Christine has always had a passion for working with children and youth. From volunteering at summer camps to tutoring, she loves the idea of helping people reach their full potential. And now, as a teacher, she’s found herself using her facial difference as a way for kids to understand the concept and importance of diversity and inclusivity. She embraces and promotes the idea that everyone is worthy of respect because no matter how big or small, the colour of their skin, or how they look, we’re all the same inside.
This lesson is something that Christine wishes was as embraced in the boardroom as it is in her classroom because she believes there’s a long way to go in recognizing those with a facial difference in the workplace. In fact, having a facial difference doesn’t fall under any recognized category in terms of employment equity standards. For example, Christine points out that “facial difference” is not available as an option to check off on an employment application.
While Christine hopes this campaign raises awareness of workplace equity for people with a facial difference, she also believes that seeing individuals like her in an employer’s recruitment posters and training manuals would go a long way in creating a sense of belonging. She also thinks that more needs to be done in HR training to focus on unconscious bias for all kinds of individuals, including those with a facial difference.
In closing, Christine believes that any behaviours in the workplace that show disrespect towards people with a facial difference should not be tolerated. Everyone should feel welcomed.