Bank of Canada, Bruce Power among top diversity employers

'Creating safe spaces for employees to engage in constructive dialogue has helped organizations understand'

Bank of Canada, Bruce Power among top diversity employers

Bank of Canada, Bruce Power and Accessible Media (AMI) are among Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2021.

The Mediacorp competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) peoples.

"The past year has been a time of reckoning for many organizations, a time to pause and listen," says Stephanie Leung, assistant editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "Creating safe spaces for employees to engage in constructive dialogue has helped organizations understand how their employees want them to respond to events like Black Lives Matter ― and how progressive employers can amplify underrepresented voices."

Winning practices

Bank of Canada created a master's scholarship program for women in economics and finance with the aim of creating more gender-balanced talent pipelines for the bank in the future. It also offers scholarships for students with disabilities as well as Indigenous students. In 2018, the bank, along with its partners, participated in a pilot program to provide work placements for students with intellectual disabilities ― training was provided to potential leaders on adaptive measures as well as working effectively with individuals with cognitive challenges.

“If we want to be a leading central bank, we need to be truly inclusive. We need to make sure that we’re creating an environment where people can bring their whole self to the Bank of Canada so they can do their very best work. It’s imperative that we get a diversity of views, different ideas coming from a diversity of backgrounds. That’s going to lead to better decisions. It’s also going to lead to more innovation,” says Tiff Macklem, governor at Bank of Canada. “So diversity and inclusion, there’s a moral obligation, but it’s also just core to our success.”

Bruce Power hired 76 Indigenous employees directly and indirectly in 2019. It also created an Indigenous Education and Work Experience Opportunity, which provides sponsored tuition and paid work placements. Its Indigenous Network has multiple focus areas, including planning company and community events to increase Indigenous awareness, being company advocates within local Indigenous communities and volunteering opportunities in support of the local communities.

“Bruce Power has adopted a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and has a strategic plan in place to ensure this commitment results in meaningful action,” says Cathy Sprague, Bruce Power’s executive vice president of human resources. “Building a more diverse and inclusive workforce is good for business. With more perspectives comes greater creativity and innovation, which sets us up for success as we work towards a clean energy future for Ontario and Canada.”

At AMI, persons with disabilities represent 19 per cent of overall employees, 16 per cent of managers and 33 per cent of the board. The company also manages three work placement programs to help people with disabilities gain meaningful experience, including an internship for post-secondary students, a six- to eight-week apprenticeship program in broadcasting and content creation for those who are not enrolled in a post-secondary institution and a job shadowing program for high school students interested in a career in broadcasting.

"From the employees we hire to the community we serve, AMI is a truly diverse workplace where everyone's voice is heard," says David Errington, president and CEO of AMI.

The full list of winners is available here.

Dentons Canada, Novo Nordisk Canada, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Capital Power, CISCO, DHL Express, Dentons, SAP Canada, Jazz Aviation, Canada Life and PEAK Financial Group are also among Canada’s top employers for 2021, according to separate competitions.

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