DEI Snapshot: How Do You Compare?

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Benefits Alliance Pulse

Plus… The Impact of Diverse Talent.

Understanding DEI by the numbers in Canada is more than just a statistical game. It’s about recognizing the current state of affairs, acknowledging rising trends, and addressing challenges head-on.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are not just buzzwords but essential elements for businesses aiming to thrive in today’s global market.

The power of diverse talent can’t be underestimated as it brings fresh perspectives and opens up new markets. However, implementing effective DEI strategies isn’t always straightforward.

In this week’s Benefits Alliance Pulse, we look at how incorporating these principles into corporate culture has proven beneficial for many leading Canadian companies. How to gauge accomplishment using regular assessment using tools like scorecards or monthly reports.


The Current State of DEI in Canada


Canada’s DEI landscape is a multi-faceted, ever-evolving reality that requires ongoing dedication to achieve true inclusivity. Progress has been made, but the journey towards comprehensive inclusivity continues.


High-Performing Organizations with DEI Strategy


A study by Boston Consulting Group Canada ULC suggests that organizations equipped with formal DEI strategies are more likely to have improved overall organizational performance. These companies stand 1.4 times taller than their peers who lack such initiatives.

In contrast, Statistics Canada research paints a different picture: only about one-third of employers perceive themselves as performing highly within the realm of implemented DEI practices.

An informal approach seems prevalent among Canadian businesses too; around 35% reported having an unstructured strategy for implementing policies related to diversity and inclusion according to data from the University of Montreal.


Navigating Challenges in Implementing Informal Strategies


This doesn’t mean these organizations sail smoothly through their implementation process – far from it. A significant portion (67%) admitted to experiencing difficulties associated with creating diverse workplaces.


The Rising Trend of DEI Policies


Observing the landscape of Canadian businesses, one can’t help but notice a steady increase in formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plans. According to recent surveys, 35% had adopted such policies by the first half of 2023.

This is an encouraging trend that indicates growing awareness among companies about the importance of diversity for business success. Moreover, another promising statistic reveals that an additional 17% plan to implement these strategies soon, with around 9% aiming for implementation before the end of this year.

Key Takeaway: Canada’s business landscape is embracing DEI. 35% have adopted policies and another 17% plan to. Diverse talent fuels innovation, problem-solving, and growth.


Challenges Faced in Implementing DEI Strategies


The journey toward implementing a robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy is often challenging. While some organizations may not report significant hurdles, others grapple with obstacles that can slow down their progress in achieving an inclusive work environment.

This lack of comprehension often leads to strategies that barely scratch the surface when it comes to promoting diversity within an organization’s structure. It becomes imperative for businesses who have successfully integrated these practices into their work environment, to invest time and resources into educating themselves on all aspects of DEI before embarking on its implementation.


Navigating Employee Resistance: A Key Challenge in Informal DEI Strategy Implementation


A hurdle commonly faced by many organizations while introducing changes brought about by formal or informal DEI plans is resistance from employees unfamiliar with such initiatives. This discomfort can often be addressed through open communication channels and training programs designed specifically to foster understanding regarding why such measures are essential.


Holding Accountability: The Importance & Challenges Involved


Beyond this lies another critical challenge – accountability. Without well-defined guidelines and systems tracking progress toward diversity goals – similar tools used in Canadian scorecard monthly reports – efforts could falter due to a lack of direction or oversight.


The Importance of Incorporating DEI into Corporate Culture


Integrating DEI into corporate culture is essential to fostering an environment of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It’s more than just ticking boxes or meeting quotas; an effective DEI strategy creates an environment where every individual feels valued and respected.


The Benefits and Impact of a Diverse Workforce


Diversifying your team brings with it several advantages, including enhanced problem-solving abilities due to varied viewpoints as well as increased adaptability stemming from cultural understanding among staff members.

It has been found that companies scoring above average on diversity metrics generated 19% higher revenue compared to those falling below average.

