Coca-Cola Canada is taking an important step in their journey to building inclusive, accessible and welcoming environments for all.

On Monday Dec 9, installation was completed on a gender-inclusive washroom at Coca-Cola Canada’s head office in downtown Toronto. The space is shared by both Coca-Cola Ltd. and Coke Canada Bottling.

“This is an important step in making sure our employees, partners and guests feel safe and welcomed,” said Mark Lawton, chairman of Coca-Cola Ltd.’s LGBTQA Business Resource Group (BRG) and Lead for the shared head office space. “A gender-inclusive washroom means we’re creating a space where anyone – no matter their gender identity or expression – can use our facilities freely.”

“After all, inclusion is one of Coca-Cola’s core values,” he added.

The new gender-inclusive washroom is the latest project in a long list of ongoing efforts to support, celebrate and engage with the LGBTQA community.

For example, in 2020, the system is organizing a panel discussion featuring LBGTQA business leaders to raise awareness and understanding of the LGBTQA space and will share best practices around what it means to be part of a progressive and inclusive workplace.

They are also reaching out into the community through a volunteerism event in Toronto, as well as being a member of Pride at Work Canada, giving access to a program of national events helping to create an inclusive culture across the entire Coca-Cola system.

Lawton, who is a Customer Marketing Manager at Coca-Cola Ltd., recently joined Pride at Work Canada’s Board of Directors as the National Marketing Lead. In 2018, Lawton founded the LGBTQA BRG at Coca-Cola Canada and one of his personal goals was to deepen his knowledge of the LGBTQA space by becoming involved in an LGBTQA organization such as Pride at Work Canada.  

He’s very excited to bring some of these programs to life in 2020.

“Pride at Work Canada helps empower companies and organizations to build workplaces that celebrate all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation,” Lawton explained.

“And, through dialogue, education and thought leadership, we’re really setting an expectation of how companies should be engaging with their employees.”

The gender-inclusive washroom is now open and fully functional.

Employees are being advised about how to highlight the genderless facilities to guests, ensuring the commitment to building an inclusive, accessible and welcoming environment for all is achieved.