Engage, Innovate & Excel

Diversity and inclusion is about people.

People like you.

People like me.

What is diversity?

Diversity means differences - and refers to all the ways in which we are different from one another.  These differences may be visible or invisible and include (but are not limited to): age, culture, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geographic location, occupation, language, marital status, mental health, nationality, native or indigenous origin, parental status, personality type, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, thinking style, and work style.

We all bring with us diverse perspectives and life experiences, meaning that no two people are alike.

Therefore, diversity is everywhere.

What is inclusion?

The power of diversity is unleashed when the workplace is inclusive; when diverse thoughts, backgrounds and innovative ideas are sought out and valued in making business decisions; when employees can bring their authentic selves to work and feel safe, respected and valued for who they are and their contributions to the organization.

Inclusive workplaces exist when inclusion pervades company culture, systems and behavioural expectations for all employees.

Why is diversity and inclusion so important?

The world is changing in ways that require organizations to recognize, value and leverage diversity and inclusion if they are to remain competitive.

  • Workforce demographics are shifting. Within Canada, baby boomers are aging and birth rates have not kept pace to replace these workers as they retire.  Immigration is increasing and younger workers will soon represent a majority of the workforce. Diverse talent pipelines will help address the talent shortage and consequently disrupt the composition  of the traditional workforce

  • Employee’s priorities are multifaceted. Salary is not the only important factor in deciding where to work. More and more, employees expect offerings from their employers like a flexible work environment, involvement in corporate social responsibility, and good leadership. For many companies, engagement and inclusion are key differentiators in attracting top talent.
  • The marketplace is changing. Changing demographics also mean changing consumer markets.  Consumers want to invest in products and services that speak to them and that meet their diverse needs, and organizations are increasingly faced with requirements to publicly report D&I practices, allowing for closer consumer scrutiny. Organizations are finding that relying on a homogenous workforce is no longer sufficient for attracting and retaining business in the long-term. 

These are just a few examples that demonstrate the necessity for businesses to shift their thinking—and move toward a diverse, more inclusive workforce.

Benefits of diversity and inclusion

A strategic and well implemented diversity and inclusion plan can help organizations:

1. Attract Diverse Talent

The talent pool is shrinking - Canada is expecting a labour force shortage of almost 2 million employees by 2031. D&I initiatives can help fill the gaps with underused talent sources such as immigrants, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, women and experienced workers.

2. Increase Employee Engagement and Retention

A diverse, inclusive organization can increase employee satisfaction, reduce conflicts between groups, improve collaboration and loyalty - and even increase employees’ intent to stay by as much as 24 percent.

3. Facilitate Compliance and Enhance Corporate Image

D&I efforts can support legal, contractual and regulatory equity requirements, mitigating the risk of costly Human Rights, harassment or other complaints. In addition, consumers are increasingly attuned to organizations’ social responsibility - and their purchasing decisions are reflective of that.

4. Sharpen Customer Orientation

Strategic businesses stay competitive by understanding their consumer base. A workforce reflecting your target market will influence product development and sales strategies that resonate with that market.

5. Improve Innovation, Productivity and Decision Making

To be successful on a global platform, companies must have a diverse and inclusive workforce that encourages out-of-the-box thinking - as multiple voices reflecting diverse viewpoints and approaches lead to new ideas, services and products. Studies show that, in fact, diverse teams are “smarter” and more innovative than homogenous groups.

The Cost of Employee Engagement

  • Organizations with high levels of engagement outperformed the total stock market index even in volatile economic conditions (Hewitt)
  • A disengaged employee costs an organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary (McLean & Company)
  • Employee turnover can cost from 75% to 125% of salary for professional roles (The Talent Group)

Diverse Groups Have Significant Spending Power

Learn more about my diversity and inclusion consulting services, training sessions and speaking engagements.