Putting diversity and inclusion into action

by Angela Splinter

Canada’s labor force is comprised of increasing numbers of women, visible minorities, newcomers to Canada, youth, Indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities. We also know that people come to work with different backgrounds, needs, and expectations.

So, it’s important to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your human resources (HR) strategy. And, since research shows that a more diverse, inclusive workplace can be a competitive advantage, you’ll want to build this into your business strategy as well.

Diversity and inclusion
Let’s start by defining what we mean by diversity and inclusion.

Diversity refers to all the ways in which we differ. It includes the characteristics that distinguish us as individuals and groups – age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical and intellectual ability, class, creed, religion, sexual orientation, education, and expertise.

Inclusion is about creating an environment that accepts, utilizes, accommodates, and appreciates the talents, skills, abilities, perspectives, and leadership styles of all employees and clients. It ensures that everyone has a place at the organizational table.

If diversity is the mix, inclusion is about getting the mix to work well together.

We talked to members of our Top Fleet Employers program, which recognizes companies for their commitment to HR, about their best practices for creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Here’s where they’re focusing their efforts in 2019:

Indigenous peoples
Of Canada’s 1.5 million Indigenous peoples, 46% are under the age of 24, and more than half live in cities. They are the fastest growing demographic in Canada, and employers who have a recruitment strategy for Indigenous peoples are reaping the benefits.

Our Top Fleet Employers are partnering with Indigenous communities, implementing pre-employment programs, and advertising on Indigenous job boards, among other best practices. Download our free roadmap at www.truckinghr.com to learn more.

People with disabilities
In Canada, 2.1 million people aged 25-64 report having a mental or physical disability that limits their daily activities. In fact, the percentage of people with disabilities increases with age, ranging from 4.4% for people 15-24 years old to 42.5% for those 75 years and over.

The aging workforce in trucking and logistics means the chances are high that your employees have or will develop some kind of disability.

It’s important to identify ways to attract, on-board, and retain workers with disabilities. Start by reviewing your hiring practices to allow for more accommodations, flexible work opportunities, and an increased awareness and management of mental health in the workplace.

Visible minorities
The federal government defines “visible minority” as “persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color.” In Canada, more than six million people identify as visible minorities, and representation in our industry is actually quite high.

This is where inclusivity is an advantage. Our Top Fleet Employers regularly host cultural events with their employees, provide cultural training for managers, and offer targeted on-the-job training. Some produce HR materials in different languages, including Punjabi.

Women
Women represent 48% of Canada’s workforce, but only 3% of all truck drivers, mechanics, transport trailer technicians, and cargo workers. They’re also under-represented in management, leadership, and association governance.

HR approaches that specifically appeal to women can make a difference, including pairing female drivers and trainers; mentorship programs for women; and reviewing policies and procedures to ensure gender inclusivity. To learn more, you can also join us on March 7 at our fifth annual Women With Drive Leadership Summit. TN

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  • Please tell me why my employer who has been recognized by TruckingHRCanada as a “top employer” is able to advertise a vacant job position while intentionally omitting ‘people with disabilities.’ They mention women, aboriginals and visible minority’s but leave out persons with disabilities.

    They are doing this after I came out and disclosed my mental health problems with the employer. TruckingHRCananada was informed of these tactics used by my employer and has done nothing. What my employer is doing is caustic, offensive and deeply hurtful.

    So please tell me why?