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Capital

EMBRACING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION SUE IVAY, CHRO FOR CALIAN p.30

Plus

RECRUITING A DIVERSE WORKFORCE

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: The right thing. The smart thing. PM 43 13 6012

From left to right: Thusha Agampodi and Cynthia Hansen

capitalmag.ca

Insights from a senior human resources leader

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION – THE WAY FORWARD (BLG)

VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA

SPRING 2020


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CONTENTS

Capital

SPRING 2020

PROGRA

Health a unemploym and overall while Indige than Ottaw compute

IMMIGR IN OTTA between

Economic Immigrants

Sponsored by family

Refugees

26

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Youth 20-29 educatio rate than th

Youth 20-29 in the field o highest e (91%), w Physical and tech credentials employm

14

39

COVE R: KEVI N BEL ANGER

FEATURES

14

26

39

Diversity And Inclusion: The right thing. The smart thing.

Ottawa’s Diverse Representation

How to Successfully Hire a Diverse Workforce

BY J ENN C A MPBELL

I N FOG R A P H I C

BY K A R E N BROW N R I G G

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CONTENTS

Capital

SPRING 2020

10

12

DEPARTMENTS

IN EVERY ISSUE

10

12

30

6

Capital Context Diversity Matters Creating a competitive edge for Canada’s Capital Region

Community Corner

C-Suite View

The OBOT Perspective

The heart of advocacy, the agent for change

Diversity and Inclusion Enriches business

From the Publisher

BY SUELING CHING

8

BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N

On the Cover

Capital

EMBRACING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION SUE IVAY, CHRO FOR CALIAN p. 10

p.30

Plus

RECRUITING A DIVERSE WORKFORCE

p.14

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30

The right thing. The smart thing. From left to right: Thusha Agampodi and Cynthia Hansen

PM 43136012

6

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:

capitalmag.ca

Insights from a senior human resources leader

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION – THE WAY FORWARD (BLG)

VISIT OUR WEBSITE! CAPITALMAG.CA

SPRING 2020

p.39 p.36 p.22


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THE OBOT PERSPECTIVE

LIVING THE LESSON OF DIVERSITY

eye of the storm, several weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. I had intended to be writing to you much earlier, however, the advocacy work of countering the impact of a pandemic has been consuming which has put us behind schedule. My apologies for that. In the meanwhile, it has also changed my mind about our subject matter, diversity and inclusion. The Board of Trade is the primary business association in our community, representing the interests of all businesses on any issue or opportunity that impacts our ability to grow and innovate. It is our role to take the macro, long term view, and support the overall well being of our local economy through business success. And diversity has always made good business sense. Diversity and inclusion are both economic and social imperatives for business, with the opportunity to increase the competitiveness of our community and our country in a global and highly connected economy. However, we have been slow to fully implement policies and strategies that would realize the full potential of real inclusion. Until now. We have been given a living lesson of what would be required to fully embrace diversity

Sueling Ching, President & CEO Ottawa Board of Trade

6   C A P ITAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E

MAR K HO LLERON

I WRITE THIS message to you from the

in thought, values, abilities, race, gender and socio-economic status. In our current climate, there has been no time to consider the implications of working together at the deepest levels of collaboration and trust to ensure the well being of our local and global community. And it will shift our ideals forevermore. In a situation most of us could never have conceived, we have witnessed the rapid acceptance of any idea, the tolerance for making mistakes, and the appreciation for everyday heroes we have taken for granted. We can no longer deny how intricately connected we are; every size and sector of business, every aspect of our community, and the well being of every individual and family. We have been given the opportunity to look closely at our priorities, our resiliency, and our ability to pivot if necessary. The fault lines of our communities and governments, as well as our businesses and relationships, have been revealed in short order. The light is shining on our characters, our leadership, and our culture. The question is, what will be doing with this insight? How will we leverage it? The timing of this message happens as we contemplate a rebound strategy for the coming weeks, for the balance of 2020 and beyond. One thing we know for sure is that we will be doing business and living in a new world. We can decide to make it a better one. And if anyone can make that happen, it is the business and community leaders in Canada’s Capital.


CAPITAL/David C. Onley Initiative

Inclusive hiring enriches workplaces VAN LE HAD completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, finishing with honours, and he still couldn’t find a job. It seemed his hearing impairment was getting in the way of his potential employment so he decided to bolster his skills by doing graduate studies in computer engineering at Carleton University. It was a good move because as a result of connecting with the campus career office at Carleton, he discovered EARN, the United Way’s Employment Accessibility Resource Network. A program that works closely with the David C. Onley Initiative (DCOI) for Employment and Enterprise Development, EARN empowers people with disabilities to fully participate in the labour market. Today, Le is happily employed as an analyst at Accenture, a company in the network. Persons with disabilities often face barriers to employment, but with a little help connecting, the company and the future employee can both gain. As Shannon Bruce, manager of business development at EARN, says, “The experiences of persons with disabilities can add so much value to the workplace.” She notes that disability is often thought of as something someone has always had, but disabilities can be acquired later in life. “If a top employee is in a car accident, we wouldn’t get rid of them,” Bruce says. “But workplaces, often through unconscious bias, are willing to risk not attracting or recruiting the next best employees because of assumptions based on disability or their own fears.” Disabilities come in many forms, from visible to non-visible, and accommodations don’t come in a one-size-fits-all solution. Advancing accessibility positively impacts not just those with disabilities, but the entirety of a business’s workforce. Various accommodations – such as flexible hours or

Y

universally-designed work environments or even telecommuting – can show all employees that a business is willing to put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of their company culture. “It can really show a company’s team that diversity is allinclusive,” says Julie Caldwell, the DCOI’s assistant director of program operations, of making accessibility part of the workplace makeup. “A company can’t claim diversity and inclusion success if they’re not willing to create access to the most effective tools and resources to support the success of all staff.” The DCOI’s #AbleTo campaign provides employers with resources to dispel biases surrounding disability and take advantage of the talent that’s out there, including Ontario’s 50,000 post-secondary students — more than 10,000 in Ottawa alone — with visible and non-visible disabilities. The campaign is showing employers that they’re missing out on this huge talent pool of young, highly skilled graduates. “These students are really skilled, but something’s keeping them out of the workforce,” Bruce says. “People assume persons with disabilities are less educated but that’s not necessarily the case.” The DCOI makes the points that skilled labour is in short supply; and socially minded customers are more likely to do business with companies that have policies of hiring people with disabilities. The campaign notes that while diversity and inclusion are imperatives for many businesses, those efforts often end with gender and visible minorities. But employees with visible and non-visible disabilities must also be included if Ottawa employers are to thrive. To that end, it challenges Ottawa employers to take the #AbleTo pledge, in which they share their “commitment to weave disability awareness and inclusiveness into the fabric of employment in Ottawa.”


