DIversity Statement


The purpose of this policy is to express Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (“CIFFA”)’s beliefs, values and commitment regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. It aims to ensure that CIFFA’s voice on the subject of equity, diversity and inclusion is consistent, and the values related to equity, diversity and inclusion are clear.

The creation of an Association that is equitable, diverse, inclusive, respectful and protects the human rights of all employees, members, and guests, including those groups protected under Canadian federal and provincial human rights legislation, requires the work of every member of CIFFA, including, employees.


This policy applies to all members of the Association, employees and consultants, agents, representatives, contractors, and contract workers when they act on behalf of CIFFA and where applicable to visitors and guests. It is intended to complement local statutory provisions. 



One or a series of action(s) or behaviour(s) related to one or more of the prohibited grounds, as defined by the human rights legislation (“the Codes”), that results in unfavourable or adverse treatment which negatively affects or could negatively affect the Association member, employee, or guest.


Means recognizing that we are all unique and bring with us varied experiences, perspectives and approaches to the workplace.


Means treating individuals and groups fairly, not necessarily equally or the same; recognizing that there are barriers to employment, participation, access and inclusion in the forwarding industry. The principle of equity acknowledges that systemic barriers may exist or exists, and action is needed to address historical imbalances.

Equity and Intercultural Competence

Is the set of practices and behaviours within the Association, or among individuals, which enables members, employees, and guests to understand, communicate, and effectively interact with people across differences, real or perceived.


Means intentionally creating a sense of belonging where all members, employees and guests are recognized and valued for their uniqueness; and collectively promoting an environment where individuals can be their authentic selves.


Means understanding that any individual has more than one identity, and that their identities create unique experiences.


  1. CIFFA:
    1. Values the dignity and uniqueness of the individual, and equity and diversity in our environments and our community. CIFFA recognizes that historical and persistent barriers to equitable participation may exist or exist in society and within the Association.
    2. Believes that a culture of inclusion and an understanding of the intersectionality of individual identities supports fully engaged members, employees, and guests, and serves our communities.
    3. Believes diversity is uniquely valuable to our Association and should reflect the diversified composition of society.
    4. Believes that equity competence and creating a culture of inclusion are necessary to achieve our strategic goals including member and excellence in the supply chain industry, including competition, innovation, multi-generational membership, member and employee engagement and sustainability.
    5. Believes in championing inclusion and diversity in the Association and in the industry.
  2. CIFFA commits to achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion by:
    1. Forging a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion that is welcoming, respectful, accessible, and does not tolerate stigma, harassment, or discrimination.
    2. Complying with existing federal and provincial legislative requirements.
    3. Developing and implementing goals, policies, competencies, and special initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, diversity.
    4. Where appropriate or needed collecting data to track progress and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives we undertake, and we will communicate the outcomes to our community.
  3. CIFFA commits to embracing and supporting our members and employees’ differences in age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, language differences, nationality or national origin, family or marital status, physical, mental and development abilities, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, skin color, social or economic class, education, work and behavioral styles, political affiliation, military service, caste, and other characteristics that make our members and employees unique.
  4. CIFFA will not work with vendors that discriminate, or that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of people. This includes but is not limited to direct actions, and organization materials, website, publications, and social media that promotes or communicates discriminatory treatment on any grounds listed above. CIFFA encourages its members to support an inclusive environment.
  5. CIFFA is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. In addition to prohibiting discriminatory practices, CIFFA works to actively promote inclusivity. Members of CIFFA and participants in CIFFA programs and activities are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner consistent with the values as outlined in this Policy.

FAQs on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Q: What are some important Court decisions?

A:   1999 - R. v. Gladue – Supreme Court of Canada held that alternatives to incarceration and the unique circumstances of indigenous peoples must be considered during sentencing.  2020 – Fraser v. Canada (AG) – Supreme Court of Canada recognized that equality under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can be violated if a law (which appeared to treat everyone identically and neutrally) may produce inequity. Adverse impact discrimination occurs when a seemingly neutral law (or policy) has a disproportionate impact on members of groups protected on the basis of enumerated or analogous grounds. [RCMP members who took maternity leave and worked part time were denied full pension credits. Claimants argued that the pension consequences of job-sharing had a discriminatory impact on women contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court agreed.) 2021 – R. v. Morris – Ontario Court of Appeal  held that anti-Black racism is a real phenomenon in Canadian society and sentencing judges can take judicial notice without the need for evidence. 

Q: What factors shape and influence lives?

A: The following factors should be considered with an intersectional approach to analysis of discrimination. In an intersectional approach, each of the factors are treated separately, but are considered together to recognize that an individual’s experiences are based on multiple overlapping identities and contextual considerations. The following factors influence equity, diversity and inclusion: Ethnicity, Religion, Age, Disability, Sex, Gender, Geography, Culture, Income, Social orientation, Education, and Race.  

Q: What are the key steps in achieving equity, diversity and inclusion.


  1. Consider what systematic and background factors are involved in decision making in your organization.  Identify equity, diversity, and inclusion issues in your organization.
  2. Creation of equity, diversity and inclusion policies. 
  3. Training of board members
  4. Training of staff
  5. Ensuring board and staff members are representative of the diversity of the Canadian population.
  6. Increase and improve engagement with racialized groups. Establish a forum to gain insight on matters relating to the organizations mandate in meeting the needs of racialized people
  7. Improve and expanding data collection, research and reporting
  8. Provide mechanisms for reporting and dealing with issues.

Q: How do we promote equity, diversity and inclusion?

A: Education is the primary tool to promote equity diversion and inclusion. Secondary tools having the apparatus to investigate claims and incidents of the breach of EDI, and the tools necessary to enforce policies. 

Q: What is the difference between diversity, inclusion and belonging?

A: Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.  Belonging is dancing like no one’s watching. diversity, inclusion and belonging

Q: Why does equity mean treating individuals and groups fairly but not necessarily equally or the same?

A:  To implement equity may require individuals to be treated differently. For example, accommodation, under the legislation, may be necessary for a person with a disability to be treated fairly. Treating a person with a disability the same as a person without a disability may result in discrimination. See the R. v. Gladue decision below. equity

Q: What are micro-aggressions?

A: The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Q: Isn’t diversity just another fancy name for affirmative action or equal employment opportunity?

A: No. Affirmative action is a mandate that government and employees take positive steps (affirmative action) to ensure the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities. Equal employment opportunity is employment practices that ensure non discrimination, fairness, and equity in the workplace. Diversity is much more.