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Acting Chief of Military Personnel on Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture Change Short-Term Initiatives

Blackadder1916

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At the risk of seeming to backtrack on a previous comment in favour of chaplains over social work officers assuming their responsibilities, after reading some comments that paint Social Work Officers (SWOs) in a less that flattering light, I feel a need to provide some defense. As I said before "there is a reason that they are two separate occupations". While both are helping professions, it doesn't mean that they have the same professional responsibilities or specific duties in the military milieu.

For reference, QR&Os and CFAOs provide some detail about what they are supposed to do. There may be some DAODs that flesh out (or limit) their duties.

CFAO 33-11 RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES OF CHAPLAINS

CFAO 56-15 CANADIAN FORCES SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
CFAO 56-28 INVESTIGATION OF COMPASSIONATE PROBLEMS

Since the realities of a current emphasis on mental health issues have expanded the "clinical" employment of SWOs in frontline care (the medical frontline, not to be misconstrued with a combat frontline), the "traditional" model of the Base SWO has perhaps faded. Being of a certain generation, I can remember when social workers did not report to the Medical Branch and they dealt more with the "social" aspects of psychosocial services.
Psychosocial services program – Social workers provide brief interventions, crisis interventions, alcohol/drug/gambling addiction counselling and information services, as well as handle administrative requests (eg, involving unexpected moves, compassionate status and postings, assessments for OUTCAN postings) and pre-deployment and post-deployment screenings.
Even with more use of SWOs as therapists (including deployed with medical elements on operations), they still have a formal role in a number of administrative functions which (from my dated experience) were often the reason for individuals to not hold them in a favourable light (e.g., when their assessment and recommendation negatively affected posting and/or deployments). This ombudsman's report touches on the subject.

The Social Worker’s role is not well defined or understood in the contingency cost move, compassionate status, and compassionate posting policy or process.
DAOD 5003-6 provides an overview of the Base/Wing Social Worker role within the contingency cost move, compassionate status, and compassionate posting process but does not outline their appointment, assessment, and report requirements. D Mil C confirmed that they do not make decisions without a Base/Wing Social Worker assessment of the member’s situation, though this is not outlined in the policy. The policy outlines that the Commanding Officer will seek additional information only if insufficient information is available at the unit level or the Commanding Officer cannot support the request. As well, the possibility of a second tier of Social Worker review at the National level is not outlined in the policy.

Most CAF members and families interviewed did not know of the National Social Worker Group’s role, unless that group intervened.

Base/Wing Social Workers interviewed indicated that once they forwarded the assessment to the Commanding Officer, they were not informed of the outcome unless the National Social Worker was involved, or the CAF member advised them. In these situations, the onus is on the CAF member and family to re-engage the Base/Wing Social Worker for support. Some Base/Wing Social Workers interviewed stated that not being informed of the outcome of the request hinders their professional development, their ability to provide guidance and resources to families, and assist CAF members with future requests.

And the chaplains were reviewed recently.

A couple of excerpts from the report that may be of interest, however there is much more in the full report germane to this specific discussion.
Base/wing commanders feel that the RCChS is a vital service and that chaplains contribute to the resilience and mental and spiritual health of the Defence Team. It was also felt that chaplains provide the pulse and advisory support to the CAF command team, including the ability to gauge the overall morale and health of the team.

However, not all agreed on the need for the CAF chaplaincy. As the CAF population becomes less religious (see Finding 2), the need for chaplains is called into question by a few. As chaplains are embedded in their units, they are often called on for matters beyond the religious or spiritual, including for mental health issues. In the survey of CAF members, when asked for comments, 7 percent of those who responded stated that mental health experts or social workers should replace chaplains in these cases.
Composition of RCChS

RCChS chaplains represent a number of different faith traditions. There is an opportunity for the chaplaincy to better reflect the diversity of the Canadian population. For instance, there is greater representation from Protestant denominations, lower representation among non-Christian Faith Traditions, and no representation from non-religious groups.

1258-3-049-4-en.jpg
Figure 4. Representation of faith traditions within the Canadian population, in CAF members surveyed, and of CAF chaplains.

When asked for areas for improvement for the RCChS, one of the most common replies from CAF members was the need for greater diversity of both chaplains and of the Faith Traditions they represent.