FROM THE PUBLISHER

The business of inclusion.

WHEN WE BEGAN gordongroup in the late

80’s we had no way of knowing that one of the most remarkable and rewarding aspects of our journey would be an immersive collaboration with Indigenous society in Canada. Over this time to present we’ve been engaged with our clients producing annual reports, documentary films, history school text-books including countless other outreach tools. We’ve made great friends along the way while discovering the wonders that exist in the far reaches of the north.

When thinking about inclusion much work needs to be done to inform Canadians about our Indigenous neighbors. We have not had this offered in our core education program, certainly, my years in school had little focus on the understanding of Indigenous culture through the ’70s. Opening up opportunities with those who have familiar or distant backgrounds offers a huge upside that may otherwise be a world away. We’re aware of the massive contributions being made here in the National Capital Region resulting from people who bring their unmatched drive and talent to organizations. Opening the door to inclusion and diversity as you’ll learn from the articles ahead makes the journey better. We’re proud at gordongroup to collaborate with the Ottawa Board of Trade, providing fresh and meaningful insights from business leaders here in the pages of Capital Magazine. We’re grateful to all those who continue to support the enterprise. Thank you! Robert Chitty, President gordongroup

The magazine about doing business in Ottawa, created by the Ottawa Board of Trade in partnership with gordongroup. OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE 328 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON  K2P 0J9 Phone: 613-236-3631 www.ottawabot.ca President & CEO Sueling Ching PUBLISHER gordongroup 55 Murray Street / Suite 108 Ottawa, Ontario  K1N 5M3 Phone: 613-234-8468 info@gordongroup.com Managing Editor Terry McMillan Contributors Jeff Buckstein Jenn Campbell Karen Brownrigg Alje Kamminga Creative Director James Welsh Graphic Designer Louise Casavant SALES For advertising rates and information, please contact: Director of Advertising Sales Stephan Pigeon Phone: 613-234-8468 / 250 spigeon@gordongroup.com

OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE Director of Membership Experience, Ottawa Board of Trade Chantal Calderone Phone: 613-236-3631 / 120 chantal.calderone@ottawabot.ca www.capitalmag.ca

ISSN 2371-333X. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the contents without prior written authorization from the publisher is strictly prohibited. PM 43136012. Capital is published three times a year: winter, spring, and fall.

BOB C HIT T Y

Printed in Canada.

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CAPITAL/Performance Plus

Value and Opportunity Value Inn Ottawa Left to right: Peter Gray (PPRC Consultant), Seth Luimes, Varsha Vala (Value Inn General Manager)

P

ERFORMANCE PLUS REHABILITATIVE CARE INC.

(PPRC) has worked with Varsha Vala the General Manager of the Value Inn many times over the last ten years. PPRC provides vocational expertise to persons with disabilities and assists them in finding employment. Varsha is always looking to find reliable employees and the Inclusion Alliance helps with that process. Varsha met Linda Simpson of PPRC a little over ten years ago and they have worked together ever since. Varsha’s philosophy is to look beyond the disability and hire for ability. “Working with PPRC is really great,” says Varsha, “they help identify potential employees and then they help with the onboarding process and training. They provide job coaches if needed and as a small business that is essential because it frees up my time.” Seth is working at Value Inn and has been there for seven months. Seth Luimes selected PPRC as his Service Provider and started working with the rehabilitation

consultant, to hone his resume and refine his job search goals. He was matched with Value Inn and was hired by Varsha. Seth works part time and does outside maintenance. He looks after the exterior of the Inn and is responsible for maintaining the yards and sidewalks throughout the seasons. Peter Gray is the Rehabilitation Consultant from PPRC that works with Seth. Peter says, “Seth is on the autism spectrum and finding work has been a challenge. We worked together and found him something that he wanted to do with an employer who was willing to give him a chance.” Working with PPRC has provided him the opportunity he wanted. “I am very happy here at my job.” says Seth, “It gives me more independence and the pay helps me buy things I would like.” Varsha is happy with Seth’s performance. “He works independently, and he gets along with the other staff. I have increased his role as he gains more experience. I like working with the job seekers from PPRC, they have proven to be reliable and hard workers.”

“Seth is on the autism spectrum and finding work has been a challenge. We worked together and found him something that he wanted to do with an employer who was willing to give him a chance. Working with PPRC has provided him the opportunity he wanted.” Any business that is looking for employees should consider contacting PPRC to access their talent pool. There is no cost to the employer and the team of counsellors, job developers and job coaches will assist in finding the right match ensuring a successful outcome for both the employer and client. Visit the webpage at www.pprc.ca or PPRC may be reached by calling 1-613-748-3220 or via email to lsimpson@pprc.ca.

