In the modern workplace one key area that you have to consider in your hiring practices is the element of diversity in the workplace. Canada has a very diverse and dynamic population. As an employer you have much to gain by taking advantage of that. Diversity in the workplace not only makes for a more varied workplace it also makes for one that offers differing viewpoints, life experiences, and worldviews. Most businesses benefit greatly from a workforce that isn’t composed of mainly one group which when it occurs tends to limit creativity and often can lead to myopic viewpoints.
With diversity in the workplace as a set goal you insure that your workforce and by extension your business is composed of many different viewpoints enabling an agile and quick thinking company. Below is a brief overview of several of the diverse groups found in Canadian society.
This group is composed of Canadian citizens who were born outside of the county. The leading geographic location immigrants come from include Asia (this includes the Middle East) followed by European nations, and Central American nations. These new Canadian citizens account for one fifth of the total population and in time will account for the majority of Canada’s continued population growth; a common trend among western nations.
For the purposes of diversity in the workplace this group refers to those who belong to a visible ethnic minority. Citizens belonging to this group are projected to continue to grow in coming years. A 2006 report from Statistics Canada shows that approximately one in six Canadians belong to a visible ethnic minority. If you work in a nonprofit industry it is worth noting that a HR Council report from 2008 reported that in their study of Canada’s labor force that the nonprofit sector was lacking in diversity. In fact it was shown overall, other sections of the labor force showed greater diversity in the workplace.
This is an umbrella term referring to several different groups. These groups include Metis, Inuit, and First Nations people. Each one of these groups have their own languages, customs, history, and cultural beliefs. It is worthwhile to know that this groups as a collective whole is expected to grow by roughly 42% from 2001 to 2017 as per reports by Statistics Canada.
In Canada, women make up a majority of the nonprofit workforce’s labor pool with 75% of total employees being women. However, in terms of overall proportion of the labor force men are overrepresented in management despite only making up 25% of the total workforce. In comparison women are overrepresented in support style positions. Health and Social Services tends to buck the trend with women better represented in management. This gender gap in relation to leadership positions is one area of diversity in the workplace that should be addressed.
The GLBTTQ Community
Trends in Canadian society point towards continued acceptance and integration of GLBTTQ Canadians in all aspects of society. Part of workplace diversity is assuring that such employees are treated with the dignity and respect due all employees. This assures they are not the subject of cruelty or impolite words or actions. This assures that their profession does not become a point of stress which limits workplace productivity.
Employees with Disabilities
This group includes those suffering from disabilities or impairments of both the physical and physiological in nature. While some are limited by their disabilities from certain professions many make more than capable employees and only express the desire to seek gainful employment and fair opportunities free of discrimination.