Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Initiatives

Yogatown has long been aware of the lack of diversity at our studios and within the wellness industry. In February, 2020 the Yogatown management team began work on a formal strategy to create a more diverse and inclusive space.

Following the horrific murder of George Floyd and the awareness that was created by the Black Lives Matter movement, we realized that our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy was still not enough.

On June 4, 2020 we shared our commitment to making Yogatown a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist space, with a larger goal of also leading positive and lasting change within the wellness industry as a whole. This page will provide updates on that commitment.

We want to be held accountable for the results we achieve, not the promises we make. Therefore, this page will be updated with the actions we have already taken and will not include the initiatives we are still working towards but have not yet implemented.

Our ownership and management team are committed to the ongoing work required to be a self-reflective organization that makes long-term cultural change a priority.

Thank you for your support and for holding us accountable to the higher standards we aspire to.

Tracy, Jason, and the Yogatown Team

 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Initiatives

Updated January 20, 2021

Yogatown has undertaken the following actions to create a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist space in both our studios and within the wellness industry.

 

Consultant Guidance

Yogatown has engaged the services of two BIPOC consultants. They are helping us to achieve our goal of creating a truly diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace, with a larger goal of also leading positive and lasting change within the wellness industry as a whole.

Yogatown has consulted with members of the trans community and the LGBTQ community. They are helping Yogatown to understand the challenges that these individuals face and helping us to create a space in which they can feel welcome and safe.

Fair Representation

Yogatown is committed to achieving a minimum 25% representation of BIPOC teachers and staff. This reflects the representation of BIPOC communities in Ottawa according to the National Census.

Yogatown has proactively sought out BIPOC teachers and staff who also share our values and goals. Since committing to fair representation, Yogatown has increased the percentage of BIPOC teachers and staff on our team, however we still have work to do.

As of January 20, 2021, 17% of Yogatown teachers and 20% of Yogatown staff identify as BIPOC. We will continue working diligently to ensure we reach the 25% minimum in a timely manner.

Diversity Scholarship

Yogatown previously committed $3500 annually to our annual Diversity Scholarship for aspiring teachers within the BIPOC community. We have since increased our commitment to over $5000 for 2020 and are excited to see this scholarship fund continue to grow in the coming years.

In July, 2020 we awarded two excited Townies the opportunity to join our yoga teacher training program.

Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Training

We at Yogatown understand that there is a lot of learning to do and changes to be made; both at Yogatown and throughout the Industry.

On January 17, 2020 Yogatown held an Anti-racism and Diversity workshop that was mandatory for all employees. The workshop was an excellent opportunity to deepen the conversation, uncover unconscious/subconscious biases and spread awareness.

We recognize the need to continue educating ourselves through workshops and other educational materials. Anti-racism resources have been made available to our staff and we will continue to regularly invest in workshops and other educational opportunities.

Partner Support

Yogatown has formally requested that all of our business support partners make anti-racism work a priority. These include private business organizations and publicly funded organizations such as the Preston Street BIA and the Barrhaven BIA.

Marketing Audit

Yogatown has carried out a website and marketing audit to review the diversity represented in our images and messaging. We are committed to diverse representation in our marketing materials, including Townies of all skin colours and body sizes.

Systems & Processes Audit

Yogatown has conducted an internal audit of our systems and process to identify ways we can better achieve an inclusive workplace. As a result of this audit, we are updating a number of policies and processes, including those related to staff communications, hiring, client services, marketing, and more. We will continue to evaluate and update our systems and processes on a quarterly basis.

Hiring & Team Onboarding

As part of our commitment to fair representation, Yogatown has updated our policies to mitigate for unconscious biases during the hiring process. We have also updated our staff onboarding process to ensure that employees are aware of all policies and procedures, including those that help to create an inclusive and anti-racist workplace. This includes a mandatory Diversity, Inclusivity, and Anti-Racism workshop.

 

More To Come

We acknowledge that anti-racism work is an ongoing process. We will continue to update this page as we take further actions towards our our goal of creating a truly diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace, with a larger goal of also leading positive and lasting change within the wellness industry as a whole.

Feedback or questions? Please contact us at info@myyogatown.com.

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