It’s as true in business as it is in life: we are better when we work as one.

Diversity and inclusion are societal values that Canadians hold in high regard, and Canadian employers are adopting these values into their overall corporate structures.

In order to thrive, businesses must understand the connection between a diverse, inclusive workforce and long-term success.

What do diversity and inclusion look like in the workplace?

Diversity is a genuine respect for the differences in human identity, including gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc. Diversity can be infused in many different aspects of a workplace, and is most often reflected in the physical makeup of a workforce.

Inclusion occurs when a person or group is valued, respected and involved in an organization’s activities. The belief that everyone should have equal opportunity to achieve their potential is often seen in an organization’s culture, programs and policies.

Why does diversity and inclusion matter to Generation Y?

Generation Y is a generation that knows no bounds. They have grown up in a globalized world where differences are celebrated and valued. Gen Y is the most educated and diverse generation in history: they are culturally aware, have a strong sense of community and strive to be good local and global citizens.

Engaged and increasingly involved in social issues, the majority of Generation Y see diversity and inclusion as intrinsic human rights – and are quick to take action when they feel those rights aren’t being respected.

How does diversity and inclusion impact our business?

Diversity and inclusion are driving forces behind some of the country’s most successful organizations. A strong link exists between diversity, inclusion and innovation – fostering a diverse workforce brings new ways of thinking into the mix, and when different perspectives are united under a common goal, innovation is bound to happen.

Diversity and inclusion can also encourage overall growth by impacting the way your business is able to serve your clients and community. As your workforce grows to reflect the current population, you’re able to vary your community knowledge and build stronger relationships with your clients. This leads to a better understanding of client needs and to the development of long-term credibility and trust.

How does diversity and inclusion impact our employer brand?

Your employer brand benefits when your business is committed to fostering an open and inclusive workplace. Diversity and inclusion resonate with top talent who want to align themselves with employers who have strong corporate values. When your business is dedicated to upholding these principles, top talent are inspired to learn more about your brand.

How do we incorporate diversity and inclusion into our recruitment messaging?

Focusing on diversity and inclusion can give Gen Y valuable insight into the essence of your employer brand. If you want to share your efforts with students and grads, consider discussing:

  • The scholarship, grant or award programs your organization provides to minority youth
  • Your community work or other volunteer programs relevant to minority communities
  • The community investment activities your organization supports or sponsors
  • The professional leadership programs offered to women and other minority members of your workforce

You can also include diversity and inclusion in your digital recruitment strategy. Doing so can help to ensure greater awareness of your organization’s commitments, and can provide engaging content for talent to interact with.

  • RBC’s sponsorship of Diversity Week is a great example of how to turn your offline commitment into online action. Diversity Week is part of TalentEgg’s Career Weeks, events that encourage students and grads to engage with informative and inspiring resources about different industries and topics.
    Check out the Diversity Career Guide to see the resources.
  • At Molson Coors, diversity takes centre stage. The company dedicates a section of their  TalentEgg employer profile to their efforts in fostering an inclusive workplace. Students and grads use TalentEgg employer profiles to learn about employers, research industry leaders and compare and contrast brands  – adding a diversity tab to your profile is an easy way to communicate with talent. Take a look at Molson Coors’ Diversity tab.
  • Deloitte is adding to the conversation on social media. The professional services firm is actively sharing their insight on Twitter, tweeting links to their research on the topic. Sharing meaningful content with your social networks not only encourages your online community to engage with the issues your organization values,  it can also position your brand as a thought leader.
  • CPP Investment Board demonstrated a commitment to workplace diversity by launching a TalentEgg Challenge focused on inclusion. The question? “What can investment or finance companies do to attract more females into investment roles?” The Challenge was an innovative approach to engaging Gen Y with the issue and the CPP Investment Board brand.
    Explore the CPP Investment Board Challenge.

Discussion: How does your organization cultivate a diverse, open workplace?