Franchising is a tried and true system where following the rules will lead to your success. While the franchise business model promotes uniformity, Canadian franchising is all about diversity. In fact, franchisees come from all walks of life and from all parts of the world.
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) and Franchise Canada is celebrating Pride and our diverse franchise community by going one-on-one with the people – whether that be franchisees or franchise system CEO’s – who make franchising great. Scroll down to learn what our members have to say about the importance of diversity in franchising, what their franchise system is doing to celebrate Pride, and more!
Franchise Canada sat down with Dani Bazely, Director of Marketing at Driverseat and a member of the LGBTQ community, to discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace and how Driverseat is ensuring all franchisees, employees, and customers feel valued in the workplace.
Read our Q&A with Dani and watch our exclusive Franchise Canada TV interview at Driverseat’s head office in Kitchener, Ontario.
1. Canadian franchising is full of diversity and the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is proud to support and enhance diversity in our growing industry. Why is diversity in franchising so important for the Driverseat team?
The franchise industry is one of Canada’s largest employers in Canada. As a leader in the franchise industry, Driverseat is not only recognized for the awards won, but the growth of the business. As a result, the business has to demonstrate excellence in what is important to the CFA and the industry as a whole. In addition, with high growth comes large requirements, and attracting a diverse group in both the franchise side and corporate office side improves the quality of people that we get to work with.
2. As a woman in the LGBTQ+ community, what does it mean to be a part of an organization committed to creating a diverse work culture?
It really means I get to be myself, and enjoy a workplace that fosters an environment of inclusivity and positive culture. The values and identities of individuals in your organization, helps build a more productive, positive and inviting environment, both in our head office and across the franchise organization.
Our careers and our passion for business at Driverseat is a large part of our identity, but a large part of our identity is also developed in home-life. For those of us who do not identify with heteronormativity or a white dominant culture, it can be difficult to share our parts of identity that are not in the majority unless it’s clearly welcomed. We want everyone on our team to be completely and authentically themselves and feel welcome to share all aspects of their life in our team.
3. Canada and the world are celebrating Pride Month this June. Is Driverseat doing anything to get in on the fun?
Driverseat is excited to be launching our pride logo across all of our platforms this month, with our “Ride with Pride” campaign. This campaign is built to help end stigmatism in the transportation sector in regard to heteronormativity and gender inequality. During Toronto pride week, we will all wear our T-shirts that say: “We expect our drivers to drive straight, but we don’t care if they are”. We pride ourselves on having an extremely diverse team, with people of all races, genders, and sexualities, and for them to know that Driverseat is a safe and friendly environment for all people.
4. What’s your advice to other franchise systems who are looking for ways to promote diversity in their workplace?
The first piece of advice I have for other franchise systems who are looking for ways to promote diversity would be that diversity isn’t just something that needs to promoted but rather part of the DNA of the organization. Diversity has to be all encompassing and must start with the leaders and continue through the entire team.
At KFC Canada, employees are taught to “Believe in All People & Be Your Best Self.” It’s a principle that has resonated well throughout the franchise, especially for Sean Feather, KFC Canada’s Brand Design Lead. In our exclusive Franchise Canada interview, Sean tells us why diversity in franchising is so important for KFC Canada, how the franchise is creating a more inclusive workplace, and the initiatives he participates in to support the LGBTQ+ community.
1. Why is diversity in franchising so important for KFC?
I believe embracing our uniqueness and diversity – in skills, experiences and perspectives – brings out the best in everyone, which ultimately leads to more robust debates and better decisions. KFC ensures we not only attract (and retain) amazing talent, but capitalize on it by ensuring different perspectives are heard and incorporated into the decision making process. When we listen to different points-of-view, we approach and overcome challenges as a team, not irrespective of our differences, but because of them.
2. You are very active in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, specifically with Triggerfish Water Polo. Can you tell us a little bit about the organization and how it works towards creating a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community? How did you get involved with the organization?
Triggerfish is one of the largest LGBTQ+ water polo clubs in the world. It’s a community committed to inclusivity of all backgrounds, genders, skills and orientations. In a society that does not always accept or include the LGBTQ+ community in sports, many feel alienated from what has traditionally been a place to belong, socialize and develop. This is why Triggerfish are involved in organizations such as You Can Play, marching in the pride festival, hosting and participating in international tournaments and generally offering a welcoming place to enjoy sports and athleticism while forming friendships and a sense of belonging.
3. You’ve attended the World Outgames, winning Gold for water polo. The Outgames bring together athletes from all over the world. Can you tell us a little bit about the games and how they are having a positive impact on a global level?
Triggerfish actively participates in large international LGBTQ+ sporting events including Federation of Gay Games, EuroGames and IGLA (International LGBTQ+ Aquatics). These are highly visible sporting events that not only offer the community a microphone for discourse on the social, political or cultural issues facing LGBTQ+ people but also give athletes across all disciplines a space to come together and compete in a positive and hopefully safe environment. The visibility this generates continues to create discussions on topics that are important to society.
4. Are there any initiatives KFC is currently doing, or plans to do, to support diversity in the workplace. How are you encouraging the organization to promote diversity in the workplace?
Inclusion is critical to our culture and we thrive under our core business principles of “Believe in All People & Be Your Best Self.” When you are hired into the KFC family, you are encouraged to be who you truly are – with no barriers or limitations. I’ve personally had the privilege to recently become part of the Yum Pride Network (YPN). This internal network serves to engage and support our LGBTQ+ employees across all three brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) by offering tangible networking, and educational opportunities while also championing visibility within the organization.