CANADIAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION
successful in attracting Indigenous workers
to the construction industry, but more work
needs to be done in other regions.
Building with new Canadians
New Canadians are perhaps the largest untapped
resource for the construction industry.
In approximately 20 years, immigration will account
for all net growth in Canada’s population
and workforce. According to the Pierre Elliot
Trudeau Foundation: “Underemployed highskilled
immigrants are, in effect, a stranded resource,
something the country cannot afford,
in either economic or social terms. In a highly
competitive world, talent follows opportunity,
and Canada needs to ensure it remains an attractive
destination for the world’s top talent.”
One key to attracting these underrepresented
groups to the construction industry and retaining
them once they’re there: diversity and
inclusion as a business strategy.
What is diversity
Some simple definitions:
Diversity is the range of human differences,
including but not limited to race, ethnicity,
gender, gender identity, sexual orientation,
age, social class, physical ability or attributes,
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religious or ethical values system, national origin
and political beliefs.
Inclusion is involvement and empowerment,
where the inherent worth and dignity
of all people are recognized. An inclusive organization
promotes and sustains a sense of belonging;
it values and practices respect for the
talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living
of its members.
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and
Inclusion sums these definitions up nicely:
“Diversity is about the individual. It is about
the variety of unique dimensions, qualities
and characteristics we all possess. Inclusion is
about the collective. It is about creating a culture
that strives for equity and embraces, respects,
accepts and values difference.”
Why is this good for business?
According to McKinsey’s latest research, companies
in the top quartile for gender diversity
on executive teams were 21 per cent more
likely to outperform their national industry
median on EBIT margin (operating earnings
over operating sales). A study in the American
Sociological Review found that companies reporting
the highest levels of racial diversity
brought in nearly 15 times more sales revenue
on average than those with the lowest levels of
racial diversity. That same study found that for
every percentage increase in the rate of racial
or gender diversity up to the rate represented
in the relevant population, there was an increase
in sales revenues of approximately nine
per cent and three per cent, respectively.
Further, a 2015 Deloitte study showed that
diverse companies had 2.3 times higher cash
flow per employee over a three-year period
than non-diverse companies did.
How does this all work?
The positive impact of diversity and inclusion
in companies is the result of many dimensions,
touching on productivity, revenue, market
share, employee retention, innovation and
more. While each has different characteristics
and drivers, the bottom line for much of it is…
the improved bottom line.
Today, diversity and inclusion efforts are standard
for many companies. Executives understand
that their companies can’t be successful
if they don’t have a diverse and inclusive workforce.
According to Forbes, “A diverse and
inclusive workforce is necessary to drive innovation,
foster creativity and guide business
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32 Think BIG | Quarter 4 2020 | saskheavy.ca