HUMAN Capital - Summer 2015 - (Page 13)

ARTICLE Diversity and Inclusiveness in Today's Workplace BY KANWALJIT KAUR, CHRP, EP, PH.D As Canadian workplaces are becoming more diverse, savvy employers are learning they can leverage this diversity to make their organizations more creative and productive. Four Alberta workplaces share their stories as examples of how you can harness your workplace's diversity to drive growth Canada is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. According to the 2006 Canadian Census, visible minorities in Canada make up 16 per cent of a total population of 31,241,030, and 15 per cent of a total workforce of 18,418,100. Between 1996 and 2006, the visible minority population grew 59 per cent and its workforce grew 76 per cent, compared to three per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, for people who are not members of a visible minority. (Employment Equity Data Report, Labour Program, Government of Canada) Wendy Cairns: We must be aware of our own cultural views. * Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the interviewees themselves and do not reflect the opinion of Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) or the Editorial Committee. The report maintains that in today's nationally and globally competitive workplace organizations cannot afford to under-utilize any part of the Canadian workforce. "A growing proportion of Canada's workforce consists of visible minority people, and these well-educated and motivated individuals will be crucial to the performance of Canadian companies and firms in the decades to come." We spoke to a few organizations to learn how they are leveraging their diverse workforce to make their organizations more creative and productive.* Defining Diversity Diversity traditionally has been an indicator of a sound ecosystem where multiple species co-exist and benefit from each other's qualities. In the context of an organization, diversity is simply the sum total of the differences between people working there. It is not only about how people see themselves, but how they see others and how it affects them. According to Catherine Anley, Employment Equity Advisor at the University of Alberta, "diversity is fundamentally about valuing human difference." The University's Employment Equity Advisory Committee defines diversity as the interplay of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) to achieve equality.  Wendy Cairns, Employment and Retention Specialist at Champions Career Centre, Calgary, builds on the Merriam Webster definition of diversity: "Being composed of different types of people." In the broad sense, she says, this reflects, not just having a group made up of persons with differences (including varying abilities, cultures, religious beliefs, lifestyles, etc.), but embracing the talents and strengths HUMAN CAPITAL | SUMMER 2015 | 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Summer 2015

Leadership Matters
Tech Talk
Seven Best Practices to Improve Candidate Care Through the Recruitment Process
Diversity and Inclusiveness in Today’s Workplace
Navigating the Current Job Market: Students, Professionals and Employers
The Meaning of Turnover
Changes in the TFW and LMIA Process
The Changing Face of Training and Development
Policy Corner
Legal Source
Suppliers Guide
Index of Advertisers/

HUMAN Capital - Summer 2015