With you, we are strengthening our healthcare system for all patients across Canada.
At Canadian Blood Services, we are committed to fulfilling our vision to help every patient, match every need and serve every Canadian. To do that, we must embed diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do and cultivate a donor base and workforce that more fully reflects Canada’s population.
Diversity, equity and inclusion play a vital role in ensuring health equality for patients, regardless of their gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, visible or invisible disability, citizenship, socio-economic status or any other aspect which makes them unique.
Our ongoing commitment to you is to listen and learn, and then lead through our actions. We hope that you will continue to hold us accountable for our commitments to change.
Discover below how we are working to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population — and how you are a critical link in Canada’s Lifeline.
Our commitments to you
Employees & Volunteers
Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion starts from within. We are dedicated to creating an organizational culture where employees and volunteers can bring their whole selves to work and engage and contribute in ways that are most meaningful to them.
- In December 2021, we hired a chief diversity officer to lead our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. This executive level role reports directly to the CEO and works closely with senior leadership to drive our DEI strategy.
- We have established several Employee Resource Groups to provide safe spaces for employees who share common identities to build a community and sense of belonging at work. To date, we have established groups for 2SLGBTQIA+ employees; employees with visible and invisible disabilities; employees who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour; and women in senior leadership.
- We are dedicated to evolving Canadian Blood Services into an inclusive place where First Nations, Métis and Inuit employees can thrive, and where rare blood, stem cell and other specific needs of Indigenous patients can be more readily met. The Reconciliation Action Plan is a roadmap for how Canadian Blood Services intends to collaborate and work with Indigenous employees, donors, registrants, partners, stakeholders and communities moving forward.
- We have launched training for employees that focuses on building cultural awareness and providing the tools and supports needed to nurture more welcoming and inclusive environments.
- We have implemented optional and anonymous self-identifying questions for candidates to help identify where we can be more inclusive in our hiring practices and ensure all applicants have equitable opportunities when applying for jobs at Canadian Blood Services.
- We have made the process for career development and advancement for existing employees more transparent and accessible. Our priority is to develop the wealth of potential within our organization and ensure our highly capable people have ample opportunities to learn, grow and build rewarding careers.
- We continue to take incremental steps toward cultivating environments where everyone feels included and valued. This includes a new option for employees to include pronouns on their name badges and in branded email signatures, and adding Two Spirit (2S), intersex, and asexual identities to the acronym we use: 2SLGBTQIA+.
Our commitments to you
Donors & Recipients
Everything we do depends on the selflessness of our donors, and we need to ensure that all donors feel represented and valued. We are committed to establishing a donor base that represents all people in Canada so we can better serve patients who rely on lifesaving blood and other blood products.
- We’re changing the way we screen donors to be more inclusive. Beginning Sept. 11, 2022, all donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, will be asked questions about sexual behaviour.
- In September 2021, we received approval from Health Canada for some gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men to donate source plasma at our London, Ont. and Calgary, Alta. donor centres.
- We are undertaking work to make donor registration more inclusive. This includes working with our software vendor to incorporate new functionality to support the donors’ ability to register their gender in addition to the sex assigned to them at birth.
- We are working to improve the ethnic diversity of our donor and registrant base, so that we can more readily meet rare blood, stem cell and other specific patient needs.
- We are taking steps to build trust with equity-deserving communities and individuals, to identify all existing donor barriers and to engage stakeholders with lived experience to help us find meaningful solutions.
Our commitments to you
Partners & Stakeholders
Our partners and stakeholders are invaluable as we continue to strengthen our systems in blood, plasma, stem cells and organs and tissues. We’re committed to building trust with diverse communities to ensure that those with unique and lived experiences have their voices heard.
- We are working with our partners and external stakeholders to develop community-led strategies that will help us better engage with donors and provide thoughtful and inclusive outreach.
- We are listening and learning from our partners and external stakeholders to create fully accessible experiences and to remove barriers to participation.
- Organizations and community groups across the country are helping to make a meaningful difference for patients through partnerships with Canada’s Lifeline. With the support of national partners like Sikh Nation, Hockey Gives Blood, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, OtherHalf– Chinese Stem Cell Initiative and more, we are raising awareness and recruiting new donors and registrants from diverse cultural backgrounds and age groups. The dedicated efforts of our partners and Partners for Life members – from awareness building to group donations to financial giving – have a direct impact on patients in Canada and the families who love them.
How an Indigenous cord blood donor was inspired by a patient
Lena Mallary saw cord blood save a child’s life shortly before she welcomed her own ‘miracle baby’ with Cory GreenhalghRead the full story
We’re listening and learning — and we want to hear from you.
Share your feedback on diversity, equity and inclusion at Canadian Blood Services.