Deputy Chief Diversity and Inclusion

Requisition ID: 28353 


Located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver has a commitment to becoming a City of Reconciliation. Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is working towards being the greenest city in the world. Named among Canada's Top 100 Employers, BC's Top Employers, and Canada's Greenest Employers, the City of Vancouver seeks colleagues who can help shape and embody our core commitments to sustainability, decolonization, equity and outstanding quality of life for all residents.


Consider joining our committed team of staff and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.


Main Purpose and Function

The Deputy Chief, Diversity & Inclusion is a member of the progressive executive leadership team of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (VFRS). The position is accountable for identifying, creating and implementing plans to promote equity, diversity and inclusion within the organization.


The position works to transform the culture and improve diversity and inclusion practices in the workforce, while supporting the City’s mission to foster a broadly diverse, dynamic workplace that is equitable, accessible and inclusive to all people. Above all, this position sets a strong example for integrity and respect in the Fire Halls and the community.


Key Contacts and Reporting Relationships

This position reports directly to the Fire Chief. The Assistant Fire Chiefs have an indirect reporting line to this position as relates to equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the position directly oversees the Recruitment & Outreach division of VFRS.  The position works closely with the City EDI Office and HR team to ensure the City’s practices and policies of diversity and inclusion are incorporated into the VFRS equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, and that VFRS follows appropriate legislation and employment regulations around human rights, psychological safety and opportunity for members of under-represented groups. A strong relationship and frequent collaboration with the Union is a key component of this job.


Specific Duties/Responsibilities                                                                              

  • Develops and oversees the implementation and effectiveness of an internal strategy that builds and supports diverse talent within VFRS, and creates pathways to leadership for women, racial minorities and other under-represented groups.
  • Represents Fire at the City’s Equity Council and ensures the City’s EDI policies are reflected and integrated within the fire service.
  • Works to ensure that all aspects of VFRS operations have a lens to support and improve diversity, equity and inclusivity.
  • Provides guidance and direction on diversity and inclusion issues to the VFRS leadership team, with a view to ensuring the workplace culture is supportive of the attraction and retention of a diverse workforce.
  • Identifies external trends and implements best practices that will increase diversity and inclusion in the VFRS workforce.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with external diversity and inclusion related groups and organizations, with the intention of working together and improving VFRS’s practices to provide exceptional, equitable and inclusive service to the citizens of Vancouver.
  • Responsible for monitoring the workplace culture to ensure a safe, equitable and harassment-free workplace.  Accountable for ensuring that all complaints brought to the attention of the Department are addressed and resolved in a timely manner and Respectful Workplace and Human Rights Harassment complaints received by the Department are investigated in accordance with the corresponding COV policies.  Responsible for implementing and monitoring the ongoing effectiveness of corrective actions and opportunities for improvement arising out of workplace investigations and complaints.
  • Directs and oversees the development of recruitment policies, processes and associated training programs.
  • Supports and guides the recruitment team to help create a brand that appeals to diverse applicants and removes bias.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with local communities as potential sources of recruitment.
  • Leads the effort in creating culturally responsive approaches to training, education, expectation setting and team building with a diversity and inclusion lens.
  • Oversees the end-to-end recruitment process including community outreach, information sessions, short-listing candidates, interviewing, presenting candidates for selection, reference checks and scheduling of “ride-alongs” for selected candidates.
  • Oversees the youth academy program, Take Our Kids to Work day and Camp Ignite, etc.
  • Reviews and approves VFRS workplace policies and procedures to ensure they are inclusive, up to date and aligned with applicable legislations related to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Prepares and present reports to senior City staff.
  • Oversees budget for Recruitment and Training for EDI and provides input to long-term budget planning.
  • Promotes a collaborative and transparent relationship with the Union.
  • Provides operational coverage as required.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Minimum Qualification Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelors Degree in business management, social science, HR, or any other relevant fields and a minimum of 10 years’ fire service experience of a progressively responsible nature, in a supervisory capacity.
  • Strong track record in addressing issues of diversity, inclusion and human rights within the fire culture.
  • Project Management or supervisory experience, preferably at the system management level.
  • A proven record of being forward-thinking, coupled with the skills of being able to articulate ideas in both written and verbal form.
  • Extensive experience and analytical skills in reaching sound decisions and resolving complex problems.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of rules, regulations, policies, standard operational guidelines and fire service standards.
  • In-depth understanding of the fire culture.
  • In-depth understanding of equity, reconciliation, diversity and inclusion issues with particular appreciation of the issues faced by women, gender and sexual minorities, Indigenous people and people of colour.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of application policies and legal frameworks applicable to the role.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of recruitment process.
  • Significant in-depth working knowledge of computers, computer systems, programs and capabilities.
  • Advanced knowledge of all elements relevant to the effective delivery of public services which include, but not limited to, planning, organizing, supervising, governmental affairs and procedures and local government concepts and the ability to understand such relationships.
  • Ability to lead multi-disciplinary project management teams involving strict schedules and deadlines.
  • A practical understanding and awareness of diversity and inclusion issues and best practices.
  • Superb relationship-building skills.
  • Strong conflict resolution skills and the ability to recognize and confront abusive or discriminatory behaviour.
  • Being personable and good at communicating with, and influencing people.
  • Ability to create and run training sessions on diversity and inclusion.
  • Being a strong communicator and leader with excellent interpersonal skills. 
  • Having an awareness of global and cultural issues.
  • Previous relationship management experience
  • Demonstrated effective leadership and mentoring skills.
  • Ability to make public presentations.
  • Ability to plan, direct, coordinate, assign and review the work of a team of professional and technical staff.
  • Ability to manage in a unionized environment.
  • Ability to prepare clear and concise technical and policy reports for presentation to senior City staff.
  • Ability to be creative and use sound judgement.
  • Ability to problem solve and engage in facilitation, negotiation and conflict resolution with professionals, City staff and other government agencies and municipalities.

Business Unit/Department: Recruitment & Outreach/Fire Rescue Services 

Employment Type: Regular Full Time (RFT)

Application Close:  April 27, 2021


At the City of Vancouver, we are committed to recruiting a diverse workforce that represents the community we so proudly serve. Indigenous applicants, people of colour, all genders, LGBT2Q+ and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Accommodations will be provided upon request during the selection process.  If you would like to be considered for this exciting and impactful career opportunity, please apply through our careers site.

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

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