In these uncertain times, my thoughts have been with the populations that I have been working to support for the last few years – those from the underrepresented groups. Usually I am focused on the equality of pay for people of color, however we spend a lot of time working with organizations on hiring people who are newcomers, people with disabilities and Indigenous that I can’t help to think about how we can help them. I need your help to do that. 

These individuals are usually the ones who are already struggling to find meaningful employment and many times close to the poverty line (26% -33% of those in poverty are immigrant and Indigenous women). Times where there are so many layoffs and companies are impacted financially, these individuals are some of the first who will be losing their jobs. 

Here are a few strategies that I am thinking about. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to support these individuals further:

For companies, who haven’t laid people off yet, strategize with your team on what is possible. Are there opportunities available to the company right now that were not available before? Is there another way to decrease expenses while keeping team members employed? 

Donate locally. Many of these individuals will be accessing the Adopt a school program and the Food bank. Please give to local organizations like the food programs or women’s shelters or other programs (please comment with suggestions below).

Gather resources in your community. Is there a place on your street or in your cul-de-sac where food can be left that people can access without having to ask for it (this is a total out of the box idea but think big people)?

As a company, give relief to your customers if possible. It will help with their cash flow and stress.

Set up a call with someone outside of your immediate circle and just connect. Connection can be what gives someone hope that they are not alone. 

I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas on how we can support these individuals.