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How to Use the What Works Toolkit

How can I get started?

The What Works Toolkit offers resources, supports and leading practices to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within your organization.

There are many ways to use the What Works Toolkit based on your needs and priorities as an organization. To begin the game, it is recommended to start with the Mapping Your Journey to 50 – 30 tool.


Why start with Mapping Your Journey?

  • The tool contains an interactive map with tiles that lead to specific sections of relevant information within the other tools.
  • Using the map as a guide, you can think about strengths and opportunities you want to address within your organization and select the tiles that are most relevant to your needs.
  • You will be introduced to key terms and concepts, such as Psychological Safety, and learn about their importance in achieving the 50 – 30 Challenge.
  • Completing all of the tiles within this tool will provide you with a better understanding of how to promote a culture of belonging for everyone.


If you prefer to read a tool in full or know which specific tool you want to explore, you can access the tools digitally or download your own PDF copy. The tools you can select from are:

  • 10 Actions You Can Take
  • Starting the Conversation
  • Talent Processes Tool
  • Board and Leader Guidebook
  • Guide to Sustaining Organizational Change


To access the tool digitally, hover over “Toolkit” on the website toolbar to access a drop-down list of each of the tools.

To download a PDF of the tool in English or French, select “Toolkit” from the website toolbar to reach the “Access All Tools” page.

Mapping Your Journey to 50 – 30

This tool is the loading page and gives a guide on how to reach the 50 – 30 Challenge. Organizations can select different tiles within the “map”, based on strengths and opportunities they might want to address to be directed to different parts of the toolkit.

10 Actions You Can Take

This tool provides individuals with 10 actions they can take to work towards the goal of the 50 – 30 Challenge. It is divided into 3 sections: learning and reflection, starting the conversation, and making a difference.

Starting the Conversation

This tool is intended to provide leaders with a framework for understanding where, when and how to start the conversation, and what “starting the conversation” means.

Talent Processes Tool

This tool is intended to support organizations in adapting talent processes to be more inclusive and equitable, and promote the advancement of priority groups across the talent lifecycle.

Board and Leader Guidebook

This tool is a handbook to support leaders and board members in modelling inclusive behaviours, creating open spaces and a sense of belonging within their organizations, and encouraging others to be champions.

Guide to Sustaining Organizational Change

This tool is focused on adapting systems and structures in place to be more inclusive, build access to opportunity, and track and measure progress to sustain culture change.



Microaggression is defined as: “A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group” – Source: Merriam Webster



Unlearning is defined as: “To make an effort to forget your usual way of doing something so that you can learn a new and sometimes better way” – Source: Cambridge Dictionary



Intersectionality is defined as: A framework for understanding how different aspects of a person’s social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, physical appearance, etc.) combine to create unique modes of discrimination and privilege. Intersectionality identifies advantages and disadvantages that are felt by people due to this combination of factors – Source: Kimberlé Crenshaw, TIME



Privilege is defined as: “The unfair and unearned advantages individuals are granted for having, or being perceived to have, social identities that align with those deemed to be superior according to societal rules and norms. It is often experienced as an absence of barriers related to a particular social identity (e.g., White privilege, straight privilege)” – Source: Egale


Safe Space

Safe Space is defined as: “A place intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations” – Source: Merriam-Webster

Safe spaces allow individuals to feel comfortable having brave and honest conversations.


Emotional Tax

Emotional Tax is defined as: “The combination of feeling different from peers at work because of gender, race, and/or ethnicity, being on guard against experiences of bias, and experiencing the associated effects on health, well-being, and ability to thrive at work” – Source: Catalyst



Tokenism is defined as: “Performative policies that ostensibly promote diversity or equality (placing women or diverse groups in leadership positions), but do not truly have a positive impact on the workplace. Tokenism isn’t progressive, and it especially causes harm to tokenized individuals, causing extra pressure to succeed due to being perceived as representative of a group and often leaving them in an alienating work environment” – Source: Catalyst


Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is defined as: “An environment that encourages, recognizes and rewards individuals for their contributions and ideas by making individuals feel safe when taking interpersonal risks. A lack of psychological safety at work can inhibit team learning and lead to in-groups, groupthink and blind spots” – Source: Gartner