Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that being an inclusive employer enables us to understand the diverse factors that have an impact on our business, allowing us to make better decisions and best motivate our workforce. As workforce demographics change, diversity has become a business imperative and a key ingredient of success.

Our Commitment

Diversity is an important priority for us as an employer and as an active owner in a variety of companies operating in numerous geographic locations. Our group companies attract a diverse team of employees, all with unique expertise, from different backgrounds, age groups, genders and nationalities. Attracting and retaining a workforce that reflects the communities where we operate and the breadth of experience we need underpins our goal to be a great employer and to achieve our business objectives.

Programs

We have focused our strategy on supporting a diverse and inclusive work environment through the following programs:

Diversity and Inclusion

We support diversity at all levels of the organization. This commitment, as it relates to our Board and senior management, was formalized through our policy relating to Board and Senior Management Diversity. The women in our business represent: 

  • 17 per cent at the Power Financial Board level 

  • 20 per cent at the executive officer level, including the Corporation's group companies 

Through our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, we reinforce our commitment to provide a work environment of equal opportunities in employment, appointment and advancement, based on appropriate qualifications, requirements and performance, and our commitment to support an inclusive and diverse workforce. We will not tolerate unlawful discrimination on the basis of, among other things, age, sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion or disability.  

We have provided training on our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which emphasizes our commitment to provide a respectful and equitable workplace.

Highlights from our Group Companies

Commitments

Our subsidiaries Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial have adopted Board and Senior Management Diversity policies.

In 2017, Great-West Life also launched a Diversity Philosophy, a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness across its business. New initiatives helped foster an even more inclusive workplace culture in which all employees can feel fully engaged. These included new training initiatives, such as a workshop in Unconscious Bias at the Canadian Senior Leadership Forum, support to LGBTQ communities in Pride celebrations in its head office locations across Canada, a campaign featuring employees living with disabilities as a way to increase awareness of the International Day of Person with Disabilities. 

On 2017’s National Aboriginal Day, Great-West Life signed the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord, formalizing its commitment towards implementing the Aboriginal Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. In 2018, it was joined by Investors Group, who also signed the Accord.

In 2017, based on the information gathered through a confidential and voluntary Diversity & Inclusion Survey, IGM Financial introduced a diversity and inclusion strategy, which helps enable its goal to be a leading, contemporary organization, driven by diverse and inclusive leadership. The strategy includes specific goals and initiatives to enable the upward mobility of women and other underrepresented groups. The IGM Financial Diversity and Inclusion Council guides the implementation of its Diversity and Inclusion strategy, including driving awareness and involvement.

In February 2017, our subsidiaries Power Financial, Great-West Life, Investors Group and Mackenzie Investments joined forces with other Québec financial firms to establish Inclusion, a philanthropic fund promoting openness, inclusiveness and equality. This new fund will support awareness and education programs in schools with a view to building inclusive living environments and promoting greater openness in young people to diversity in all its forms.

Pargesa’s subsidiary Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) has also developed a Diversity & Inclusion Policy which supports and facilitates a diverse and inclusive environment that embraces differences and recognizes their benefits. These differences can be age, gender (identity), sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, cultural and religious backgrounds and other areas of potential difference.  

Imerys' Diversity Charter outlines its commitment to achieving greater diversity, as well as its commitment to anti-discrimination and equal opportunities. Diversity plans and series of measures have been set up in most of the major countries since 2013. In that perspective, in 2017, Imerys launched a diversity and inclusion working group composed of representatives of different businesses and functions across the group. The purpose of this working group is to conduct research and analysis on diversity and inclusion across Imerys, to identify key drivers and challenges and propose concrete practices, including the necessary monitoring and review, to accelerate progress.

DIVERSE EMPLOYEES

IGM Financial's operating companies benefit from attracting a diverse workforce. Having a range of perspectives, experiences, lifestyles and cultures helps the corporation to be innovative, make better decisions and better serve its clients.