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CAPITAL CONTEXT

Diversity Matters

Creating a competitive edge for Canada’s Capital Region by Sueling Ching

OTTAWA, OUR NATION’S

capital and the heart of our country has an opportunity to be known as a global, iconic city by embracing diversity and ensuring inclusion. Never has the time been so right to expand on our country’s reputation for multiculturalism to include all differences in abilities, backgrounds, gender, and thinking in a meaningful way. We have a responsibility to lead and level up true inclusion so that our community may realize its full potential and create prosperity for generations. It is time for a movement. We need a ramping up of not just acceptance but appreciation for

the richness that can be found between us. We need leaders to share the why and demonstrate the how. We need businesses, government, and organizations to set visions that inspire others and clearly set out the collective benefits of actively embracing all diversity in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, and schools. Let us not leave any resource untapped. There is a place for everyone in our community. Thank you to the contributors of this edition for sharing your approach to diversity and inclusion, as well as some valuable best practices. The themes herein can be transferred to any business

and organization as well as our community, our family, and personal networks. We are all connected. And we will all benefit when we commit to the vision of a community that is known for deep collaboration and radical gratitude. Any good movement requires a few key elements; WHY. WHAT. HOW. Here we go! WHY D&I? Diversity and inclusion provide an opportunity for our business community that we must capitalize on as our economic landscape evolves constantly and quickly. Our ability to adapt, be creative, and

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identify new business directly correlates with our level of commitment to D&I. In fact, it is a business imperative. Embracing diversity and integrating differences directly impacts bottom-line results. Companies who have made D&I a priority report: • a greater understanding of their markets; • more efficient and creative problem solving and; • fewer workplace issues. In addition, with talent shortages remaining in the top three issues identified by business leaders, access to and development of non-traditional labour pools is key. The flip


side is that employees have identified workplace culture and company values as deciding factors when choosing an employer. Finally, consumers are looking for ways to influence world change with their dollars. Many even committing to impact investing. There is no question diversity is the foundation of our future business and community development. The question is whether we will seize the opportunity. SETTING THE STAGE Once we fully articulate why diversity is a key strategic

tool for business growth then we must set our business up for success by declaring our vision and our goals. Then measuring our progress. Our ability to leverage diversity starts with our intention. How many women will be on your executive team in the next two years? How many students will you hire from the local disabilities program? What percentage of your employees will report a high level of belonging? Obviously, the goals will change by business and industry however setting expectations will ensure a sustained focus, ongoing improvement, and business results.

CREATING THE CULTURE Setting your D&I priorities must be backed up with a plan that inspires and involves everyone in your organization. It starts with hiring practices, training, and performance management. Your commitment to diversity and inclusion must be clearly identified in your values, policies, organizational structure, and corporate social strategy. But it is much more than just setting up the standard tools. When it comes to diversity, those of us with the best intentions still fall victim to long-standing and even unconscious biases that can

influence our approach and decision making. We must actively filter all decision making through the D&I lens. Employee engagement and client feedback mechanisms should seek to identify potential issues and opportunities for improvement. THE BOTTOM LINE Diversity and inclusion build the foundation for individual well-being, business growth, and community prosperity. It is a complicated concept that requires a clarity of vision, leadership, and constant commitment. It is not an easy undertaking, but it is a worthwhile one. Cheers to us. All of us.

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COMMITTEE CORNER

Committee Corner: The heart of advocacy, the agent for change. THE MISSION OF the Board of Trade is to create prosperity through advocacy, collaboration, and leadership. We do this by representing the interests of the businesses, all sectors, and sizes of business. We work with local, provincial, and national and international business and community leaders. And we base our work on the values of inclusion, innovation, and integrity. The one thing that is not widely understood is HOW we do this work. As a non-profit, non-partisan, independent organization, we must be savvy in how we use our resources to create the greatest impact. In any climate, with evolving priorities and opportunities, our one indispensable and key asset never changes. Our volunteers. The work of the Board of Trade only moves forward, benefiting the entire community because of the business and community leaders who dedicate their energy, insights, and time to our collective economic growth. They do this largely through our committee and council structure which allows us to align expertise and interests with our strategy in the most effective way. We have several committees focused on policy, economic growth, supporting

business, and governing the board. Some ad hoc committees are also formed for emerging issues and opportunities. This work gives business members a chance to contribute and grow while ensuring the success of an organization that exists solely for the purpose of creating an environment in which business can thrive. The advantage of being member-driven and led is that we can rapidly adapt and access those in the know; business owners, managers, and those most in tune with our business community. Committee mandates, members, and action plans can be found on the OBOT website; however, we would like to highlight three key ones working hard in the current climate. CEO Council: our mandate is to develop government recommendations and create tactical solutions to help businesses in Ottawa counter the impact of COVID-19 (SURVIVE) and design a rapid recovery (THRIVE). Our three objectives are: a) advocacy, b) solutions for the business community and c) support of the community. Our primary focus is to represent the perspective of large business and ensure the successful rebound of the economy.

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SME Council: Our mandate is to lead, create, and enhance initiatives that support start-up, small and medium enterprises to scale, strengthen, and identify new opportunities. This typically includes information, education, and recognition programs in addition to identifying key advocacy issues. Recently the committee has ramped up to address the evolving issues and opportunities presented by COVID-19 and have created two focuses; what needs to be done to support SMEs NOW and NEXT. Talent Committee: Our mandate is to design and promote strategies that provide the local private sector with the information, access, and support required to attract, retain and develop top talent. We work closely with key stakeholders and host and support programs that support sectorspecific issues. Many of our volunteers have declared they have received great value and made many connections from participating in our committees. If you have a desire to contribute to the ongoing advocacy and program work of the Board of Trade, contact our membership lead, Lynn Ladd at lynn.ladd@ottawabot.ca.


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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: THE

RIGHT THING. THE SMART THING.

BY J E N N C AM P B E LL

inclusion are part of a company’s corporate culture isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. So, says Cynthia Hansen, president of Enbridge Inc., which has numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. “One of the critical things for us is to focus on leadership and make sure our leaders embody that commitment to inclusion,” Hansen says. “It’s also really good for our business. We know that if you can create the right environment, where employees can bring their full selves to work, and they feel safe to share their diverse thoughts, ideas and perspectives, that will foster innovation, it’ll be better for our operating safety and providing value.” The company, which has a large presence in Ottawa and provides natural gas to Ottawa and Gatineau, also has a number of initiatives that support inclusive behaviour among employees. “We have an enterprise-wide steering committee for diversity and inclusion,” Hansen says. “It’s a group of passionate and engaged employees spread out across North America. They’re making sure we’re promoting respect and inclusivity that gets built into our strategies, policies and priority-setting.” Human resources professionals make sure inclusive behaviour is embedded within their departments, including functions from onboarding and interviewing practices to succession and performance reviews. For example, recruiters at Enbridge use tools such as an artificial-intelligence application

