surround mental health problems or illness, which lead to preconceived notions, misconceptions and fears. Research shows that employees living with a mental illness may be looked upon differently, passed up for a promotion or not taken seriously. We encourage everyone to take part in the campaign, join the movement and use the resources at to inform discussions at work and at home.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when navigating the site:
- the members log-in is found at the top of the website and can be accessed by using the username: fcc
and password: notmyselftoday2015
- in the members section, check the Facts and Resources section for some great materials about workplace mental health specifically targeted to managers and employees
- when asked to supply a postal code on the site, use S4P 4L3 (FCC corporate office)
It’s time to listen when our friends and colleagues say “I’m not myself today.”
Sharing culture with community at the First Nations University Powwow
The 37th First Nations University of Canada Annual Spring Powwow drew thousands of people to Regina’s Brandt Centre April 11 and 12. The event attracted more than seven thousand spectators from as far as New Mexico and Florida to watch the performers.
Speaking of performers, there were close to seven hundred dancers and 27 drum groups.
The powwow was originally started by First Nations students and has grown to be one of the longest-running celebrations in Saskatchewan. In addition to sharing First Nations culture, the powwow is a celebration of spring.
Always a highlight, the grand entry kicked off each session of the First Nations University Powwow. It featured flag bearers, elders, dignitaries and all of the performers, entering the arena to singing and drumming.
FCC was a proud sponsor of the event. Our booth was a popular spot for people wanting to learn more about us, the FCC Aboriginal Student Empowerment Fund and potential career opportunities. Tanya Bear and Kevin Friday were among eight FCC employees who volunteered their time to staff the booth and visit with powwow attendees. Other volunteers were Treena Amyotte, Shauna Buffalo, Nadine Hakim, Breann Noyes, Jesse Robson and Donna Sugar.
Africa on display
The sights, sounds and flavours of African culture were on display as corporate office employees learned about various parts of the world’s second-largest continent. More than a dozen FCCers originally from Africa hosted two lunch and learns (one in English and one in French), where they shared stories, songs, dances and food in honour of their homelands. Attendees had a great time while gaining valuable knowledge and appreciation of eight fascinating countries: Rwanda, Somalia, Nigeria, Mauritius, Burundi, Sénégal, Cameroun and Côte d’Ivoire.
As a socially responsible organization, FCC is committed to building a workforce that is representative of Canada’s diversity. Promoting learning in both official languages through lunch and learn is just one way that FCC is working to build an open and inclusive organization for all employees.
Dispelling Myths about Mental Health
People don’t always like talking about mental health, but it’s not an issue we can ignore. That’s why we’re talking about it.
In May, FCC took part in Not Myself Today 2014 – administered by Partners for Mental Health. To help bring mental health to the forefront at FCC, we hosted two lunch and learns for our employees – close to 50 people attended the sessions.
At the lunch and learns, we discussed mental health issues in the workplace and gave a brief explanation on the need for a campaign like Not Myself Today 2014. We had group activities aimed at dispelling myths, sparking discussion and how we can provide support when dealing with mental health issues in the workplace.
One person at the lunch and learn said, “There are a lot of misconceptions about mental health and mental illness, especially at work. This session brought a lot of those myths out in the open and got people talking about mental health in a very positive, real way. The reality is that everyone is affected by mental illness at some point in their lives, so it’s time we starting talking about it and addressing it openly.”
Employee Spotlight: Cristine Medford
It can be pretty scary adapting to a new life. Cristine Medford, Senior Intelligence Strategist at FCC understands this – at least she does now.
Coming from Vancouver, Cristine grew up in a culturally diverse environment. But having worked with immigrants over the years really helped her understand how difficult a transition it is.
In 2012, Cristine became a mentor with the Regina Open Door Society. They help new immigrants and refugees adjust to life in their new community by providing intercultural and educational programming and career counselling services.
“For immigrant professionals to come to a new country and start over is a huge challenge,” Cristine says. They face many cultural and language barriers and, in some instances, red-tape associated with having their credentials recognized. Finding a fit for their professional skills can be an issue and many end up working in the service industry, instead of their professional field.
Employee Spotlight: Ronald Hoar
Why does Ronald Hoar care so much about diversity? Just ask him. “All people have something fascinating to offer. I don’t want that chance to learn to pass by any of us.”
Ron, a Credit Policy and Process Manager in Lethbridge, Alberta was one of the first members of the FCC Diversity Advisory Committee. From working with FCC customers who were recent immigrants, he saw how difficult it can be for people who don’t speak fluent English to make a living in Canada.
When Ron was Chair of his local church council, he helped refugees who had fled to Nepal to escape ethnic cleansing in Bhutan. The group sponsored these refugees so they could move away from the danger.
He’s also worked with the Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Society to deliver educational programs and develop cross-cultural relationships in that region. To recognize the importance of his work, a Pikanni elder of the Blackfoot Confederacy honoured Ron with the name Eet-Span-Skee or “Singing Above”.