All walks of life are welcome at Community Futures North Okanagan—and now it has the logo to act as a beacon for safe and inclusive support. The business and employment services organization recently earned the national ‘Rainbow Registered’ certification indicating it meets third-party standards for inclusivity with the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are proud to celebrate diversity of every kind and want to make sure that people from the LGBTQ+ community know this is a safe place to land for services, and that we are able to support those who identify in various ways,” says Leigha Horsfield, executive director, CF North Okanagan.
The Rainbow Registered accreditation program grants a time-limited recognition to businesses and organizations for demonstrating compliance with standards across four pillars: policies and practices, training for diversity and inclusion (D&I), inclusive leadership and a culture of inclusivity.
When the opportunity arose to get Rainbow Registered, CF North Okanagan had already been on the path to creating an environment of inclusivity, including:
- Policies and practices for the team and clients are written and communicated through a lens of respect for all genders and orientations, and comply with all relevant Acts
- Staff training using facilitators with lived experience sharing learnings with the staff
- Inclusion committee works to educate staff and support inclusion initiatives through information, activities and celebrations
- Volunteer days give staff a chance to support organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community, such as Armstrong Pride
- Marketing materials demonstrating diversity and inclusion
The certification process included multiple meetings and a thorough one-on-one review of the application with an assessor. Accredited organizations are given the right to be associated with the program’s prestigious Rainbow Registered designation mark, now displayed on the CF North Okanagan website and the Vernon-based organization is findable in an online directory.
“Our team is very proud that we’ve been able to achieve this certification and it’s validating to know the work we’ve been doing is recognized by an external body,” says Horsfield, adding that anyone wanting to join the CF team will also now be able to see that CF North Okanagan is supportive, open-minded, eager to learn and doing recognized work to walk the talk.