For instance, Investors Group also focuses on diversity among its financial advisors, to better reflect Canada’s diverse population. Investors Group enhanced its recruitment tools, creating videos and written profiles of people from a diversity of backgrounds who have achieved great success either as a consultant or in field management. Investors Group is also a supporter of the Aboriginal Business Education Partners (ABEP) scholarship program at the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association. 

In 2017, both Mackenzie Investments and Investment Planning Counsel continued to support organizations that help immigrants to gain employment. Mackenzie has been a long-term supporter of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Mentoring Partnership, providing opportunities for its employees to work with new immigrants seeking employment in Canada. Investment Planning Counsel also established partnerships with both the TRIEC and the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) to build recruitment strategies for new immigrants.

Great-West Lifeco is putting in place the building blocks to meet the needs of a diverse and multicultural employee population, reflective of its customers. It actively seeks new ways to reach out to a diverse range of potential employees among qualified individuals or segments of the population who may not have thought of applying for a role with the company. For instance, as one of the Indigenous Accord’s inaugural signatories, Great-West Life has committed to fostering a workplace culture in which Indigenous Peoples and all employees can contribute to their fullest potential. For example, the company works with AMIK Professional Indigenous Engagement Services to promote a diverse workforce, including increasing the representation and advancement of Indigenous employees. Through AMIK, six people were hired in 2017 for positions in the Health & Dental Operations and Group Customer Contact Centre departments. Great-West Life is also providing support to Indigenous community programs, including Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures Fund and the Promoting Life Skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program. 

In 2018, Great-West Financial, one of Great-West Lifeco’s subsidiaries in the United States, was recognized as one of the Top 100 Innovators in Diversity and Inclusion by Mogul. Mogul highlighted that Great-West Financial celebrates diversity and inclusion through employee resources and mentorship and a flexible work-life balance for employees at all stages of their career. Mogul is a platform enabling women worldwide to connect, share information, and access knowledge from each other.

In early 2018, Wealthsimple began surveying its employees to establish a diversity baseline against which it can assess progress. 

Progress on diversity in the workforce and inclusion of people with disabilities continues at Imerys. In 2017, Imerys also had 242 employees with disabilities. Also, in 2017, nine workshops were held to raise awareness on the effects of implicit and/or unconscious bias and to help participants develop effective strategies for ensuring that such bias does not undermine Imerys’ efforts to ensure a diverse and fulfilling workplace for all employees. A dedicated section on diversity and inclusion was created within the IM-Pulse e-learning platform, providing a wide range of practical resources and tools for divisions and sites to use for training and awareness campaigns.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

In the recent years, Great-West Life has supported the launch of networking and mentoring groups to support the advancement of women in the organization. In 2017, these groups continued to create opportunities to bring relevant events to the employees focused on education, inspiration and networking, such as speed mentoring sessions, Lunch & Learn events and speaker series featuring compelling female role models. A new group, Women @ GWL Toronto, was also established in 2017. 

In early 2018, all three of IGM Financial’s operating companies became signatories to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which promote gender equality in the workplace, communities and marketplace. The Principles will guide them as they assess their policies and programs and help them to take action to empower women.

For the 2016-2017 period, 59 per cent of IGM Financial’s employees are women, meeting the national average for the finance and insurance industries1. Women comprised 28 per cent of IGM Financial’s executive team, with women achieving 50 per cent of the promotions at these levels. At their Board level, 33 per cent of the directors are women, up from 6 per cent in 2015 – the year the Board diversity policy was established.

In 2017, Mackenzie Investments and Investors Group continued to offer Taking the Stage®, a program for women focusing on the skills and tactics that drive leadership presence and effectiveness. 

In addition to setting up a Women at Wealthsimple employee group that meets regularly to listen to speakers and network, Wealthsimple has also partnered with #MovetheDial, an organization whose objective is to increase the participation and leadership of all women in tech. At the moment, about 30 per cent of the Wealthsimple’s 150 employees are women. 
 

1. Statistics Canada, “Table 282-008: Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), sex and age group,” CANSIM (2016).
 
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