The RCChS is currently working to expand the Faith Traditions from which chaplains can be recruited, including a possible secular (humanist) option.

Visible Minorities, Indigenous Peoples and Women

The large majority of CAF members did not feel their ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation affected the level of support they received from the chaplaincy, including most women, visible minorities and Indigenous people. However, among chaplains themselves, those who are visible minorities (including Indigenous) and those who are women are more likely than others to see a lack of equity in the chaplaincy and in the services it provides. Both are more likely to agree that there are inconsistencies in the level and quality of care received by different groups of people, and that barriers to recruitment exist for certain groups to be hired as a CAF chaplain.
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Jarnhamar

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.
 

Ostrozac

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.
That’s a bit of a worst case scenario, isn’t it? We change our military culture just enough to make our traditional recruiting pool feel unwelcome and unappreciated, encouraging them to walk away, but we don’t change our culture enough to actually attract a new demographic to replace them.
 

Furniture

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.
A friend of mine had the same experience, he was turned down for a couple of things he volunteered for because as a straight white male he wasn't "diverse" enough. I had a sense they didn't want people like me, so didn't even bother to waste the effort to write the email to volunteer.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I have noticed a bit of this attitude and brought it up when I took part in the Positive Space Facilitator Conference this past February. By making our diversity groups and training an echo chamber, drawn from the groups that we're trying to make awareness about, it becomes almost self serving, like the same 5 nerds playing D&D in the cafeteria in high-school.

If we want to understand and incorporate diversity as a standing value within the CAF, everyone needs to be on board, not just grabbing a bunch of people that fit the description for a PAO video montage.
 

Good2Golf

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Perhaps I’m perhaps going out on a limb assuming this, but here goes…since I’m assuming it’s not older, white heteronormative males running this show, the fact that those who are running this effort have gone with “splash a pretty young (Caucasian) woman around as the face of gender-based consideration” makes you not help but wonder why the CAF still isn’t getting it.

When an organization can’t even stretch to include an identifiably diverse member to represent the effort, you know you have a fail.

Heck, if I can tell that Febreeze is portraying a lesbian couple spraying their house to be fresher in their ads, surely to goodness the CAF could do something even slightly representative? 🤦🏻
 

SeaKingTacco

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.
I recommend that you bring this to the attention of the CoC.

If hetro males are being blanket excluded from these types of events and it is not just a “one off”, this needs to be fixed.

If your CoC is unable/unwilling to deal with this, I do know that CPCC has a plus account on the DWAN.
 

daftandbarmy

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I recommend that you bring this to the attention of the CoC.

If hetro males are being blanket excluded from these types of events and it is not just a “one off”, this needs to be fixed.

If your CoC is unable/unwilling to deal with this, I do know that CPCC has a plus account on the DWAN.

That could be dangerous. Seriously.

We're in the midst of a roll out of various political agenda in the CAF that will, based on the incompetence involved given the above examples, will likely fail in some way ... and take a few careers with them. Any kind of complaining could be taken the wrong way, especially by WASP-ish males...

IMHO, it's better to let the 'Widow Makers' come down on their own and then carry on ....
 

Fabius

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I recommend that you bring this to the attention of the CoC.

If hetro males are being blanket excluded from these types of events and it is not just a “one off”, this needs to be fixed.

If your CoC is unable/unwilling to deal with this, I do know that CPCC has a plus account on the DWAN.
That would assume that those policies are NOT being driven from the center. That's a bet I would not be willing to take right now.
 

kratz

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It might be the cynic in me, but D.I.E. = Diversity, Inclusion and Equity is very effective for two reasons.
Opening spaces for target audiences and burying previous traditional population.
 

Brad Sallows

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Something about creating a positive work place

Doesn't achieve the aim if it's just aggrieved people talking about what grieves them.

Also doesn't achieve the aim if everyone's invited, but it turns into a "struggle session" with (guess who) in the middle.
 

quadrapiper

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Perhaps I’m perhaps going out on a limb assuming this, but here goes…since I’m assuming it’s not older, white heteronormative males running this show, the fact that those who are running this effort have gone with “splash a pretty young (Caucasian) woman around as the face of gender-based consideration” makes you not help but wonder why the CAF still isn’t getting it.

When an organization can’t even stretch to include an identifiably diverse member to represent the effort, you know you have a fail.

