Four Ways the Power of Data can Improve Diversity Initiatives

Qualitative data analysis also is useful for getting to the root cause. Key themes emerging from interviews, focus groups or comments from surveys can be insightful.

By Alina Polonskaia and Brian Levine, Financial Post

Developing successful diversity and inclusion strategies at times can be vexing to talent leaders. Many organizations have diversity initiatives that are led by dedicated teams and councils, involve employee-resource groups and offer diversity-training and mentoring programs. Yet, there is little improvement in the representation of women and/or minorities in their ranks.

Many of these efforts stagnate because they simply mimic the practices of others. Diversity and inclusion leaders need the right data and analysis to reveal what needs to be done to effectively build representation and they need to look broadly at talent-management practices.

Lack of evidence specific to the organization makes it that much more challenging to galvanize business leaders to take action. And the absence of a holistic focus and partnership with human resources also severely limits a company’s options. Analytics and a company-wide approach to identifying areas of risk and opportunity have been effective in helping companies achieve what have been elusive objectives.

Mercer’s research shows that the following steps will lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Read more here.

Quick Facts

When making the case for hiring and integrating skilled immigrants, it helps to have facts and figures to back up your argument. Use the statistics below to help make your case to the decision makers in your organization:

  • Almost one in five companies in the Greater Toronto Area have hired a skilled immigrant to help diversify their global client base. Of those employers who hired immigrants to help them expand overseas, 93 per cent said it was effective. (Source: Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council poll of 461 employers in March 2011.)
  • Canada brings in about 250,000 immigrants per year. This includes skilled immigrants and their families, family class immigrants and refugees. Of these, the largest group are skilled immigrants — those who have been selected by Canada as best equipped to meet the needs of our economy. (Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada.)
  • From 2006 to 2011, Canada’s population grew by 5.9 per cent to reach 33.5 million, up from 31.2 million in 2006. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of that growth came from immigration. By 2031, more than 80 per cent of Canada’s population growth is expected to come from immigration. (Source: Population growth in Canada: From 1851 to 2061, 2011 Census, Statistics Canada.)
  • In 2006, 20 per cent of Canada’s population — 6.1 million people — were born outside of Canada. About 16 per cent – five million people — were visible minorities. (Source: Immigration and Citizenship Highlight Tables, 2006 Census, Statistics Canada.)
  • More than 70 per cent of the foreign-born population speak a mother tongue other than English or French. (Source: Statistics Canada, Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign Born Population, Census 2006.)
  • Population projections show that immigrants will represent one-third of the workforce by 2031. (Source: “Projected Trends to 2031 for the Canadian Labour Force,” Statistics Canada, August 17, 2011.)
  • Immigrants aged 25 to 54 are more likely to have a university education than Canadian-born men and women. In 2006, while 36 per cent of immigrants in this age group had at least a bachelor’s degree, the proportion was only 22 per cent among those born in Canada. (Source: “Canada’s immigrant labour market,” Statistics Canada, September 10, 2007.)
  • If all immigrants’ foreign learning and learning credentials were recognized, between $3.4 and $5.0 billion would be added to the Canadian economy every year. (Source: Performance and Potential 2004-2005: How can Canada prosper in Tomorrow’s World?, Conference Board of Canada, 2004.)
  • According to the 2006 Census, 60 per cent of the foreign-born live in the regions of Toronto (60 per cent), Montreal (20 per cent) and Vancouver (21 per cent).
  • The large majority of recent immigrants, those who have been in Canada for 10 years or less, are of working age. In Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, about 80 per cent of recent immigrants are aged 15 to 64, compared to 60 to 70 per cent of non-immigrants in those cities. (Source: 2006 Census, Statistics Canada.)