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PHOTO CR EDIT TK

M

AKING SURE DIVERSITY and


KE VIN BEL ANGER

that will determine whether job postings are gender-neutral. “We make sure we’re posting to attract a diverse group of [applicants,]” she says. Enbridge sets targets for some of its hiring practices, including hiring a certain percentage of women and minorities by 2023 and another percentage by 2028 and uses a “dashboard” system to monitor it. “These are aspirational things — we make sure with the dashboard that we see the transparency and then we go in and identify if we need to take action,” she says. “We have targets set for women in leadership positions, we set targets for ethnic diversity, people with disabilities and veterans.” The company is also working to make sure some groups — such as LGBTQ+ or people with disabilities — feel comfortable self-identifying as such. “We’re trying to expand our definition of gender,” she said. Making sure women are represented Thusha Agampodi, engineering manager at Magnet Forensics, remembers being at a career fair with a male colleague and being approached by a male applicant. She asked him a technical question and he directed his answer to her male colleague, never making eye contact with her again. “My colleague finally said to him: Hey, have you met my boss, Thusha?” she recalls. “I wish I could say that was the only time in my career that I felt invisible.” For that reason, Magnet Forensics makes sure it always has a woman at its career fair booths, so other women feel comfortable approaching with questions.

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“I want them to be able to see themselves reflected in our workplace,” Agampodi says. For its part, Enbridge partners with organizations such as Catalyst, which works to “make workplaces that work for women,” and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion to ensure Enbridge employees have access to the most up-to-date resources, support, practices, and information that will guide leaders. One event the company hosts is a women-in-energy forum that celebrates women in leadership — they make up 30 of Enbridge’s workforce — so the organizers always try to get 30 per cent men in attendance. Hansen says it’s interesting to hear the men’s comments about being in a situation where they’re a minority. Dean Dalpe, director of operational services and governance at Enbridge Gas Inc., was one such man. “I felt what it is like to be a gender minority and it was a key moment of realization for me,” Dalpe says. “It gave me a visceral understanding of the representation challenges women experience and the importance of allyship.”

Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand “Diversity doesn’t work without inclusion for sure,” Agampodi says. “We hire the best candidates, but if we get them in here and create an environment where they don’t feel they can share their best ideas, that’s not going to work for anyone. The data shows that the companies that have all of that figured out are more profitable and more innovative.” She makes sure there’s always diversity on her hiring panel during interviews and, like Enbridge, her company also uses an app to make sure job postings are as inclusive as possible. In addition, they review them for requirements, with the thinking that women will only apply for a job if they have 100 per cent of its stated requirements, whereas men will do so with just 60 per cent. Having diversity in the management team is also an important aspect of Magnet Forensics’ initiatives. The inclusivity work senior managers and human resources does seems to be working.

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KE VIN BEL ANGER

“One of the women who works with us says this is the most heard she’s felt,” Agampodi says. “I know it’s working when I see people disagreeing with each other. It’s easy when you’re sitting in a room and everyone agrees. When I think about diversity and inclusion, the best way to show you have an inclusive environment is if everyone feels heard. Is everyone getting equal airtime? When you’re sitting there and disagreeing, that’s the hardest time to share your opinion. You could be wrong, but we want to make sure we have an environment where you’re heard.” Enbridge is working to empower employees to drive inclusive behaviour at a foundational level. It has 10 different employees resource groups at 40 different chapters across North America as well as regional diversity and inclusion advisory groups. “We hold everybody accountable,” Hansen says. “For example, this year, in our 2020 objective-setting, we have specific requirements for a diversity and inclusion objective. If we start to see gaps or things that aren’t moving in the right direction, there are then specific action plans that are developed to make sure the right inclusive behaviours are being supported to get that appropriate outcome.”

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CAPITAL/Carleton University

ROUS SAKIS PHOTOGRAPHY

An Untapped Talent Pool is Waiting for You at Carleton University

ACT to Employ, a Carleton University employment program for students with disabilities, helped computer science student, Conrad Belaire (middle), gain degree-related work experience. Pictured with ACT to Employ’s Student Advisor, Jenna Lambert (left) and Business Development Coordinator, Amanda Hodgson (right). 18   C A P I TAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E


C

ARLETON HAS AN untapped talent pool that’s bringing

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what will be required of me in a workplace.” Like 90 per cent of ACT to Employ’s students, Belaire’s disabilities are invisible. Belaire has ADHD, a learning disability and severe sleep apnea. “Sometimes I think my disability isn’t worth mentioning—that I’m going to look weird if I bring it up,” he says. “With this [ACT to Employ], you can be open about it.” Jenny Midwinter, founder of Blue Horizon.AI, had Belaire working on an autonomous wheelchair and an Internet of Things project. In her field, she says diversity is more about getting diverse opinions in problem-solving than about employing people with disabilities. In fact, Belaire’s disability never came up as a barrier. “The work he produced stood on its own,” she says. “I think it’s something I can proudly put on my resume,” he says. “I’ve never taken any front-end based classes at Carleton. Both of my jobs have been front-end based so I’m rounding out my education by filling in the blanks with job experience.” ACT to Employ’s student advisor, Jenna Lambert, consistently sees students return from placements with new confidence. “Students come back and say that was such a valuable experience,” she says. “They can take the skills they’ve learned and use them in the future – whether that’s work-related or the ability to bring up accommodations needs. Overall confidence is probably the biggest change we see in students.” Employers interested in hiring an ACT to Employ student may contact ACTtoEmploy@carleton.ca. We are currently filling placements for summer 2020.

