May 22, 2024

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Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023 are unlocking the power of a diverse workforce

12 min read
Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023 are unlocking the power of a diverse workforce

How do you unlock the power that diversity brings? It starts with a commitment to building a culture where everyone feels like they belong.

The winners of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023 by Mediacorp have already committed to making diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) a top priority. These organizations are driving change with progressive policies and programs that translate into real action, and are backing it up with transparency and accountability at every level.

For example, KPMG LLP in Toronto recently achieved its goal of 30 per cent women and 20 per cent people of colour in partnership by 2022, and has established a new target of 33 per cent women and 26 per cent people of colour by 2025.

Scotiabank also established ambitious commitments for 2025, including doubling the current representation of Indigenous employees across all levels of the organization and increasing representation of persons with a disability by 20 per cent.

Ledcor Group of Companies, a privately held construction firm in Vancouver, formally kicked off its inclusion and diversity program back in 2018 and has since undertaken a number of initiatives, including the addition of inclusion and diversity questions in its engagement survey, holding focus groups to gather employee feedback, implementing unconscious bias training, conducting an internal gender pay gap analysis and the formation of an inclusion and diversity council.

In Ottawa, Statistics Canada actively tracks employment equity data by occupational category and occupational group and also conducts mobility analysis of hires, separations and promotions in order to determine barriers and gaps in workforce representation.

There is still a long way to go, but the ongoing efforts of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023 are gaining ground towards creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in their organizations and in business.

METHODOLOGY 2023

The Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by Mediacorp competition recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply to enter the contest.

While the selection process to choose the winners of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers by Mediacorp continually evolves to include new questions that reflect changes in the workplace, the methodology and selection criteria for the competition are essentially the same as in previous years. Those criteria include successful diversity initiatives for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBTQ2S) peoples.

To determine the winners, the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp review the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives of a large number of employers that applied for this year’s national competition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Employers are compared to other organizations in the same field to determine which ones offer the most noteworthy and unique diversity initiatives. The finalists chosen represent the diversity leaders in their industry and region of Canada.

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023 by Mediacorp is an annual national competition and all applicants must pay a fee to enter. The Globe and Mail is not involved in the judging process.

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2023

Accenture Inc., Toronto. Professional services; 5,682 employees. Reviews a Canadian scorecard monthly that provides metrics around gender, recruitment and attrition, in order to track progress towards its workforce representation goals.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 4,959 employees. Created an Indigenous student recruitment initiative to provide opportunities for students to transition to the workplace after their education is complete.

Alberta Health Services / AHS, Edmonton. Healthcare; 49,928 employees. Hosted career conversations with Indigenous candidates to demystify the application process, participation in summer employment programs and attending Indigenous student events and career fairs.

Amex Bank of Canada, North York, Ont. Credit card issuing; 1,733 employees. Launched a mentorship and ally program in partnership with its Black Engagement Network through self-directed and structured mentorship framework.

Bank of Canada, Ottawa. Central bank; 2,035 employees. Created a master’s scholarship program for women in economics and finance to help create more gender-balanced talent pipelines for the bank in the future.

BASF Canada Inc., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 1,089 employees. Made significant progress in its diversity and inclusion journey over the past year, establishing a three-year strategy and launching a dedicated council for oversight and guidance.

BC Hydro, Vancouver. Hydroelectric power generation; 6,533 employees. Created an Indigenous Professionals in Development Program, a one-year paid internship for Indigenous post-secondary graduates, providing work experience, skills and exposure to help them compete for future jobs.

BC Public Service, Victoria. Provincial government; 33,041 employees. Launched the Indigenous Leadership and Mentorship Pilot program in 2022, which aims to increase representation of Indigenous people in senior roles within the organization.

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,340 employees. Promotes inclusion and supports the advancement of Black legal professionals through the Black@Blakes internal network, with members contributing to Black History Month client events and anti-racism training.

BNP Paribas, Montreal. Banking; 1,042 employees. Launched a new leadership for women program for women at the AVP level (in collaboration with BNP Paribas Switzerland).

