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Fewer than half of Canadian companies have Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy

June 9, 2022
The Canadian Press

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Globe Newswire

Although there has been a steady increase in the proportion of Canadian companies that have implemented a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policy, most Canadian companies do not have one according to a recent survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Forty percent of Canadian companies report having a diversity, equity and inclusion policy, up from 35. Of those planning to do so, 9 are more than twice as likely than small businesses (26 per cent) to have a DEI policy.

Canadian companies are significantly behind those in the United States, where 54 per cent of companies report having a DEI policy in place.

Furthermore, despite continuing labour shortages, nearly half of Canadian companies surveyed (46 say their company is planning to take such steps in 2022.


About 1 in 6 Canadian hiring decision-makers (16 per cent) say reaching diverse candidates is one of the biggest hiring challenges their company will face over the next year.

According to Hanif Hemani, an Express franchise owner in Saskatoon, Sask., implementing a diversity, equity and inclusion policy can have many benefits for companies.

“It is important that companies’ employees demographically represent the communities they operate in, not only from an `optics’ standpoint, but also from an opportunity standpoint,” said Hemani. “The opportunity is to tap into new ways, new thinking and new markets. There is a very talented pool of individuals that have been under-resourced and under-used in the past.”

He says the tight labour market has caused some businesses to look at candidates they may not have considered in the past.

“More businesses are developing robust DEI policies and, in many cases, labour dynamics have driven some of this change,” said Hemani. “The war on talent has created opportunities for individuals not traditionally part of the workforce of many companies.”

While it’s encouraging to see an increase in businesses developing DEI plans, Hemani says it’s important companies follow through on them.

“While employers are adopting DEI plans, it seems that many of the targets set are still not being consistently met,” said Hemani. “Companies are taking steps in the right direction, but there is still far to go.”

“It’s encouraging to see more companies adopting diversity, equity and inclusion policies to create workforces reflective of our society,”

Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller said. “Everyone deserves to feel heard and represented in their career as part of collaborative company cultures.”

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