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strong industry skills, fresh talent and inclusivity to employers across Ottawa. Carleton University’s Accessible Career Transitions to Employment Program, or ACT to Employ, supports and educates employers on how to build accessible hiring practices and workplaces, while creating paid experiential learning opportunities for students with disabilities. Approximately 3,500 students are currently registered with the disabilities centre at Carleton University, and while they’re graduating on par with the general student population, there still exists a gap when it comes to their employment and transitioning to the workplace. That’s where ACT to Employ comes in. ACT to Employ has a talent pool of more than 600 highly skilled students available for work placements year-round, and students are actively getting hired on campus and across the city. “Our overall goal is to support students,” says Amanda Hodgson, ACT to Employ’s business development co-ordinator. “We want to give them workplace experience, and experience in asking for accommodations if needed.” Conrad Belaire, computer science student, has gained both. Belaire enrolled in ACT to Employ when he was looking for a summer job after his first year and secured a placement at Blue Horizon.AI (then called Gray Jay.AI) and Eightfold Technologies. Following his placement at Blue Horizon.AI, he completed two co-op work terms at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Belaire, now in his third year, says he’s “definitely more careerready” than when he started school. “I have a much better idea of

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CAPITAL/Exponent

Harnessing Capital for the Greater Good Pays Dividends BY G R A H A M M AYE S

ORPORATE LEADERS ARE waking up to a new reality: Canadian investors have started to voice their concerns on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. This has been decades in the making and this movement is gaining traction. Corporate citizenship has taken on a whole new meaning and some investment firms have just begun to integrate sustainability issues into their investment platforms.

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The evolution of Impact Investing Exponent was established by a group of investment professionals with over 130 years of global market experience. Our strength in

using qualitative analysis and grading of global firms coupled with our diversity and complimentary backgrounds, lead to us to recognize the powerful force of consumers collectively channeling their savings to effect lasting change. So why not harness available investment capital in the same manner? Imagine personal investors harnessing their mutual wealth and translating their voices and concerns about sustainability and corporate responsibility into real action. Investors are shareholders and as such become the articulation of behavioral change. The firms they invest in can use their presence in the national economy as creators of jobs and generator of tax revenue to apply pressure to governments that they would shut down or relocate if

EQUITY FUNDS

BOND FUNDS

66.3 %

51.2 % 35.7 % 22.0 %

11.6 % 0.1 % 0-2

2-4

4-6

6-8

12.0 % 0.0 %

0.0 %

8-10

0-2

Source: MSCI ESG Research, as of Feb. 1, 2016; n = 13,866 equity funds, 4,569 bond funds 2 0   C A P I TAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE OF THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E

1.0 % 2-4

4-6

6-8

8-10


positive changes were not forthcoming. This happened in South Africa and lead to the end of apartheid. This had a powerful influence on me and lead to the development of a platform for like-minded individuals to use their hard earned capital and give it a real sense of purpose. Today it is referred to as “Impact Investing”. I lead this offering for the Exponent team across Canada for like-minded Canadians ready to join the $2 Trillion plus currently being deployed for this purpose. Today’s headlines seem to be inundated with stories of political unrest, changing climate effects, global strife and the influence of evolving demographics on our economies. Various polls indicate that only 1/3 of North Americans believe that governments can effectively address these issues. How can this be done effectively? I believe positive change can be influenced by using an effective SRI/ ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investment platform and Exponent’s approach is to engineer a customized portfolio for likeminded investors. Nevertheless, a recent study reported in Barron’s showed that of the 153 actively managed funds with an “ESG mandate” in the U.S, 68 failed to make the Barron’s main list of sustainable funds because they did not have a high enough sustainable rating. Holding individual assets as opposed to investment funds increases transparency and provides an opportunity to participate in the learning journey of Socially Responsible Investing by acknowledging a direct ownership in each firm.

Our clients are benefitting over the long-term by tapping into this evolving trend. Imagine investing in a well-known U.S based corporate giant making significant strides in becoming carbon neutral with a goal to go carbon negative by 2030! As the chart shows, the majority of equity and fixed-income funds scored by MSCI ESG Research earned median scores. Two-thirds of stock funds scored by MSCI earned an ESG Quality Score of between 4 and 6, while 22% earned scores between 6 and 8, and 12% earned a score of between 2 and 4. Among bond funds, 51% earned ESG Quality Scores between 4 and 6, while 36% earned a score of between 6 and 8, and 12% scored between 2 and 4. The ESG approach is not without risk however innovation and change are necessary in the development of next generation solutions and improvements. Our clients are benefitting over the long-term by tapping into this evolving trend. Imagine investing in a well-known U.S based corporate giant making significant strides in becoming carbon neutral with a goal to go carbon negative by 2030! A company that witnessed its stock return 57.5%! Consider rewarding major oil and gas companies who are tackling the emissions challenge? Yes, it makes sense to direct investments to encourage firms embracing change. Why? Many of the large firms are plowing millions into diversifying their assets into reducing upstream emissions by 85% by moving into renewables. Some enlightened producers who have invested in natural gas fields now acknowledge that 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from “flaring”. Efforts to reduce routine flaring by the large integrated oil firms are now starting to pay dividends. Big oil is beginning to listen as they need your capital and when it disappears, that sends a powerful message.

Graham Mayes, CFP, TEP, MTI Chief Investment Strategist & Partner

Now here’s the good news: In 2019, a majority of ESG mandated funds and accounts actually performed as well as their benchmarks and in fact outperformed them so the correlation has been clearly demonstrated. As investors realize, like well-schooled Portfolio Managers, no company is perfect but those adhering to higher standards, transparency and honesty will be sought out in a changing world. These will be the core leaders of our shared future. Investing our voices in tomorrow’s future begins today. Let us show you how you can make a difference: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/environmental-social-andgovernance-esg-criteria.asp

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CAPITAL/BLG

Diversity and Inclusion – The Way Forward

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n all fronts, issues of diversity and inclusion are increasingly finding their way to the forefront of our society. To keep up, employers are increasingly turning their minds to ways in which they can foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. Before diving in, it is important to note that diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. While diversity is generally understood to mean representation in the workplace, inclusion is the general acceptance and ideally, and appreciation for diversity. While there is no explicit legal requirement for employers to implement a diversity and inclusion strategy or policy, it is certainly highly recommended for a number of reasons. The first is that the law is evolving. The Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) prohibits discrimination under its enumerated grounds and requires on the same basis, and the spirit of the Code is to make individuals feel accepted and included, including in the workplace. While the Codes does not explicitly require a diversity and inclusion policy, of note is that there have been recent decisions from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario where an applicant’s claim regarding a poisoned work environment was not supported because the evidence showed that the employer had a diversity and inclusion policy that was widely disseminated in workplace. The Tribunal also gave the employer credit for having promptly retrained employees on the policy upon receiving the applicant’s complaint internally. In short, developing and implementing diversity and inclusion policies can serve employers well both to prevent discrimination claims, but also to demonstrate to a court or a tribunal that they are taking active steps to create a workplace free from discrimination as required under the Code.

