Sandra Griffith Bonaparte
National Defence employee and President of Union of National Defence Employees (UNDE) Local 70607
When a colleague called Sandra to inform her about the new Diversity and Inclusion micro-mission analyst position, Sandra jumped at the opportunity. During her time with the Diversity and Inclusion Office team, Sandra strengthened her ability to understand and challenge unconscious workplace biases such as affinity bias*, confirmation bias** and in-group/out-group biases*** and promote leading more inclusively.
Sandra believes that racism in the workplace continues to oppress people of colour. As the president of the union of National Defence Employee (UNDE) Local 70607, Sandra has been representing employees who have issues in the workplace, who need support or to have courageous conversations about what they are going through and to prepare them to challenge these biases. She and her team of executives and shop stewards are ready to represent members of UNDE local 70607, who are facing discrimination and harassment in their organizations.
Sandra has shared her life philosophy with us: "Stand up for what you believe in; treat people with dignity and respect; take risks; listen to people and take advice. At the end of the day, the final decision should be yours". Sandra said she loves the analogy that "diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance." (Verna Myers). She ends by saying, if you invite someone to your party, do ask them to dance.
* affinity bias occurs when we subconsciously gravitate towards people who share our interests, beliefs, and background. This behaviour has the potential to cause numerous problems in the workplace.
** confirmation bias is the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs.
*** in-group bias (also known as in-group favoritism) is the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others who belong to the same group that they do.
Sandra empowers her colleagues to promote and campaign for their rights in the workplace.