Creating Diverse Workplaces

Monday, April 16, 2018

Canada has always proudly identified as a “mosaic,” respecting and welcoming different cultures, religions, disabilities, genders, and more. And while there is always room for improvement, this is especially true for our workplaces. As a country with such a rich tapestry of diversity, fighting for and welcoming inclusion provides a competitive edge to our workplaces.

The studies, surveys, and research papers that prove diverse workplaces not only have higher revenues, but are more innovative, successful, and have higher employee retention rates, are endless. According to Bessma Momani and Jillian Stirk, authors of Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage, “for every 1 per cent increase in ethnocultural diversity, on average companies saw a 2.4 percent bump in revenue and a 0.5 per cent increase in productivity.” When our organizations are diverse, it brings along diversity of experiences, perspectives and ideas.

So how do you encourage diversity in your workplace? First, start from the top by encouraging a leadership culture of respect and inclusivity. Equipping your leaders with the tools necessary to lead diverse teams will encourage your culture to shift. Second, provide inclusivity and awareness training within your organization. This training will also create a cultural shift by answering difficult questions and creating an inclusive language and understanding amongst employees. Lastly, but arguably most
important, revamp your recruitment process to maximize the potential for diversity in hiring. This can come in the form of blind recruitment, expanding distribution of job postings to different groups, and
enhancing referral programs to include values of diversity and inclusion. These are just a few options, there are numerous ways organizations can welcome diversity into their offices.

McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, believes diverse companies “are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.” Now is the time to continue to drive diversity in our workplaces and embrace our Canadian mosaic identity. 

Creating Diverse Workplaces by Audie McCarthy, CEO and President of Mohawk College Enterprise
As originally published in the OMHRA ECHO Spring 2018 Newsletter - Read Here