In some respects, an employer’s obligations relating to diversity and inclusion have been codified in law. For example, as of January 1, 2020, all public corporations incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the CBCA) are subject to expanded diversity disclosure requirements. In addition to the existing disclosure requirements regarding women on boards, federally incorporated public companies (including venture issuers) now have to provide specific information to their shareholders as it pertains to internal policies on “designated groups”, defined under the Employment Equity Act (Canada) to be persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, women and Aboriginal peoples. The impact of this new requirement under the CBCA means a significant increase in the number of corporations that are now subject to diversity disclosure requirements. Inevitably, this likely means a significant increase in employers and workplaces who will be turning their mind to adoption or expanding their inclusion and diversity policies. In addition to any legal requirements or benefits, diversity and inclusion also makes good business sense. A meaningful commitment to diversity and inclusion – that is the thoughtful development and implementation of a policy or strategy – can boost employee morale. Productivity is also tied to employees feeling welcomed valued for who they are as individuals. Research shows that inclusive teams that make better business decisions more quickly and efficiently.

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Strong diversity and inclusion policies can also attract and retain business, as well as top talent. Clients and potential employees are shown to be increasingly drawn to companies that demonstrate an active commitment to diversity and inclusion. But how do we get there? Organizations need to embrace diversity and inclusion at all levels in order for it to stick. That starts with a commitment at the top, and an acknowledgement from every employee that diversity and inclusion requires everyone to be involved. A commitment to diversity and inclusion isn’t sufficient. In addition, the development and implementation of strong policies that put the commitment into action is required. Because diversity and inclusion policies are not explicitly required by law, the good news is that employers do have considerable flexibility in developing something that works best for their business and workplace. Finally, because diversity and inclusion requires all employees to take part, training and education is key to driving meaningful change within the organization. As discussed above, demonstrating an active commitment to diversity and inclusion through training can be of assistance with arising legal issues. There are many great resources available for organizations looking to take a proactive approach to diversity and inclusion, including our Labour and Employment Team at BLG.

Odessa O’Dell Associate Borden Ladner Gervais LLP


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CAPITAL/Hydro Ottawa

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Hydro Ottawa Renews its Efforts to Attract More Women to the Trades HE PERCENTAGE OF POWER LINE TECHNICIANS AT HYDRO OTTAWA WHO ARE WOMEN? Regrettably, less than 1 per cent, says Donna Burnett Vachon, the utility provider’s Director, Change and Organization Development. Hydro Ottawa’s commitment to changing that situation? “That,” says Donna, “is definitely 100 per cent.” The challenge to attract more women – and the commitment to meet that challenge – is not unique to Hydro Ottawa, says Guillaume Paradis, the company’s Chief Electricity Distribution Officer. Nor is the problem limited to the trades. “Yes, the need to attract more women to fill trades positions is definitely a priority. And while the situation is better in engineering, management and leadership positions, there is always room for improvement there as well.” In fact, few companies are doing more to attract women and minorities than Hydro Ottawa. For example, as a founding signatory of the Leadership Accord on Gender Diversity for the Canadian electricity sector, it is committed to opening the doors to more women and implementing practices that will enable women to move up the ladder. And as part of its Diversity and Inclusion Plan, Hydro Ottawa is actively working on more than 70 initiatives to promote employee awareness, training and support, including its Women’s Inclusion Network who passionately promote gender diversity across the company. The utility has also partnered with Algonquin College on a three-year pilot

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“We’re delighted with our partnership with Algonquin College and we expect to reap the rewards that come with the increased participation of women in STEM programs well into the future.” project called We Saved You a Seat for the jointly delivered Powerline Technician Diploma Program. The goal of the project is to actively recruit women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs and to attract more women to non-traditional careers – like a power line technician. To help make that happen, the college has reserved 30 per cent of its classroom seats in the program for qualified women, is raising awareness of the career opportunities available for women in technology and the trades, and providing program support such as mentoring and financial incentives. Launched in 2018, We Saved You a Seat is showing promising results. Algonquin College and its participating partners were recognized earlier this year when the project won an award of excellence from Electricity Human Resources Canada. “We’re delighted with our partnership with Algonquin College,” says Donna. “And we expect to reap the rewards that come

with the increased participation of women in STEM programs well into the future.” At the same time, Hydro Ottawa recognizes that it needs to reach out to women before they start seriously considering career choices. That means promoting the possibility of a career in the trades to girls in the early stages of high school and even elementary classes, says Guillaume. “The fact is, women are not knocking down our door for trades careers at the moment. To change that, we believe we have to reach them at the earliest stages of career development.” But attracting women to the job is only part of a winning equation, he says. “We also have to make the jobs attractive to women. To do that, we have to emphasize the fact that a career with Hydro Ottawa – or any career in the trades – can be challenging, enjoyable and financially and professionally rewarding.” The leadership team at Hydro Ottawa knows that the path forward will likely be difficult at times – the utility sector is still viewed by many as a male-dominated industry. But they recognize that a successful effort to attract women benefits everyone: the woman who finds a rewarding (albeit somewhat unexpected) career; a company that more accurately reflects the customers it serves; and Hydro Ottawa, who can draw on the experience and talent of a truly diverse workplace. “What better time than International Women’s Day (March 8),” says Donna, “to renew our efforts to attract talented and committed women to an organization that welcomes them, supports them and rewards them for the work they do.”

