Last week we pointed out how a lot of recent news about diversity in leadership in Canada wasn’t that great.
Well, we’re happy to flip that coin a bit this week to report on some great insights, reports and articles that have been recently published!
DiverseCity onBoard receives United Nations “Intercultural Innovation Award”
You may have heard this already.
Earlier this week, at the fourth UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Forum in Doha, the DiverseCity onBoard project won second prize in the Intercultural Innovation Awards. DiverseCity onBoard was chosen from over 400 proposals from 70 countries considered for the award. Find out more, and watch the video of Cathy graciously and eloquently accepting the award here:
Here’s our official media release.
Some additional coverage/insight:
- Matt Damon, Wyclef Jean, and the Power of Diversity (Julia Moulden, Huffington Post)
- First Intercultural Innovation Award at 4th UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Doha – BMW Group and UNAOC honor ten cutting-edge initiatives (BMW Group)
We’re all really, really proud and excited for this international recognition. It’s something that doesn’t happen without a lot of great people (our candidates and the organizations who bring them onto their boards), partners (CivicAction) and our entire network (you!). So, thanks!
But that’s not all! The week has been filled with some additional stories we think you may want to know about.
Companies tend to “get it” from a consumer/market perspective
Vancouver Sun’s Chinese-language website lures fast-rising ethnic group (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
And they’re not the first to get it. The big five banks all provide services, at branches and online, in multiple languages, including investing in websites that for multilingual/diverse clients (not cheap!): RBC (Chinese), TD (Chinese, South Asian), BMO (Chinese), CIBC (Chinese), Scotiabank (entire portal in eight languages).
And it’s only growing:
- A Leading GCC Islamic Bank Plans Entry into Canada (TorontoMuslims.com)
- Event on Jan. 12 in Toronto – The Emerging Ethnic Markets in Canada: The Pioneers of Multicultural Marketing (American Marketing Association)
- Your grocers get it. Take part in NEW’s diversity survey (Canadian Grocer). Well, of course they do: Ethnic marketers capitalize on GTA’s shifting demographics.
We have a competitive opportunity, let’s make sure business realizes it.
What about from an internal organizational perspective?
Ryerson University released a report this week that provides some insights: The Diverse Organization: Finding Gold at the End of the Rainbow.
Researchers found that the more organizations embraced elements of diversity in their corporate culture the more prosperous the company became and the happier and loyal its workforce. “When you have an inclusive corporate culture, recruiting top talent becomes easier, group processes will be enhanced, which means employees are more likely to stay, which, in turn, increases the company’s bottom line,” said Ryerson Professor Kristyn Scott, lead author. This isn’t at all a new theory, as I discovered this week.
Employee “happiness” (or engagement) has actually been quantified, and proven to impact a company’s bottom line. Here’s a sampling of studies and results. This seems to make the Ryerson report quite important, as Michael Hlinka at CBC’s Metro Morning pointed out in his segment, Happy Means Productive.
- Diversity in workplace enhances bottom line: study (Ryerson News)
- Diversity in workplace enhances bottom line (Physorg.com)
- Diverse Staffs Are Happier, More Productive (Chad Brooks, BusinessNewsDaily)
- Full Ryerson report (fee)
There is an opportunity here to further the diversity discussion, deepening the business case for companies that may still need to be convinced.
Also this week, we saw some great articles that support this further
- Diversity becoming essential (Derek Sankey, for The Calgary Herald)
- How Diversity Leads to Economic Growth – countries with high levels of diversity better able to adapt new tech & ideas (Richard Florida, Atlantic Cities)
- P.E.I. goes to Ireland looking for workers (Journal Pioneer)
- B.C. panel to review how to attract skilled workers, investors (Evan Duggan, Vancouver Sun)
- Globe and Mail video: Tapping into the immigrant talent pool (OK, a bit older, but still very relevant)
More? OK. Last week we mentioned the Deloitte report Welcome To Canada. Now What? Unlocking the Potential of Immigrants for Business Growth and Innovation. You may have watched a recording of our Cities of Migration webinar: Dialogue on Diversity: Setting the Stage for Business Growth and Innovation, which included Deloitte’s Jane Allen, Partner and Chief Diversity Officer.
This week, Cities of Migration project posted the webinar recording: Closing the Gap: City Leadership on Employment and Workforce Diversity that looked specifically at how city governments, as employers, need smart strategies to effectively recruit, develop and retain a diverse workforce to remain competitive in the marketplace and be reflective of the constituencies they serve.
And south of the border?
- Report: Highly-skilled immigrants drive job creation for US citizens (Emi Kolawole, Washington Post)
- Groundbreaking Study Finds Immigration Creates Jobs for U.S. Workers (Mike, that’s Mayor Mike, Bloomberg)
- The Next Steve Jobs Is Foreign Born, American Educated And On A Plane Home (Priya Alagiri, Business Insider)
Breaking News! Skilled immigrant workers are here, they’re ready, they’ll improve your bottom line
This week, TRIEC reminds us that skilled immigrant workers are coming to Canada with their talent intact.
“We don’t see ourselves as visible minorities. We are well educated and bilingual. We are world-class immigrants and we’ve come to contribute to this country.” (Fabiola Sicard, quoted on the TRIEC website)
There are employers and networks that understand this: Foreign-trained workers expand Canada’s options (Gerry Macartney, London Chamber of Commerce, London Free Press). More and more companies, industry associations and networks are getting it.
Resource firms worried about skilled worker shortage, survey finds (Dave Cooper, Edmonton Journal)
“In an attempt to ease the shortage, some firms were trying to recruit from other countries. ‘For instance, some of the open-pit mining companies have a strategy to recruit people from Australia and South Africa because these skills are easily transferable.'”
Of course, they probably do have these strategies (full report PDF) and that’s great.
But, there is a missing piece: what are the odds that some of these highly skilled people are already here? Quite high.
Alberta firms would do well to connect with the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) and glean some data on occupational profiles of immigrants who have arrived in the past five years…
If you’re not in Alberta, don’t worry, we’ve got some Immigrant Employment Councils (IECs) you can connect with, or visit hireimmigrants.ca for everything you need to know about recruiting, retaining and promoting skilled immigrants.
A call to action
We indicated, above, that more and more companies understand that increased diversity has been connected to employee engagement, which has been shown to increase the bottom line. But if you’re still not convinced, some groups and articles provide additional calls to action for you to consider:
- Corporate responsibility: Do you have what it takes? (Globe and Mail)
- 3M Managers Walk in Newcomers Shoes (hireimmigrants.ca)
- Have You Realized Just How Much the Labour Market Has Changed? (IEC-BC)
- TRIEC’s Elizabeth McIsaac speaks about TRIEC model and successful collaboration with employers
- Make Mentoring Your New Year’s Resolution
While we’re celebrating DiverseCity onBoard and other projects, it’s up to us to remind our companies, cities and regions that increased diversity is not just good community, but it’s also good business. It’s about increasing our economic prosperity.
For employers, the business case cannot be stronger.