Heck, if I can tell that Febreeze is portraying a lesbian couple spraying their house to be fresher in their ads, surely to goodness the CAF could do something even slightly representative? 🤦🏻
Especially well done when the concept of intersectionality is both not new at this point, and highlighted in the all-hands GBA+ click-through, let alone whatever more involved material is floating around the CAF.

Looking at messaging, IIRC the MARPAC, RCN, and CAF PAff staff managed to pull together photos of a reasonably diverse collection of personnel for their International Women's Day messaging. Really isn't asking too much that the same be done for other, more enduring material.

As an impression, and I think it's changing, but the PAff and in-house graphic design world does seem to have tended towards "pretty, doing something clean, and probably Caucasian" archetype when it's time to put up photos of women in the CAF for anything.
 

daftandbarmy

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.

Oh No Omg GIF by Emirates FA Cup
 

daftandbarmy

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If the CAF is serious about EDI, here's an option that's working with other organizations:

Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right​



Summary.

Many companies struggle to attract and retain Millennial talent. A few are experimenting with reverse-mentoring programs to address that problem. These programs can increase retention, help senior executives become more sophisticated about social media, drive culture change, and promote diversity.

When Mark Tibergien, CEO of Advisor Solutions, thought about the future of BNY Mellon’s Pershing, he knew the company had a problem. Millennials were uninterested in working in financial services. In addition, Millennials who did join the company were leaving the company at higher rates than their older peers.

Like BNY Mellon’s Pershing, many companies struggle with how to retain Millennial talent – and also with how to stay relevant to younger consumers. In response to these challenges, leadership teams of major companies around the world are implementing reverse-mentoring programs. Reverse mentoring pairs younger employees with executive team members to mentor them on various topics of strategic and cultural relevance. This approach has precedent: in the late 1990s, GE’s Jack Welch used reverse mentoring to teach senior executives about the internet. But modern reverse mentoring extends far beyond just sharing knowledge about technology; today’s programs focus on how senior executives think about strategic issues, leadership, and the mindset with which they approach their work. Describing the primary issues that she mentored on, Kayla Kennelly (one of the original mentors at BNY Mellon’s Pershing) stated: “The top of [Mark Tibergien’s] list was, ‘How do I connect with the younger generation?’… And then, ‘How do I attract and retain younger talent?’ Technology has been important but it has been pretty much at the bottom of many of the mentors/mentees lists.”

In our research, we found four main benefits of reverse-mentoring programs.

Increased retention of Millennials.Reverse-mentoring programs provide Millennials with the transparency and recognition that they’re seeking from management. According to Gerry Tamburro, former managing director at BNY Mellon’s Pershing, who was both a mentee and a founder of the company’s program, “This [program] helped the executive committee not only to be more transparent but to also seek input from people throughout the organization on many decisions.” The former CEO of BNY Mellon’s Pershing, Ron DeCicco, and his Millennial mentor, Jamilynn Camino, co-developed fireside chats to increase the CEO’s connection with employees. In these chats, which ran for over three years and were the most highly attended company event, DeCicco discussed critical issues and solicited employee feedback. BNY-Mellon|Pershing experienced a 96% retention rate for the first cohort of Millennial mentors.

Sharing of digital skills. While digital skill development should not be the focus of a reverse-mentoring program, many of the companies we researched mentioned that it was a meaningful part of the relationship. For example, the current CEO of BNY Mellon’s Pershing (then COO) used his mentor to help him with social media, which he had never before integrated into his working life. Now, he is one of the most avid social-media users inside the company. As Cimino stated, “Jim [Crowley] has totally shifted the way he interacts and communicates with employees… Jim is incredibly active on [our internal social media platform]. [He] is also active representing the company [on LinkedIn], which he never was before this program.”

Driving culture change. As Estée Lauder’s CEO, Fabrizio Freda, noted, the company “had come to a place where the future could not be informed by the past” and therefore decided to implement a reverse mentoring program. Besides educating senior executives on the importance of social media influencers for the overall shopping experience, Millennial mentors developed Dreamspace, a knowledge-sharing portal to exchange ideas. Estée Lauder distributed bi-monthly alerts to employees, including the executive leadership team, on the leading topics discussed on Dreamspace. Kennelly of BNY Mellon’s Pershing told us that she and her mentee had discussed why young people weren’t attracted to the financial services profession. “He asked me to research this question. I came back with three reasons, including a general distrust of the industry, negative portrayal of the industry in media, and misperception that the profession was only about sales. He then used these reasons in shaping the recruitment strategy.”

