• Our People

    We believe that our success is the product of the diverse ideas, experiences, and personalities that our employees bring to IO. Learn more about some of our employees, their roles, and the career paths that led them to IO.

    Amanda Spakowski, Manager, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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    How did you get your start at IO? My partner forwarded me the LinkedIn posting for the Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion position and I was immediately drawn to the language of the job description. For an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion role, the job description reflected up-to-date inclusive language and realistic goals for the role, that I interpreted as a commitment to a long-term successful program. I also loved that there was an EDI team that I’d be joining and that this wasn’t a sole position with no team to build on. All of these indicated to me that IO was taking EDI very seriously and I wanted to be a part of that.

    How long have you worked at IO? I joined May 2022.

    What does your job entail? As the Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion I work with several departments within IO to review, improve and create integrated programming and resources, that better reflect inclusion and create belonging for IO employees and partners.

    What do you like most about your role? I love that everyone I’ve worked with so far is excited and ready to make strides within EDI. I find the hardest part of EDI work in general, is convincing people that it’s important to do. Once everyone is excited and on-board the changes are much easier to make, and people feel the impact immediately, even if there’s still room for improvement. It’s very gratifying and greatly contributes to my own sense of value and belonging on the team as well.

    What sets IO apart from other organizations? I feel a great sense of trust from our CEO and senior management in the work that we do. There is an understanding that there is need for improvement, a humility in accepting this as a truth and an eagerness to be better. The messaging I hear from our leaders is “how best can we do this” when I bring an idea forward. The support is very liberating.

    What is your career background? I ran a business in Toronto for 10 years as an Owner/Founder of a Doula business. In addition to doing the work itself, I did all of the marketing, operations, admin, etc. Birth culture is very white-centric, heteronormative and feminized, and if you didn’t fit into that default, you were likely to have difficultly finding resources and people who truly knew how to support and respect your family. Sometimes this even impacted access to health care itself. It was here that I developed a strong interest in EDI work and sought out opportunities to develop my skill in EDI programming. For the last few years, I held various HR and management related positions and ran an EDI consultancy in my own time. I mostly worked with fertility clinics across Canada on improving their Gender and Sexually Diverse inclusion but also brought EDI into talent acquisition, pharmaceutical sales, post secondary education spaces and retail.