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Press release from CNW Group

For the Third Consecutive Year Loblaw Earns Distinction As One of Canada's Best Diversity Employers

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For the Third Consecutive Year Loblaw Earns Distinction As One of Canada's Best Diversity Employers06:59 EST Tuesday, February 19, 2013BRAMPTON, ON, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - (TSX:L) - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) is proud to announce that it has been named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013 by Mediacorp Canada Inc. The award commends Loblaw for its commitment to creating an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of colleagues, customers and the communities around them. Reflect our Nation's Diversity is one of five principles of Loblaw's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment."Loblaw is honoured to be recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers.  We are proud of the improvement we have made in reflecting diversity in the products we sell, the people we attract and the workplace culture we create," said Judy McCrie, executive vice-president, Human Resources and Labour Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited.Loblaw's diversity efforts are spearheaded by its Inclusion Council, made up of senior leaders from across the organization.  On a quarterly basis, the Council prepares an Inclusion Scorecard that is shared with the Company's Management Board.  Key highlights of the Council's 2012 action plan included ensuring stores reflect the ethnicity of the communities they serve, increasing the percentage of female store managers, hiring persons with disabilities within stores and store support offices and developing and implementing programs to recruit targeted community groups from the Aboriginal and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transexual (LGBT) populations.Here are some of the initiatives that helped Loblaw earn its place on Canada's Best Diversity Employers list:Women: Women@Loblaw is a network that is focused on providing professional development opportunities, exposure to senior leaders and networking focused on female colleagues.  Events include a National Women's Conference as well as mentoring and networking opportunities. The goal of the network is to increase the number of women in leadership positions across the organization, including in stores and in executive office roles. Loblaw is also a member of the Women's Executive Network and Women's Foodservice Forum.Diversity Champions: In 2012, Loblaw launched a "Diversity Champions" program designed to identify, coach and develop inclusive leaders in the business that would help to support and drive traction on its inclusion goals. The role of the Champion is to be a role model for inclusion, a communicator for building awareness and a local resource for diversity related issues. Each Diversity Champion is responsible for working on a project supporting one of Loblaw's strategic diversity goals.Persons with Disabilities: As part of the Diversity Champions' network, Loblaw has dedicated diversity champions focused on developing action plans to help support the goal to hire more persons with disabilities in our stores and store support offices. Action plans included increasing awareness, identifying barriers in business for persons with disabilities and aligning with more community partners focused on job placements for persons with disabilities.Loblaw also has a senior executive member on the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. This panel engages private-sector businesses and other organizations and individuals to identify best practices and successful approaches, as well as barriers to employment from the employers' perspectives for people with disabilities.Launched in 2008, Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes employers across Canada with exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. Employers are examined based on a range of diversity initiatives covering five major employee groups: (a) Women; (b) Members of visible minorities; (c) Persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; and (e) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transsexual (LGBT) peoples.About Loblaw Companies Limited Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 135,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.SOURCE: Loblaw Companies LimitedFor further information: Public Relations Department, Loblaw Companies Limited pr@loblaw.ca or (905) 459-2500