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,490 employees. Has maintained a mental health strategy since 2016 and is committed to raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues in the workplace.

Boston Consulting Group Canada ULC, The, Toronto. Management consulting; 475 employees. Manages an Apprenticeship in Action program to retain and advance women, which focuses on encouraging development of “performance-enhancing relationships” and communication effectiveness.

Bruce Power LP, Tiverton, Ont. Nuclear power generation; 4,187 employees. Develops diverse pipelines of talent through an integrated process in its talent management review programs, ensuring underrepresented groups are reviewed for development and promotional opportunities.

Business Development Bank of Canada, Montreal. Secondary market financing; 2,556 employees. Created five new financing programs for diverse entrepreneurs to increase access to capital (in partnership with other organizations).

CAMH / Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. Specialty hospital; 2,689 employees. Launched its three-year Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021, which outlines its strategy to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people at CAMH.

Canada Revenue Agency / CRA, Ottawa. Federal government; 55,588 employees. Maintains a Women’s Collaborative Network to celebrate women’s achievements and increase visibility and representativeness at all levels while highlighting systemic barriers, raising awareness of bias and calling out inequality.

Canadian National Railway Co., Montreal. Railroad transportation; 16,402 employees. Provides inclusive leadership training for senior leaders and middle managers to equip employees with the necessary tools to create inclusive work environments.

CBC / Radio-Canada, Ottawa. Public broadcaster; 8,209 employees. Allocated more than $750,000 in 2020 and 2021 to its diversity and inclusion fund to help create internships and other development opportunities to employees from underrepresented groups.

CGI Inc., Toronto. Information technology; 10,829 employees. Has rolled out behaviour-focused diversity, equity and inclusion learning plans for more than 1,000 leaders in partnership with FranklinCovey.

Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto. Child and youth services; 707 employees. Created an equity-based hiring strategy to close the gap of underrepresented individuals and increased the number of permanent roles in its diversity, equity and inclusion department.

CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 40,048 employees. Achieved gender parity of its board of directors, with 50 per cent representation of women, and for the first time in the bank’s history, the board is chaired by a woman.

D2L Corp., Kitchener, Ont. Software publishers; 963 employees. Provides training to enhance employee and manager knowledge and expectations specific to diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Dentons Canada LLP, Edmonton. Law firm; 1,357 employees. Introduced an Inclusion and Diversity Framework with three key areas of focus: gender advancement, anti-Black racism and Indigenous reconciliation.

Ecolab Co., Mississauga. Cleaning and sanitation products and services; 888 employees. Provides interview training on unconscious bias in hiring and expectations for diverse slates of candidates.

Emera Inc., Halifax. Electric power generation and distribution and gas distribution; 2,468 employees. Expanded its employee resource groups from two to five, including groups for Black employees, women in engineering, women in trades, LGBTQ+ and women in IT.

Employment and Social Development Canada, Gatineau, Que. Federal government; 37,334 employees. Launched a Muslim Federal Employees Network in 2022 to provide a safe forum for employees to connect and discuss issues related to a healthy and inclusive work environment.

Enbridge Inc., Calgary. Energy infrastructure; 7,384 employees. Conducts annual pay equity analyses to help ensure fair pay across gender and ethnicity, as well as analyses during performance reviews, leadership development and succession planning.

EY, Toronto. Accounting; 7,318 employees. Launched a neurodiversity centre of excellence model in Toronto in 2020 to improvement the recruitment, development and integration of a neurodiverse workforce.

FISPAN Services Inc., Vancouver. Software development; 122 employees. Participated in an external audit to assess communication, culture, procurement, product, and development on the basis of DEI.

Gibson Energy Inc., Calgary. Oil and gas distribution; 434 employees. Introduced a company-wide course on Conscious Inclusion and tied course completion to employees’ annual short term incentive program.

Hatch Ltd., Mississauga. Engineering; 3,653 employees. Set a goal to have women represent 40 per cent of its workforce by 2023, and aims to have a third of all experienced hires and half of student and young professional interview slates be women.

