Canadian Employers Step Forward on Diversity, Fall Short on Inclusion

A report released by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Royal Bank of Canada says Canadian employers are falling short when it comes to inclusion. Diversity and Inclusion: We're not doing enough is based upon an extensive survey of 64 leading employers that collectively employ 1.2 million Canadians. The survey found that employers overall “agree on the benefits of having a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace,” but only one in ten of organizations surveyed could say they “strongly agreed” that they take advantage of those benefits. The results of the survey are a wake-up call for the need for new thinking on diversity and inclusion. In particular, organizations need to figure out ways to measure the impacts of inclusion.

The report also reveals that Canadian employers still fall significantly short on diversity and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Highlights from the survey include:

  • Canadian employers are paying attention: 81 percent provide internal networks to foster a diverse workforce; 75 percent have initiatives in place to develop “high-potential talent.”
  • Respondents either strongly agreed (87 percent) or agreed (13 percent) that “inclusive teams make better decisions than teams that are not inclusive.”
  • A majority either strongly disagreed (34 percent) or disagreed (34 percent) that “diversity and inclusion can have drawbacks.”
  • Of respondents, 82 percent strongly agreed “inclusion is required to translate diversity into performance results such as innovation.”
  • There was an overall consensus that “organizations should do more to build a diverse workforce.” Fully 46 percent strongly agreed and 48 percent agreed.
  • Only 55 percent of employers attempt to measure the impact of their diversity initiatives.
  • Respondents were most likely to say they lagged behind in diversity and inclusion with respect to persons with disabilities.

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