Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

We believe that it is our responsibility as an employer to offer a workplace where all people are treated with respect and dignity, in an inclusive, diverse and safe work environment. As workforce demographics change, diversity has become a business imperative and a key ingredient of success.

Our Commitment

We strive to offer our employees a work environment that allows them to thrive and feel valued, respected and included. We are committed to creating and maintaining a workplace characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, discrimination, oppression and exploitation. 

We will not tolerate discrimination – on the basis of, among other things, age, sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion or disability –, as well as sexual or psychological harassment, or violence in the workplace. We will take appropriate and immediate action in response to complaints or knowledge of violations of our policy.

Diversity and inclusion are priorities for us, both 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 and perspective, 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.

Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures, 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.

Programs

Anchored by our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures, we have focused our strategy on supporting a respectful, diverse and inclusive work environment through the following programs: 

Respectful Workplace

Our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures describe behaviours that are prohibited, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each and every one in maintaining a respectful workplace, free of discrimination, harassment and violence. 

The policy also outlines the procedures and mechanisms that are available for anyone believing they have been subject to or have witnessed any behaviour which is contrary to the Policy, including a reporting hotline and web portal operated by a third-party provider which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Power Financial is also committed to handle all complaints swiftly and confidentially, to the extent possible in light of the need to take appropriate corrective measures. The Corporation will not take any reprisal or retaliation measures, including any adverse employment measures, against any Director, officer, employee and/or third party who in good faith brings forward actual or potential violations or other concerns.

We provide an annual training on our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and on our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures, which emphasize our commitment to provide a respectful and equitable workplace.

Diversity and Inclusion

We support diversity at all levels of the organization. Talent management practices in place at Power Financial aim at fostering equal opportunities in employment based on appropriate qualifications, requirements and performance, including as part of hiring- and advancement-related decisions. 

As it relates to our Board and senior management, this commitment 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

  • 34 per cent at the management and executive level at Power Financial

  • 25 per cent at the executive officer level within the Corporation's group companies (including its publicly traded subsidiaries and their respective principal subsidiaries)

Highlights from our Group Companies

Commitments

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

In 2018, as a way of furthering its diversity and inclusion commitment, including by enhancing equality and inclusivity across all areas of its companies, along with valuing, nurturing and leveraging diversity in all they do, Great-West Lifeco introduced a Diversity Leadership Council in Canada. This diverse group of senior leaders across the various lines of business and corporate functions works to accelerate and embed diversity and inclusion efforts in the business and organizational priorities. The Diversity Leadership Council currently focuses on five key areas: Women in Leadership, Indigenous People, Young Professionals, LGBTQ2+ and Persons with Disabilities.

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. 

IGM Financial’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy, introduced in 2017 based on the information gathered through a confidential and voluntary Diversity & Inclusion Survey, helps ensure that its practices, policies and approaches are inclusive and engaging for all. The strategy includes specific goals and initiatives to enable the upward mobility of women and other underrepresented groups. A Diversity and Inclusion Committee guides the implementation of its Diversity and Inclusion strategy and spearheads a number of initiatives that focus on leadership competencies, development of mentorship programs and affinity groups, diversity training, and the piloting of diversity and inclusion recruitment tools.

In 2018, IG Wealth Management became a partner of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, committing to acting on one goal each year for three years to help advance a specific Call to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It thus joined Great-West Life, who had signed the Accord in 2017. 

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 and Inclusion Charter, which was updated in 2018, clearly articulates the shared commitment to achieving greater diversity, as well as inclusion, across the group. In that perspective, in 2018, Imerys’ diversity and inclusion working group, composed of representatives of different businesses and functions across the group, pursued its mandate to conduct research and analysis on diversity and inclusion at Imerys, to identify key drivers and challenges and propose concrete practices, including the necessary monitoring and review, to accelerate progress. The working group has structured the fundamental elements of the program, with specific actions launched in 2018 and the full program that will begin to be rolled out in 2019.

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.

IG Wealth Management focuses on diversity among its financial advisors, to better reflect Canada’s diverse population. For instance, diversity and inclusion training being a priority in its advisor field management education program, at the company’s national conferences and also at local region offices, and IG Wealth Management launched in 2018 a new Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices and Awareness Guide across the country. IG Wealth Management is also a supporter of the Aboriginal Business Education Partners scholarship program at the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association. The company also participated in Winnipeg’s Youth CEO program, part of an Indigenous youth initiative, which placed a high school student at the company for one week to gain experience in the business. 

