New DE&I key performance indicator (KPI) introduced
We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) because it is good for people and good for business. It’s one of our key areas of focus (see our Big Three) because it helps us to be better partners in progress, learning and benefiting from many different experiences and perspectives. And, simply put, it is the right thing to do.
Across our business from coast to coast, we foster a family culture of care, trust and respect. Our core values are our strength and the foundation of who we are: Customer-Driven, People-Powered, Community-Engaged and Results-Oriented. Our values have always directed us toward a workplace that is good for people—all people. We are respectful and inclusive, and that is reflected in our People-Powered value. Along with our values, fairness is a fundamental principle for our business—and it guides us to build a fair and equitable environment where all can thrive as individuals.
Fiscal 2022 Performance Highlight
81% of corporate retail teammates completed Serving all in Canada: A course on addressing and preventing consumer racial profiling
37% representation of women at the senior leadership level in fiscal 2022, a 9.1% increase over last year.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are fundamental enablers to our business strategy and approach to innovation.
Research has shown that diverse teams operating in an inclusive environment are more innovative and lead to increased business performance. We also know that to provide exceptional customer experience we need to have an inclusive environment that treats everyone, internally and externally, with fairness and respect.
We operate in a highly competitive environment. To compete and grow, we need the best talent and the highest-performing teams. This means selecting from a broad talent pool, inclusive of all talent. Inclusion is very much about equal access to equal opportunity. It is about creating an environment where bias doesn’t get in the way of people contributing their best or customers being equally valued. Our purpose and values reinforce this—fostering a workplace and communities (see Community Investment) that are good for everyone.
Our vision is to have a diverse workforce, reflective of the customer base we serve across the country. We recognize this will not happen overnight. We take a team-by-team approach, identifying opportunities to improve diversity at the team level, to fully realize the benefits of diversity. We will continue to grow diversity at the company level, with a focus on growing the number of women in leadership positions and the number of people from Black, Indigenous and marginalized communities at all levels of our company. While we do not set targets at the company level, we will use data-driven insights and talent practices that mitigate bias to ensure a fair and equitable approach to hiring and promotions.
Our holistic approach to DE&I Strategy is grounded in five commitments:
In fiscal 2022 we made progress against all our DE&I Strategy commitments through a range of initiatives. To ensure DE&I is a focus and priority for all our business and people leaders, in 2022 we introduced a new key performance indicator (KPI) for all leaders and corporate store and retail support centre managers. We continued to offer DE&I-focused learning opportunities for teammates and improved our reporting approach to better track our progress.
To support increasing diversity representation, several initiatives are in place to mitigate bias in hiring processes and expand the diversity of external talent pools with a focus on marginalized groups. We have established strategic employment partnerships with organizations, including the Indigenous Professional Association of Canada, BlackNorth Initiative and TENT; established standards for DE&I with third-party recruitment firms; and embedded DE&I into our early career and student hiring programs.
We also took additional steps to measure our DE&I progress and impact. We set baselines on areas of focus, including gender diversity, and tracked our momentum using hiring and career-advancement data, self-identification data, leader and teammate surveys, and DE&I-related training completion rates and by tracking the number of business processes updated. We shared regular updates on DE&I performance with senior leaders across the business, equipping them with data and insights to inform decisions and actions in their areas of responsibility.
In addition to our overarching DE&I Strategy, our DE&I commitments are integrated into and enabled by many of our policies, including our Code of Conduct and Open Doors program, which empowers teammates to report DE&I workplace issues and concerns. Looking ahead, we are working on new ways to enhance our approach to Indigenous relations and improve supplier diversity.
Fostering Diversity of Teams
Attracting, growing and retaining diversity of teams is one of our five DE&I commitments. In fiscal 2022 we rolled out the Diversity of Teams initiative, focused on enhancing diversity at the team level to improve overall performance and to build a strong and diverse pipeline of talent for the future. This initiative has been supported by new hiring and selection practices and strategic partnerships to attract a broad and diverse range of talent.
Strengthening Black and Indigenous Partnerships
We continue to make progress on our goal to partner with organizations that connect with marginalized communities. We are doing this through our continuing relationships with the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (learn more about our partnerships with these organizations in Community Investment). Working with BNI’s mentorship and sponsorship committee, we have created a best-practice mentorship program designed to meet the needs identified by our Black Teammate Taskforce, which will support inclusivity for all. In addition, as part of our partnership with the Council of Canadian Aboriginal Businesses (CCAB), we are in the process of completing the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification. PAR confirms corporate performance in Indigenous relations at the bronze, silver or gold level, indicating companies that are good business partners, great places to work and committed to prosperity in Indigenous communities.
Creating Learning Opportunities
As part of empowering all teammates to foster a culture of inclusion, we took a broad approach in fiscal 2022, including robust teammate education, leadership training, teammate engagement, our Open Doors program (which provides teammates with multiple pathways to share feedback and report concerns) and support for teammates to better serve our diverse customer base. Over 10,000 participants across our business took part in education and awareness events. Over 700 completed an Indigenous awareness program. And over 81 per cent of our corporate retail teammates completed training focused on preventing racial profiling. In addition, teammates across our business took part in DE&I-related events, including Orange Shirt Day, National Indigenous History Month, PRIDE and a rollout of a business-wide nametag pronoun initiative.
Tackling Process Bias
Advancing DE&I means re-evaluating systems in addition to attitudes and behaviours. In fiscal 2022 we made progress across a range of initiatives designed to address bias in our hiring and career-advancement processes. For example, we reviewed and updated our talent acquisition tools, including adopting new AI technology that can help us review applications from potential teammates in ways that are ethical and fair. We made sure that DE&I expectations are incorporated into our executive search contracts and agreements with talent-sourcing partners. And we developed new standards, tools and training to help our people leaders and hiring managers make decisions about potential teammates and manage the performance of existing teammates in ways that support our broader DE&I commitments and objectives.
As a proud teammate, diversity, equity and inclusion is the ‘magic’ that supports and fosters an inclusive culture. It never ceases to amaze me how proud and open our teammates are to share their experience and lean in to help others. This is evident through the BlackNorth Initiative, WIN (Women’s Inclusion Network), Inclusion Champions and many DE&I network and education events. As a female leader I have always felt supported to be my authentic self. This is important, as leadership at all levels needs to reflect our teammates and the communities in which we serve. It makes us strong and a true employer of choice.”
Julie Sue Wood, Vice President Operations, SK, MB, ON
About how we’re making our workplaces and communities more inclusive through our Health, Safety and Wellness work and Community Investment initiatives.
As a family nurturing families, we want to ensure Canadians are taken care of today, tomorrow and in the future. By doing OurPart™ for the environment, we hope to inspire our customers to do theirs. Every step we take together—big or small—can make a difference.Learn More