Promoting diversity. The global law firm Linklaters piloted a reverse-mentoring program in order to improve leadership’s understanding of minority issues, including those of LGBT and ethnic minorities. And in 2014, PricewaterhouseCoopers launched its reverse-mentoring program as part of its drive for diversity and inclusion. The program now has 122 Millennials mentoring 200 partners and directors worldwide.

Program organizers should consider the following four points, which we found to be critical to realizing the benefits of reverse mentoring:

The right match is crucial. First, emphasize diversity, matching across region, department, and location. Also match for diverse personalities (e.g., it is better to have an introvert paired with an extravert than to pair two introverts). Second, consult mentees before making the pairing formal. While most Millennial mentors accepted any pairing (as long as the mentee was committed), executive mentees were more selective, as they were concerned about crossing supervisory lines and any appearance of conflict of interest.

Address mentees’ fear and distrust. Many executives are fearful of revealing their lack of knowledge to junior employees. But if the fears are addressed explicitly, open sharing can be incredibly rewarding. At BNY Mellon’s Pershing, these concerns were part of the early discussions within the mentor-mentee community. As Crowley stated, “You know you are exposing yourself, you are exposing your vulnerabilities and… I think that that helps actually strengthen the bond between the two of you and it’s not a bad thing.” Many mentees are also fearful of junior employees sharing sensitive information with co-workers. However, in all the companies we studied, breach of confidentiality was never a problem that we could discern.

Ensure strong commitment from the mentees. The number one reason that reverse-mentoring programs fail is that the executives don’t prioritize the relationship; after a couple of cancelled sessions, the momentum quickly dwindles. But it’s the Millennial mentors who should drive the program through sharing best practices, helping to select new cohorts, and training mentors. Research shows that without training, only one-third of mentor-mentee relationships succeed, which increases to two-thirds with training. In the companies we studied, training included preparing new mentors for how to structure successful sessions with their mentees and to share challenges faced in the relationships.

Don’t mix a shadow board and reverse-mentoring program. In June, we wrote about another method for integrating Millennials into the organization – shadow boards. Some companies we studied tried to introduce both programs within a single cohort. This led to one or the other winning out; they were never simultaneously successful. Companies wanting to run a shadow board and reverse-mentoring program at the same time can perhaps follow Estée Lauder’s example by using different participants for each program.

Why Junior Employees Should Mentor Senior Employees
 

Booter

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I deleted the emails. After getting refused the training I can't be bothered to care anymore. Not the most noble of attitudes I'll admit.
I doubt you’d get much traction- this is pretty normal at the moment. Not being the target demographic…
 

Navy_Pete

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In honour of GBA+ awareness week I'll take a moment and explain how important diversity is.

Some months back a call went out for a course. Something about creating a positive work place with an emphasis on
2slgbtq+. Very important for me as a leader to understand and champion, right? I signed up.

I was asked if I identified as lgbtq+ (silently noting they forgot the 2s) and I said no, hetero male. I was told that straight males weren't the target audience for this course but thanks and maybe next time.

Around the same time I volunteered for another work shop about diversity and people of colour in the work place (or words to that effect).
Hand over my heart I was told it wasn't intended for Caucasians.


Excellent work by the CAF IMO.
Really visionary to think the 60+% of the CAF that happen to be straight white males couldn't somehow contribute to a more inclusive workplace by learning some things at a workshop, possibly by just hearing someone's experience as a 2slgbtq+ in the CAF, and maybe taking that away to conciously try and improve things in the future that they may not have even been aware of otherwise.

On the flip side, for the orange shirt day there was a really good workshop put on here in Ottawa. The presenters included residential school survivors as well as children of residential school survivors and gave some good first hand insight into how that impacted them (or how having their parents go through that impacted them) which was open to everyone and genuinely learned a lot from it (as aforementioned straight white male). Haven't been able to join some of the 'Ask me anything' type sessions, but have heard that some were good, some were bad, and others were inbetween.
 
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