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Eryl on how our inclusion networks are a safe space to acknowledge, understand and celebrate

June 28, 2022

Everyone has a different life journey, and to make sure we can be our authentic selves every day, we need trusted spaces in the firm where we feel safe and valued.

When I joined PwC Canada, I dove deep into inclusion and diversity (I&D) initiatives. I’m very passionate about I&D, and participating in these activities was a great way to meet people outside of my function and role. Thanks to very supportive team members in the inclusion networks, I was able to find the safe space I needed to feel comfortable at PwC Canada.

Eryl looking at Japanese shrine

Fast forward to today. I’m now an executive member of two inclusion networks: Shine (our LGBTQ2S+ network) GTA and the Association of East and Southeast Asians Inclusion Network. Being part of each network has been a unique experience, but both have given me a sense of fulfillment. Given who I am, I see myself reflected in both networks, and they’ve helped me reconcile these two parts of my identity.

At PwC Canada, our inclusion networks have meaning behind them. They’re not limited to being a social or fun club: we’re also here to help create real change. I lead people engagement for Shine GTA, and I’m working to strengthen the member-allyship base across the firm. So far, we’ve held fireside chats with partners who identify with our network to create a space of personal storytelling and empathy, and we’ve added a mix of learning and social events to help build collegial connections and engagement. We’re grounded in providing a network, learning opportunities and social events for members and allies catered to the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Our inclusion networks are a safe space to acknowledge, understand and celebrate. To me, Pride isn’t just about one month—it’s something we need to remember throughout the year. Within PwC Canada, that celebration is carried across the firm, whether it be a social context, learning something new or creating space for voices to be heard. For example, did you know that PwC Canada’s Benefits team consulted with Shine during a review of the firm’s benefits offerings to make sure they met LGBTQ2S+ needs?

We’ve come a long way since I joined, but I also see opportunities for the firm to drive even more awareness and systemic change around inclusion, diversity and belonging. It will take time, but we’re making progress–and that’s what keeps me motivated to continue working towards these goals. There are many individuals at all levels in the firm who are supportive and proactive in making sure people feel like they belong. Everyone has their own journey, and to feel like you truly belong, it’s a matter of creating trust and safe spaces.

Eryl is a consultant in the HR Transformation practice and has been with PwC Canada since January 2021. He’s an executive member of Shine GTA, an executive member of the Association of East and Southeast Asians Inclusion Network and chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Respect committee in the Ottawa office.