Banking on Diversity

On Friday the Financial Post ran an article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace. Employers in general are becoming aware of the importance of having a workforce that reflects the community as a whole. In particular Canada’s banks are are singled out as being at the tip of the spear in terms of promoting a diverse workforce.

“If you look at how the banks now staff their branches, they reflect the cultural diversity in the local community,” says Kevin McLellan, manager for hireimmigrants.ca, a Web site of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) … “So if businesses want to be successful in selling locally, they need to understand how to tailor their offerings to the culturally diverse communities they are selling to.”

The best way to understand how to do this is through employees who are part of the local communities and understand the language and the nuances of the culture. They can connect with customers if they are frontline workers or help develop strategies and campaigns that will connect your company to multi-cultural communities

If you visit the web sites of Canadian Banks you will see evidence of this commitment to diversity. Banking in Canada is a federally regulated industry and banks are required under the Employment Equity Act to provide equal opportunities for employment to four designated groups: women; Aboriginal peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities.

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