A community of like-minded individuals working together to foster more inclusive and conscious workplaces.
The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Community Alliance (EDICA) is an initiative founded by Welch LLP and made possible only by the involvement and dedication of its community members. EDICA was created to empower individuals working in professional services in the Ottawa community to eliminate barriers to equality, diversity, indigeneity and inclusion in the workplace.
As a community alliance, we identified strategic objectives that would help guide the actions and activities of EDICA:
- Establish a platform for professionals to connect, support and mentor each other in every aspect of life, including but not limited to work.
- Exchange and share knowledge regarding EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) best practices in the workplace.
- Encourage cross-service-line collaboration to exchange and share industry-specific knowledge to help us all to become better advisors.
- Promote content that highlights the positive impact of intersectionality and EDI practices on belonging, innovation, collaboration, recruitment and productivity.
- Establish an inclusive network of cross-service-line industry professionals to discuss both personal and professional development to help enhance EDI practices in the community.
Promoting EDI in the workplace
We are committed to educating, informing, inspiring and engaging the voices of individuals working in professional services along with community members to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the spirit of embodying the core values of EDICA, our events are open for all to attend. Our events focus on learning about and advancing EDI practices in professional services. They include the following formats:
Informative sessions and networking
Panel discussion with a focus on diversity and inclusion
Telling the stories of those who have experienced barriers in the workplace and how to overcome them
Story sharing and building tools for best practices
The creation of EDICA
Since the establishment of Welch’s EDI program in January of 2020, our staff have created a number of engaging forums for various EDI practices. From these internal groups, staff members developed an idea of reaching out to like-minded businesses in the professional service sector in the Ottawa Community to create a strong network to advance EDI efforts beyond our firm. The core Welch team came together and brought in their networks to form EDICA on October 28, 2021. Since this launch, members worked collaboratively to define their mission, vision, values, and strategy for EDI advancement in the professional services sector.
EDICA is currently a network of 17 organizations in the Ottawa Capital Region. The network is composed of professional services organizations including law firms, accounting firms, human resources, and advisors.
The Welch LLP Founders of EDICA
The creation of EDICA would not be possible without the dedication, passion, and devotion of the people who strive for equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our lives. These Welch LLP staff are founding members of EDICA, along with Moriah Gibbs and Kimberly Rodricks.
Jessica is a first-generation immigrant who was born and raised in Shanghai. She has led the firm’s EDI program since its establishment in January 2020. Jessica loves to tell her story about how a diverse and inclusive work environment has had a positive impact on her 10+ years at Welch. She is passionate about making Welch a dream workplace for everyone who is inspired to grow with the firm through the successful delivery of Welch’s EDI program. Jessica also plays an active role in EDI initiatives outside the firm. She is a valued member on CHEO’s EDII Steering Committee and on Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s Workplace Belonging Advisory Committee.
Jessica has had over 10 years of experience providing services to Welch clients in the private and not-for-profit sectors. After gaining solid experience in the accounting and assurance practice, Jessica is now becoming specialized in providing indirect tax and payroll tax advice to clients in various industries.
Caroline has a passion for mentoring women in the workplace. She was recognized as a Top 50 Woman in Accounting for 2020 by Practice Ignition and featured in Accounting Today, an honour dedicated to the many accounting professionals who continue to break the glass ceiling and advance the accounting industry. She is also one of the co-founders of Women of Welch (WOW), an internal group focused on creating discussions and mentorship among women, both in leadership and at the staff level, to increase engagement and opportunities within Welch.
Caroline has over 10 years of public accounting and bookkeeping experience, which she uses to create value for both clients and staff as Onboarding Manager at Elevate by Welch. She specializes in small business accounting solutions, full-cycle accounting, corporate and personal tax, and healthcare and medical practices. As the onboarding manager, she is also responsible for our employee training and development, and she works directly with Elevate clients to ensure they’re getting the best possible service.
Kate is a first-generation immigrant who, at the age of seven, moved with her family from the Philippines to Toronto. Having lived in both Ottawa and Toronto, Kate enjoys immersing herself in the diverse cultures that surround her – a quality she has carried with her in both her university and work life. Kate has enjoyed learning from her peers and sharing her culture in an inclusive environment.
Before joining the Welch Toronto office in 2021, Kate gained experience with public sector accounting working for the City of Toronto. At Welch, Kate is a part of our public sector accounting practice. She has worked on a number of compliance audits for federal government departments and agencies and has assisted our advisory practice on due diligence engagements, as well as conducting ad hoc research on climate change accounting in the public sector.
If you are interested in joining our EDI Community Alliance, please send an email to [email protected].
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