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How the best diversity employers for 2013 were chosen

American Express Canada employees build bonds and community through annual Serve2Gether initiatives, helping worthy organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

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The 55 organizations that make up Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013 walk the talk when it comes to creating an inclusive culture in their workplace.

When judging, Mediacorp's editorial team looks for winning companies to first have a clearly defined strategy to reach their diversity goals, along with review and tracking measures.

Employers then need to show how they promote cultural diversity through a variety of programs, including informal employee support groups, formalized training for staff and other initiatives relating to recruitment, retention, development, leadership and management accountability, customer and market diversity, vendor and supplier diversity, and community partnerships.

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Kristina Leung, editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers, notes that this year, employers demonstrated an increased understanding of their role and responsibility to address "invisible" disabilities in the workplace, such as mental health, addictions and cognitive and learning disabilities.

For example, Manitoba Hydro manages employment programs for persons who have sustained brain injury and students with intellectual disabilities, and KPMG LLP, a Toronto accounting firm, recently organized Mental Health Week activities. The firm is also developing training sessions to help managers identify signs and symptoms of mental health.

For this year's competition, Mediacorp has partnered with the Bank of Montreal Financial Group, the financial sponsor, and the diversity consulting firm TWI Inc. Neither BMO nor TWI participate in the actual selection of winners.

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