Female Student in Joint Algonquin College Hydro Ottawa Powerline Technician Diploma Program

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Ottawa’s diverse representation A young, entrepreneurial workforce, with a bilingual rate of 44%, and more engineers, scientists,and PhDs per capita than any other city in Canada

10

% of all Canadians in the labour force

report having at least one disability

The most common type of disability of those in the labour force is Pain

28

% People reporting having a

participation

56

Developmental disability have the lowest rates of all disability types

% People with a Hearing

participation

disability have the highest rates of all disability types

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

7

%

22

%

employment

48

%

employment

OLDER POPULATION PARTICIPATION RATES Participation 15 to 34 35 to 54 55 to 64 65 to 74 75+ 2 6   C A P I TAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E

75.7% 88.0% 64.2% 21.8% 4.7%

Employment 66.9% 84.3% 61.0% 20.7% 4.4%

Unemployment 11.6% 4.2% 4.9% 5.4% 6.5%


PROGRAMS OF STUDY - INDIGENOUS GRADUATES Health and related fields show the biggest gap in unemployment rates between Indigenous 7% and overall Ottawa graduates (4.6%), while Indigenous graduates had lower unemployment (4.9%) than Ottawa graduates (5.2%) overall in Mathematics, computer and information sciences

IMMIGRANT LABOUR FORCE IN OTTAWA (showing those who arrived between 1980 and 2016) Economic Immigrants Sponsored by family Refugees

4,595

51,180 28,350

2,455

21,400

2,495

Employed

Unemployed

GAPS IN YOUTH EMPLOYMENT Youth 20-29 with a non-STEM education have a higher employment rate than those with a STEM education Youth 20-29 with postsecondary completion in the field of Education have the highest employment rate (91%), while those with Physical and life sciences and technologies credentials have the lowest employment rate (67%) powered by Ottawa Employment Hub

COMPARATIVE UNEMPLOYMENT 5% 7.1% 8.0% 9.6% 13.8% 15.2%

Older (55+) Overall Immigrants Indigenous People Youth (15 to 29) Newcomers

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CAPITAL/Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association CAPITAL/NAV CANADA

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION CRITICAL TO ONGOING SUCCESS OF AIR SERVICES

HE TECHNICAL SKILLS of NAV CANADA’s professionals are – figuratively and literally instrumental in keeping Canadian skies safe. They provide critical air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services, and electronic aids to navigation that are indispensable to pilots. But NAV CANADA’s management is also keenly aware that keeping a well-trained team of 5,000 employees content requires maintaining a positive work environment, and one of their key strategies for doing that is by placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. “Having a diverse and inclusive workplace really is critical to the continued success of our organization in terms of us being a world leading air navigation service provider,” says Misty Giroux, the organization’s national manager of diversity and inclusion, and privacy officer. “Continuing to evolve a diverse and inclusive business culture puts us in a really great position to not only continue to attract, but also very importantly retain top talent. Training air traffic controllers

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and flight service specialists is quite a significant undertaking. So it’s really important to make sure that we’re creating a work environment where people will stay – and want to stay - with NAV CANADA,” she adds. In fact, NAV CANADA lists diversity & inclusion (D&I) as one of its core values, along with respect, excellence, and customer service. “We’ve made D&I one of those four corporate values in order to establish and entrench its level of importance within the organization. We include everyone in our vision of diversity, and we are communicating this clearly to all our stakeholders,” Giroux explains. When employees with different backgrounds are comfortable and confident in being their authentic selves in an inclusive work environment, they get a true sense of belonging, which provides both physical and mental health benefits. It also helps people achieve their full potential, be innovative, and achieve business success, to the advantage of all of NAV CANADA’s stakeholders, says Giroux. NAV CANADA developed its D&I plan meticulously, with input

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“We’ve made D&I one of those four corporate values in order to establish and entrench its level of importance within the organization. We include everyone in our vision of diversity, and we are communicating this clearly to all our stakeholders,” from key stakeholders from across the organization, to ensure it would be fully reflective of all of those different people’s past experiences and expectations for the future, says Giroux. Tone from the top is also important, and NAV CANADA’s senior leadership team, its board of directors, chief executive officer and executive management committee, actively support a sustained D&I effort. “This has really been critical to our success so far and is a best practice that is one of the most important elements of a successful diversity and inclusion strategy,” says Giroux. “Ongoing involvement of our employees is also a vital element, and they are

actively engaged through eight regional D&I committees across the country.” NAV CANADA also encourages diversity of thought. “If everybody comes up with the same solution to the same problem, you’re not going to get as much creativity as you would if you had diverse views and opinions where you have people with different backgrounds, and experiences and opinions on things. So that is a positive contributor to business,” says Giroux. She notes that although inclusion is harder to measure than diversity because inclusion is really a measure of how people are feeling, NAV CANADA is on top of that. “We’ve started measuring using a diversity and inclusion census that we’re conducting every two years. We did the first one in 2019; we’ll do another one in 2021. We hope this will enable us to measure our progress over time and identify the current and relevant focus areas that our employees are identifying through their experiences in our work environment,” Giroux explains. “A successful D&I strategy is not a one-stop shop check-box exercise. It has to be a sustained and meaningful priority,” she stresses.

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C-SUITE VIEW

Sue Ivay, Chief Human Resources Officer for Calian

C-Suite View: Diversity and Inclusion Enriches Business E

MBRACING A RICH

diversity of people from different backgrounds has been a huge benefit to Canadian businesses on the world stage, and an important factor in elevating Ottawa’s status as not just a capital city, but also as one of Canada’s key commerce venues. “From an HR standpoint, I’ve seen our diversity inclusion practices evolve a fair bit with the industry,” says Sue Ivay, chief human resources officer (CHRO) for Kanatabased Calian, whose more than 3,000 employees have a strong presence in four business segments - Health, Information Technology, Advanced

Technologies and Learning. There are approximately 400 employees in Ottawa-Gatineau. “My job as CHRO is to enable our people to succeed and drive our business and growth. Diversity and inclusion are a huge part of that because they are keys to a respectful, collaborative, and really engaged workforce. People deliver better products and services when they are engaged in what they are doing,” she adds. Diversity and inclusion are important for business today, not just from the standpoint of hiring, but also in terms of respecting rights and making diverse groups of people feel comfortable in a way they may not have in the past.

