Embrace diversity or be left behind (Editorial)

By John Hobel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/10/2003

Convincing senior management to pay more than lip service to diversity is a daunting task in some organizations.

To encourage diversity, its proponents have argued the issue from a number of vantage points. There’s the legal stick: hiring and promotion must be discrimination-free or else litigation costs will ensue. There’s the moral argument that it’s the right thing to do. For organizations with federal contracts there is the need to comply with diversity standards just to do business. For others there’s the bottom-line appeal which argues that to sell products and services to a multicultural society you need a diverse staff capable of understanding a diverse market. The bottom-line argument also states having a culturally diverse staff signals to the diverse masses that your organization is worthy of their patronage.

Another plank in the push for effective diversity programs is the need to tap into a broad labour pool to meet staffing needs. It is this last point which just received a big boost from Statistics Canada.