Kate Siklosi, the purpose-driven partnerships lead at the Ian Martin Group, wakes up for justice and equity each day. “I never thought that I would be in business someday, but I always knew I wanted to empower communities,” she says.
In her current role, Siklosi partners with clients and contractors to increase opportunities for meaningful work. She is also involved in the charitable arm of the organization, the Ian Martin Meaningful Work Foundation, through which she partners with mission-aligned companies to break down barriers to employment.
A longtime advocate for Indigenous Canadians, Siklosi established Ian Martin’s Indigenous Engagement Committee four years ago with the mandate to use Ian Martin as a positive impetus for change in how it and its clients engage with Indigenous people.
An avid reader and a poet, Siklosi initiated an anti-racist reading book club last year where people could openly talk about justice and equality. Book club discussions led to the development of the company’s Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, or JEDI, task force, which Siklosi leads. JEDI’s 25 members address issues related to voice and belonging, as well as increased representation of gender, race, sexuality and ability at all levels of the organization.
“Everyone has a role to play. You have to keep asking yourself how you can work to increase JEDI in the world. And sometimes it can happen at the kitchen table; you don’t have to lie in front of a tank to do your bit,” she says.
Additionally, Siklosi runs a small press called Gap Riot Press which pushes the limits of poetry and publishes work from people that the world needs to hear more from.
“I used to be a ‘burn it down!’ type of girl, but somewhere along the way, I learned that sometimes creating hairline fractures within systems is necessary and effective to bring a wave of change.”
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