Crystal Taylor may be new to the position of Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Nova Scotia Community College, but she is far from new to the work it entails. Diversity and inclusion stream through her work life, giving her both energy and hope, as they guide her forward. Amoung her ventures, she has worked as an entrepreneur as the President of CT-Ebony Consulting, as an educator in Dalhousie’s Adult Education Program and in the University of New Brunswick's Provincial Management Development Program and as a Human Resource specialist with both the Provincial and Federal governments. She’s even done an earlier stint at NSCC! “I’ve seen a lot of positive changes in workplace attitudes and behaviors over the years, but we’re far from done. There's much more work to do to advance this important agenda. Women Unlimited’s work to include diverse women in trades and technologies is a necessary piece to move us forward.”
Crystal first came to Women Unlimited as an educator, giving the women the tools and strategies they might need to counteract workplace harassment. When asked what that experience was like, she said, “I always walked away from those classrooms a better person. The Women Unlimited participants were so strong, so intent on learning and progressing. I recognized that I was a woman of privilege, and I deeply admired those women who had the courage to fight so hard to improve their lives.”
Her next chapter with Women Unlimited began when she was working with Federal Government on the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Remediation Project. The purpose was to clean up a man-made environmental disaster and to involve the surrounding communities in both decision-making and in the work of remediation. Part of the strategy was a series of recommendations around working with under-represented groups … with women, with African Nova Scotians and with First Nations peoples. As the Senior Advisor of Employment Strategies, this was Crystal’s arena. She says the diversity strategy was, “designated, integrated, comprehensive and measured.” And it was in that strategy she saw a place for a new Women Unlimited program at the Marconi Campus in Cape Breton, a legacy for which she is justifiably proud.
Crystal sees Women Unlimited as community building. If you help a woman, you also help her family. If you help a family, you are also helping to build the community around that family. So far, Women Unlimited at the Marconi Campus has supported close to 70 diverse women from 17 different communities, as they explore and train for careers in the trades and technology sector. It is clear that NSCC’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion has already made a difference in many lives and communities, and it’s equally clear that Crystal has every intention of remaining on that path. Women Unlimited celebrates and honours her for that!