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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

How minorities fare in corporate Canada

Canadian Business magazine, in partnership with OMNI Television, released the first list of top workplaces for visible minorities. There are approximately four million visible minorities in Canada, and they are important players in the workforce. While it may be expected that many companies are embracing diversity, the reasons for doing so are surprising.
The big picture
  • Typically better educated than other Canadians, according to the Toronto-based Canadian Race Relations Foundation, visible minorities make up almost 13% of labour-market availability.
  • In addition to the four million visible minorities in Canada, 1.3 million claim aboriginal ancestry. Together, the population of these two groups exceeds that of British Columbia and Manitoba combined.
  • Another 220,000 or so newcomers arrive to Canada each year. Of those, 70% to 80% are visible minorities.

  • Diversity in the workplace remains a touchy issue. When Canadian Business began to contact several dozen of this country's top corporations to see if they would provide data to do a ranking, many claimed not to track it, or were unwilling to share what they had. Despite a compelling -- and mounting -- business case for workplace diversity, there are still those who equate it with quotas, affirmative action, intrusive legislation, red tape and hiring people based on race rather than merit.

    But according to the experts the magazine spoke to, developing a diverse workforce simply makes bottom-line sense.

    "Smart Canadian companies are embracing diversity for the sake of survival," says Scott Steele, the magazine's executive editor. "Diversity gives you a competitive edge by reflecting the needs of your customer base. If you understand the needs of who you're selling to, you're better suited to offering them -- and matching them up with -- the right product.

    "Businesses are realizing that if they don't diversify, their competition will."

    13 of the greatest

    Thousands of bits of data were crunched to deliver a revealing, first-of- its-kind report card on the state of visible minorities in corporate Canada.

    Here are the 13 top-scoring companies:

  • Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Sprint Canada)

  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

  • TD Bank Financial Group

  • Bank of Nova Scotia

  • Bank of Montreal

  • HSBC Bank of Canada

  • Tele-Mobile Co. and TM Mobile Inc. (Telus Mobility)

  • Canadian Western Bank

  • Citizens Bank of Canada

  • Westcoast Energy Inc. (now Duke Energy Gas Transmission Canada)

  • Intesa Bank Canada

  • EGL Eagle Global Logistics

  • ING Bank of Canada

    -- CNW

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