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Scotiabank unveils roadmap for diversity and inclusion

Goals include doubling number of Indigenous employees, ensuring women hold 40 per cent of senior roles


A Scotiabank branch on Kirkwood Avenue in Ottawa. Photo: Google Streetview

Toronto-based Scotiabank has unveiled new diversity and inclusion goals in an effort to increase the diversity of its employee population over the next five years.

The bank said it is putting a focus on people who identify as black, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, people with disabilities and women.

The new goals include doubling the enterprise-wide representation of Indigenous employees; significantly increasing the number of employees who identify as people with disabilities; ongoing advancement of the BlackNorth CEO pledge and bolstering the global number of women in executive roles.

“We are committed to becoming the bank of choice for the diverse communities we serve and remain confident that our commitments will help remove barriers and build a stronger and more inclusive society,” said Brian Porter, president and CEO, Scotiabank. “While our work to build a truly inclusive organization is never complete, we are pleased with the progress we have made.”

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Annual milestones

Scotiabank’s renewed diversity strategy focuses on underrepresented employees, with annual milestones set to reach its diversity and inclusion goals in Canada, which include:

  • Doubling the current representation of Indigenous employees;
  • Increasing the representation of People with Disabilities (PWD) by 20 per cent;
  • Increasing visible minorities in senior leadership roles to 30 per cent or greater;
  • Increasing the representation of black employees in senior leadership to 3.5 per cent, and the Black student workforce to five per cent or more, as stated in the BlackNorth CEO Pledge; and
  • Increasing the representation of women in senior leadership roles (VP+) to 40 per cent globally.

These benchmarks were developed with a combination of inputs including data-driven trends, labour market availability, and internal and external environmental factors.

The bank said it has invested significantly in its diversity and inclusion efforts: today, 39 per cent of its workforce in Canada identifies as being a visible minority; 56 per cent identify as women; 5.7 per cent identify as being LGBTQ+; and over 50 per cent of student hires are Black, Indigenous Peoples, or People of Colour.

Scotiabank reaffirmed its commitment to inclusion earlier this year, when Brian Porter signed the BlackNorth CEO pledge and was named to the BlackNorth Board of Directors.

Scotiabank’s inclusion commitments

As part of its renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion, Scotiabank developed a set of inclusion commitments focused on promoting best practices when interacting with employees, customers, communities and business partners.

The inclusion commitments were developed by a specialized task force that was struck after several incidents of racially motivated violence in the United States caused a global outcry, and were also inspired by sentiment derived from the Bank’s annual Diversity Survey, as well as subsequent listening tours performed by senior executives with employees across the Bank.

“The commitments solidify our approach to welcoming diverse communities and addressing issues of racism among employees, customers and business partners, as well as in the communities where we operate,” said Barb Mason, group head and chief human resources officer. “The recommendations will form a key part of the bank’s overall Diversity and Inclusion strategy to ensure we continue to deliver for our colleagues, customers, and communities.”