Health Canada / Santé Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 9,987 employees. Has a teaching and healing centre onsite (The Iskotew Lodge) where Indigenous teachings, meetings with Elders, storytelling and craft circles are held for employees and members of the public.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto. Hospitals; 527 employees. Created a new Human Rights and Equity Navigator role in 2022 to advance its priorities of anti-oppression, anti-racism and social accountability to promote a respectful and inclusive workplace.

Home Depot Canada, North York, Ont., Retail; 36,497 employees. Relaunched its diversity and inclusion committee as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council in 2020, with representation across all major stakeholder groups at the organization.

IBM Canada Ltd., Markham, Ont. Software development. Offers a Tech Re-Entry program for technical professionals who took a break from the workforce and are looking to restart their careers.

IGM Financial Inc., Winnipeg. Financial services; 3,818 employees. Embeds accountability for diversity, equity and inclusion in performance objectives for all people leaders who have more than three direct reports.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Ottawa. Federal government; 6,160 employees. Includes diversity and inclusion objectives as part of management’s formal performance management agreements.

Jazz Aviation LP, Goffs, N.S. Air transportation; 4,768 employees. Honours Truth and Reconciliation Day as a paid holiday and is currently working with its Indigenous employee group to revise its Indigenous practices leave policy.

KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 9,926 employees. Formed an anti-Black racism plan in collaboration with its Black Professionals Network and launched a dedicated mentoring program for Black senior managers, pairing them with managing partners.

Lafarge Canada Inc., Calgary. Concrete manufacturing; 6,286 employees. Committed to a 2030 action plan, which includes a goal of having 30 per cent of management roles held by women by the year 2030.

Ledcor Group of Companies, Vancouver. Construction; 6,873 employees. Rolled out six inclusion and diversity toolkits last year to help leaders introduce topics to employees (includes building an inclusive culture, equity versus equality and unconscious bias).

Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 31,708 employees. Prioritized addressing systemic barriers in the recruitment process and requires all people leaders to complete mandatory training on inclusive hiring.

Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg. Hydroelectric power generation; 4,764 employees. Launched pre-placement programs for women in power line technician and power electrician trades programs, with a goal of increasing representation of women in the workforce.

Manulife, Toronto. Insurance; 11,925 employees. Implemented diverse candidate slate requirements to increase hire and promotion rates of diverse candidates for director-level roles and above.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,576 employees. Invested in several programs to expand the pipeline of Black and Indigenous students into law school and support BIPOC lawyers.

McMaster University, Hamilton. Universities; 6,516 employees. Launched an employment equity facilitator program to support all hiring processes, act as process consultants and ensure equitable outcomes.

Niagara Health, St. Catharines, Ont. Healthcare; 3,129 employees. Ensures that interview panels for leadership positions are diverse, for both staff and physician roles, plus all hiring panels must complete inclusive recruitment training.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,549 employees. Launched the Origins Network in 2020, which aims to connect racialized employees across Canada and hosts educational events for employees internally and for clients.

Nunavut, Government of, Iqaluit. Territorial government; 3,502 employees. Strives to increase the representation of Inuit in government and provides expanded training opportunities to help prepare Inuit employees to assume new roles.

Nutrien Inc., Saskatoon, Sask. Fertilizer manufacturing; 5,666 employees. Set a goal to increase gender diversity in senior leadership roles to 30 per cent by 2025 and maintains 30 per cent gender diversity on its board.

Ontario Power Generation Inc., Toronto. Electricity power generation; 10,657 employees. Committed to growing economic impact for Indigenous communities and business to $1-billion over the next 10 years through ongoing operations, projects and initiatives.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,172 employees. Helps partners ensure that work is fairly allocated to both male and female associates through a gender work allocation report.

Ottawa, City of, Ottawa. Municipal government; 12,899 employees. Created a Women and Gender Equity Strategy which includes a systemic framework that sets corporate and departmental targets and defines commitments.

Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,618 employees. Maintains a number of employee resource groups that help facilitate outreach and recruitment initiatives as well as internal training and awareness.

Public Services and Procurement Canada, Gatineau, Que. Federal government; 17,710 employees. Established a task force on anti-racism, workplace culture and equity, responsible for initiating meaningful dialogue with diverse employees and groups.

Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto. Banking; 60,966 employees. Is committed to developing Indigenous talent pipelines through a dedicated Indigenous summer internship program to provide on-the-job learning and training to post-secondary students.

SAP Canada Inc., Vancouver. Custom computer programming services; 3,325 employees. Created Women to Watch and Talent to Watch programs to build a diverse pipeline of talent for senior roles.

SaskPower, Regina. Electric power generation; 3,298 employees. Embedded diversity and inclusion metrics in its annual corporate balanced scorecard, which measures overall workforce diversity representation and sets annual targets.

SaskTel, Regina. Telecommunications; 2,659 employees. Maintains a hiring strategy for persons with disabilities and conducts information sessions and pre-employment workshops with community partners.

Scotiabank, Toronto. Banking; 36,790 employees. Manages a Staff Ombuds Office to provide anonymous assistance with work-related issues when employees are unsure about using formal channels or need help to work out a plan or facilitate difficult conversations.

Sinai Health, Toronto. Hospitals; 3,717 employees. Has managed a summer mentorship program in partnership with University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine since 2001, providing mentoring opportunities for Black and Indigenous high school students.

Stanley Black & Decker Canada Corp., Mississauga. Tool and hardware manufacturing; 1,391 employees. Implemented a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which aims to support and accelerate the company’s diversity goals.

Statistics Canada / Statistique Canada, Federal government. Ottawa; 6,506 employees. Maintains a women’s subcommittee to provide employees with a forum to discuss and create change related to workplace issues specific to gender.

TD Bank Group, Toronto. Banking; 59,100 employees. Launched a new diversity and inclusion strategy with multiple areas of focus, and introduced a Black experience area of focus, setting targets to increase the representation of Black, Indigenous and other minority professionals.

Telus Communications Inc., Vancouver. Telecommunications; 25,474 employees. Launched a five-year Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021, developed with guidance from Indigenous voices and Indigenous-led frameworks of reconciliation.

Toronto, City of, Toronto. Municipal government; 22,062 employees. Established the Profession to Profession Mentoring Immigrants program in 2004 in response to employment barriers faced by skilled immigrants.

UBC / University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Universities; 15,365 employees. Launched a Centre for Workplace Accessibility, which aims to remove barriers, expedite accommodations, and minimize the medicalization of disability by identifying resources, supports, or workplace adjustments.

Université de Montréal, Montreal. Universities; 5,667 employees. Offers a Preferred First Name procedure request, enabling students and employees across the campus to use an alternate preferred first name instead of their legal one while studying or working at the university.

University of Calgary, Calgary. Universities; 5,872 employees. Offers Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards to students, staff, faculty and mixed teams (that might include community members) who have demonstrated a commitment to inclusion and equity on campus.

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Universities; 5,141 employees. Established its first anti-racism task force in the past year, co-chaired by the vice-president, administration and vice-president, Indigenous.

University of Ottawa, Ottawa. Universities; 5,210 employees. Has an Indigenous action plan including steps to develop an Indigenous faculty recruitment and hiring policy for tenure-track and part-time positions, and an Indigenous staff recruitment plan.

University of Toronto, Toronto. Universities; 11,502 employees. Manages its diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives through a tri-campus network of equity offices, a dedicated employee with equity-related responsibilities, and employee affinity groups.

University of Victoria, Victoria. Universities; 3,399 employees. Hosted its fourth annual Five Days of Action: 365 Days of Commitment event, to highlight its commitment to ending discrimination, harassment and sexualized violence.

Walmart Canada Corp., Mississauga. Retail; 44,437 employees. Manages a female accelerator program, called the Women in Retail Rising Star Program, to advance female talent from assistant store managers to store managers.

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