Canada’s best diversity employers welcome new voices

March 31, 2017

By Globe and Mail |

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2017 set an outstanding example of how Canadians make diversity our strength.

From corporate strategy to successful implementation, these employers make diversity and inclusion integral to their workplaces and the way they do business. By hiring people who truly reflect all Canadians, including new immigrants, aboriginals, LGBTQ people and those with disabilities, these organizations benefit too, boosting their energy and innovation through an influx of fresh voices.

Additionally – because we’re not there yet – many organizations have targeted programs supporting women employees, particularly in industries such as engineering, mining or agribusiness.

For instance, Agrium Inc. in Calgary recently piloted a Women’s Leadership Development program to prepare high potential female candidates for senior management positions, matching participants with a mentor as well as with a group of potential sponsors. Notably, women at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto currently comprise approximately half of their senior leadership team and 36 per cent of the firm’s board of directors, a result of maintaining an annual internal pipeline scorecard that records the gender demographics of partners, associates and students.

Besides creating a safe and inclusive environment at work, most companies also reach out to the community at large, forming partnerships with local or national groups. Just a few of many examples include: Toronto’s KPMG LLP that recently began providing employment assistance to veterans by partnering with Canada Company’s Military Employment Transition Program; Sodexo Canada in Burlington that partnered with Ready Willing and Able Canada last year to hire more than 100 individuals with disabilities; and SaskTel’s partnerships with First Nations bands, tribal councils and aboriginal employment agencies with the aim of increasing the number of aboriginal employees in their work force.

Then there’s the City of Ottawa, that over the past year participated in more than 30 recruitment fairs, conducted 34 information sessions, attended 57 community outreach events and delivered 18 pre-employment workshops to foster communication with the immigrant community. Now that’s saying welcome.

Methodology

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. These include successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; aboriginal peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBTQ) people.

To determine the winners for 2017, Mediacorp editors reviewed the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives of all the employers that applied for the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, short-listing those with the most noteworthy and unique diversity initiatives. Those candidates were further reviewed to determine how their programs compared with others in the same field. The finalists represent the diversity leaders in their industry and region of Canada.

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