Increased competition and tougher criteria made it more challenging to be named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2011. Mediacorp’s editorial team chose the 45 winners from a short list of 300, narrowed from 2,750 who started the application process. That is 150 more than last year.
Companies are judged by their diversity and inclusiveness programs for five major employee groups: women; members of visible minorities; people with disabilities; aboriginal peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual people. New criteria included a clearly defined strategy to achieve goals; strategy review and updating; and initiatives relating to recruitment, retention, development, training and education, employee resources, affinity groups, leadership and management accountability, customer and market diversity, vendor and supplier diversity, and community partnerships. Employers are also expected to have tracking measures in place.
Richard Yerema, managing editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, says diversity programs, policy development and commitment have become more formalized since the first diversity competition in 2008. “We have very much tightened our focus to ensure that employers who venture down the path of creating more inclusive work environments do so in a way that evolves into program and policy versus a preference that may simply change with personnel.”
Any employer of any size, private or public, with its head office or principal place of business in Canada, can apply through the Canada's Top 100 Employers application process. The fee is $495 plus HST.