Both Mackenzie Investments and Investment Planning Counsel continued to support organizations and initiatives that help immigrants to gain employment, including the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council Mentoring Partnership, providing opportunities for their employees to work with new immigrants seeking employment in Canada.

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 Winnipeg 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. The company is also providing support to Indigenous community programs, including Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures Fund and the Promoting Life Skills in Aboriginal Youth program. 

In March 2018, Wealthsimple conducted its first “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging” study across its offices in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition to collecting data on race, gender, ethnicity, and other demographic information, they asked employees 11 questions about inclusion in the workplace. Interestingly, the survey revealed that 93 per cent of employees agree with the statement “Wealthsimple values diversity” and that the team speaks 14 different languages. As a way to further foster diversity, Wealthsimple supported the creation of two employee groups: Women at Wealthsimple and Rainbow (LGBTQ+)

In line with its commitment to respect and promote the principle of non-discrimination and equal opportunity, Imerys’ recruitment and mobility policies and practices were updated in 2018 to support the reinforcement of diversity. It has already helped produce results in terms of gender diversity. In fact, in 2018, 40 per cent of external recruits for senior management positions were women vs 6 per cent in both 2016 and 2017. The 2016-2018 Graduate program participants represented 17 different nationalities and the 2018 recruits within this program were 50 per cent female. Diversity and inclusion requirements were likewise added to the group’s Leadership Behaviors, the behavioral model against which the group’s formal performance appraisals are conducted. In addition, Imerys had 186 employees with disabilities in 2018. 

In 2018, numerous initiatives, covering a wide range of topics essential to achieving more diverse and inclusive mindsets in the workplace – such as unconscious bias training and increased sourcing of small suppliers who create employment opportunities for people with disabilities – were also carried out at Imerys in India, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Argentina, Chile and Italy. Lessons learned and best practices from these projects have been made available to all through the group internet platform.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

In recent years, Great-West Lifeco has supported the launch of networking and mentoring groups in Canada to support the advancement of women in the organization. In 2018, these groups held local activities for all employees, including networking events, presentations and a speaker series with senior leaders from the companies. For example, to celebrate International Women’s Day, its Women in Leadership groups organized an event in Toronto that was live streamed to London and Winnipeg, during which executives of the company spoke about the commitment to gender balance and to broaden diversity and inclusion. A guest speaker discussed inclusiveness and diversity’s importance in driving business and customer outcomes. 

As to enable upward mobility of women through talent management, IGM Financial’s operational companies put forward various initiatives. Mackenzie Investments created a platform, Mackenzie Together: Championing Women’s Worth, to solidify its commitment to gender equality issues and work with its leaders to empower them with training, tools and ways of working to think more inclusively. In 2018, both Mackenzie Investments and IG Wealth Management continued to offer Taking the Stage®, a program for women focusing on the skills and tactics that drive leadership presence and effectiveness, and including a specialized program for IG Wealth Management advisors. IG Wealth Management also hosted the first-ever Canadian Summit for Women in Financial Planning in Toronto, attended by 200 women, including female financial planners from independent firms and bank brokerages. 

IGM Financial continues to monitor its progress annually to ensure it is making real gains regarding gender diversity among its leaders and among IG Wealth Management advisors. At their Board level, 31 per cent of the directors are women, up from 6 per cent in 2015 – the year the Board diversity policy was established. In 2018, women comprised 31 per cent of IGM Financial’s executive team, achieving 45 per cent of the promotions at these levels.  At the end of 2018, women made up 30 per cent of the company’s total advisor network and accounted for 36 per cent of all new recruits through the year.

In 2018, women made up about 35 per cent of Wealthsimple’s employees, and held 29.5 per cent of roles at the management level. As a way to further foster diversity, Wealthsimple supported the creation of Women at Wealthsimple employee group. In addition, Wealthsimple is one of the founding partners of #MovetheDial, an organization whose objective is to increase the participation and leadership of all women in tech, and supports Women and Color, an online community of subject matter experts who identify as women and/or people of color.  

In 2019, the Who’s Who Women in Business edition of the Winnipeg Free Press featured several women evolving within Canada Life and GLC Asset Management Group, who were identified as leading Winnipeg’s financial services industry.  

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