Diversity within talent pools brings along fresh perspectives, which are vital in driving innovation and growth. A diverse workforce means varied experiences and backgrounds, enhancing problem-solving capabilities at all levels within organizations.

There’s still room for improvement when it comes to effectively tapping into diverse talent during recruitment processes, despite increasing numbers encouragingly adopting formal DEI plans. This gap presents immense opportunities – not challenges – for those willing to embrace them head-on.


  1. Incorporate different ethnicities: By actively seeking out candidates from various cultural backgrounds, you’re bringing new ideas and viewpoints into your organization’s operations.
  2. Gender diversity: Ensuring gender balance across roles fosters creativity while also reflecting societal norms more accurately.
  3. Multigenerational teams: Different age groups bring unique strengths and skill sets, enhancing overall productivity levels.


Taking advantage of these opportunities will not only boost performance but also foster a culture where everyone feels valued, thus leading to successful informal or formal DEI strategy implementations.


Promoting Inclusivity Through Policy Implementation


To promote inclusivity effectively, businesses need clear-cut formal policies emphasizing fair treatment irrespective of personal differences. These should underscore equal opportunities while discouraging any form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, etc.

By creating environments where everyone feels safe expressing themselves without fear, overall productivity improves.


Measuring the Success of Your Company’s DEI Strategy


In order to make sure that your business’s DEI plan is efficiently promoting an open atmosphere, it’s critical to gauge its effectiveness. Tools to measure the success of your company’s DEI strategy can be utilized, such as a monthly scorecard report commonly used by Canadian businesses for data on diversity metrics like workforce composition, pay equity, and representation at various levels.

This information serves as a benchmark, allowing companies like yours to compare progress with national averages in Canada. The increasing numbers encouragingly show positive trends towards inclusivity across various sectors, including corporate giants like Walmart Canada Corp or Home Depot Canada.

Beyond external benchmarks, though, internal assessments are equally crucial for measuring the effectiveness of your DEI policy. Regular employee surveys or focus groups offer invaluable insights into how inclusive employees feel their workplace truly is.

This direct input from staff members helps identify areas where improvements may be needed, thus ensuring continuous improvement in implementing robust policies.

Another key aspect involves tracking recruitment and retention rates among diverse groups within your company. For example, Boston Consulting Group Canada ULC has been successful in doing so. If these figures indicate an upward trend over time, then you know that efforts put forth by Ontario Power Generation, among others, have paid off.


  • The Quantitative Aspect:

Evaluating quantitative outcomes through tools like scorecards gives concrete evidence about whether current strategies are working or need adjustment.


  • The Qualitative Factor:

Analyzing qualitative factors plays a significant role too when assessing the impact made by DEI strategies on corporate culture; observations regarding changes in team dynamics could provide additional insight here.


Steps Towards Creating an Effective DEI Strategy


Starting Small – Initial Steps Towards a Robust Policy


Creating impactful change within your organization’s culture through DEI initiatives starts by taking small but meaningful steps. Consider initiating diversity awareness programs that educate employees about the significance of diverse perspectives in driving innovation.

Additionally, workshops can be used as platforms for promoting inclusive behaviours among team members; these could serve as stepping stones towards fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.


Incorporating Feedback – Continuous Improvement


A dynamic DEI policy is one that evolves based on feedback received from its most important stakeholders – the employees themselves. Regularly conducting surveys or facilitating open discussions allows you to gauge how well current policies are being adopted while identifying areas requiring improvement.


Setting Clear Goals – Path Towards Success


Paving the way for progress requires setting clear goals right off the bat when implementing your company’s formal DEI plans and challenges. These objectives will act as benchmarks guiding you along this journey toward cultivating a truly inclusive corporate culture.

For instance, Walmart has been known to set specific targets related to hiring diverse talent which enables them to measure their advancements over time effectively.

Crafting an effective informal DEI strategy plays a pivotal role in steering organizational growth while advocating equity and inclusion at all levels within your enterprise.

By commencing with modest yet consistent strides aiming for bigger milestones via continuous enhancement based on constructive criticism, companies are making remarkable advances in this crucial facet of business administration.