Workplace Diversity

A diverse workplace is common in today’s Canadian business world. It’s a true reflection of our nation’s unique communities and philosophies.
The definition of diversity is not limited by ethnicity, culture or religion. It’s important to be aware that diversity can include many factors including economic status, beliefs, gender, first language, religion, sexual orientation, skill-sets, inclusion of people living with disabilities and countless other factors.
Diversity makes ethical sense, but it also makes good business sense.
Having a positive work environment for all employees is an essential key to success for any business or non profit. A diverse workplace can create a culture of innovative thinking by tapping into a broader range of ideas. Canadian communities are diverse and workplaces with a emphasis on diversity can often understand their target markets better.
It’s especially important that community-based groups embrace diversity within their boards, local partnerships and volunteer bases. A community group should be a reflection of the people they represent. This will allow them to tap into the various segments of a community’s population and provide engaging services.
Equality in the workplace is no longer a social cause, it’s a must-have that directly effects the bottom line. The business world is international and companies lacking a global touch can often be left behind. Having a vast range of backgrounds within a company’s culture will create a better experience for customers who also come from a multitude of ethnic and culture backgrounds. People from a diverse selection of backgrounds bring unique opinions and experiences to the boardroom table. Discourse and planning in diverse companies can often lead to deeper understanding of customers and can provide more productive conversations.
Many large Canadian companies are jumping onboard by making efforts to improve diversity in their workplaces. Banks such as CIBC and the Bank of Nova Scotia and large accounting firms including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers are currently establishing policies which will ensure more of a balance in their staff. All of these businesses have committed to have females make up at least 25 percent of their board positions by 2017. The Ontario government is also in the process of implementing diversity goals.
A workplace should be a reflection of the people it serves. This connection develops a deeper understanding of a customer base and will lead to deeper understanding of their work and will lead to improved bottom lines.

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