This coincides with advancements that women have made in rising through the corporate ranks. One-third of the members on Calian’s board of directors are female, and that percentage is also mirrored on the management team, although the company is looking to improve upon that number, says Ivay. “We know through studies and discussion that women and minorities remain underrepresented in executive positions and on boards, as well as within certain industries. But huge strides have been made,” she says. Calian, with significant input from its human resources department, has worked very hard on its corporate diversity policy and objectives.

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“While we don’t put specific targets or numbers in place, because we want to be mindful of having the right candidate in the right spot, we use those policy objectives to fuel awareness, and really broaden the conversation and everyone’s understanding of what we’re ultimately driving towards,” explains Ivay. Greater diversity and inclusion within Calian’s workforce has also delivered results, including increased productivity and quality in the services and solutions that the company offers clients in response to the problems they have tasked Calian to address. “We know, based on research, that increasing the diversity

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BY J E FF BUCKSTE I N


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within your workforce drives your ability to mirror your customer base and ultimately gives you a better opportunity to produce more robust and helpful solutions,” Ivay elaborates. “We’re in the business of supporting our customers. Especially when we’re working with them on particularly challenging or complex solutions - they can’t fail.” For example, last year Calian developed an Indigenous Policy to support its Emergency Management team, which has been expanding its relationships with Indigenous communities to help them build capacity for managing emergencies like storms, floods, or other emergencies. This policy outlines the company’s engagement with Indigenous clients, partners, suppliers, employees and potential employees. “We looked at it from a threepillar strategy of listening, learning, and leveraging,” says Ivay. Listening means engagement and requires an investment of time to build trust and a set of dialogues to enable the development of a genuine mutual understanding and a robust working relationship. Learning is critical to understanding partner needs and identifying how to work better together. And by leveraging Calian is sharing its

expertise and experience in networking with Indigenous communities to support local capacities, organizational development, and selfdetermination, Ivay elaborates. “When an organization embraces the concept of diversity and inclusion from its board of directors, down to the management team, and front-line employees, and there are regular displays of that in your workforce and culture, that’s where success happens,” she says. “We deal with complicated challenges all day long at Calian. Sometimes when we encounter one of those new and challenging business problems, a communication model that we have found works really well, and that we teach to our employees, is to pull together a very diverse group of people to help solve it,” she explains. The benefit is that this brings together people with varying experiences in business and in life to employ a diversity of thought and insight to tackle some of the most difficult challenges. “We have found that by applying that model we have developed much more robust solutions to various problems and the nice side benefit is you really bring a good team together in the process,” Ivay says.

Sue Ivay, chief human resources officer for Kanata-based Calian, says she has seen several ‘best practices’ in terms of exercising diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the course of her career. She recommends that companies consider the following: • Have a policy in place with respect to fair treatment and equal access to opportunity. • Think about your executive ranks and whether diversity is reflected there, in the ‘tone from the top.’ • Supporting innovation throughout the organization is important in order to encourage collaboration and creative projects for your teams. • Encourage an understanding of workplace diversity and why it is important – how all organizations need to understand, accept, and value the differences in its people. • Practice inclusion by teaching team members that their workplace is a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment – one that values the participation and contribution of all employees. • Diversity and inclusion should not just be a question of metrics and targets. It is also about human qualities, including empathetic leadership, respect, and improving your corporate culture. The bottom line is that respect in the workplace is a key to a productive corporate culture, to happy and healthy employees, and therefore efficient execution of a corporate business plan.

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CAPITAL/Hazlow Law

Dean Blachford, Tax Dispute Resolution and Litigation Lawyer, HazloLaw-Business Lawyers

USE YOUR ACCOUNTANT! “

“People are always shocked when they see the time and resources that the CRA allocates to auditing small and medium-sized businesses.” construction businesses, auto-sales businesses and start-up tech companies are just a few examples. Ultimately, you can never fully guarantee that the CRA won’t disagree with the amount of tax your business has reported and there is hope if they do. (Most of Dean’s clients obtain significant positive results). But to the extent that you can avoid all that, by leaning heavily on your accountant, Dean says you should. “I work closely with Ottawa’s mid-market accounting firms, as well as the large firms and solo-practitioner accountants”, Dean says. “Ottawa’s accountants are some of the best in the country. Relying on them heavily goes a long way in keeping a business out of trouble with the CRA.”

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MAT THE W STEWART

HOW DO I make sure I never have to call you?” It’s a question Dean Blachford hears often after telling business people that he specializes in helping people refute audits and reassessments by the CRA. According to Dean, a tax dispute resolution and litigation lawyer with HazloLaw – Business Lawyers, it’s a very good question: “Getting audited and reassessed is extremely stressful and costly. People should do everything they can to stay out of the CRA’s crosshairs.” So how does Dean answer the question? “I say the same thing every time. Use your accountant!” Dean doesn’t just mean having an accountant complete your company’s financial statements and file its tax returns. He means regularly seeking the advice and guidance of your accountant to make sure your company is complying with all of its income tax and GST/HST obligations. Dean’s advice isn’t just for large companies. He finds that people often wrongly assume that the CRA focuses on big businesses or people with tax-shelter accounts in the Bahamas. “People are always shocked when they see the time and resources that the CRA allocates to auditing small and medium-sized businesses.” Ma and Pa restaurants,


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CAPITAL/Caerus HR

Caerus HR: Helping Small Businesses Meet Big Challenges Ramona Packham

S

UCCESS TAKES TIME. Time to achieve, time to

maintain. But for those who own and operate small-to-mediumsized businesses (SMEs), time is often in short supply. And – understandably – the time they do have is dedicated to running their business. As entrepreneurs, they’re focused almost solely on building, selling and delivering their products and services. Too often, they lack the time – and the expertise – to address important human resources issues like hiring, training, managing, coaching, or even firing. That doesn’t mean these SMEs don’t realize that human resources skills and training are important. In fact, most are fully aware that they need expert assistance, guidance and support to address their human resources challenges. More and more, these small businesses are finding the solutions they require at Caerus HR Consulting Inc. “I created Caerus HR Consulting in 2008 (the company was renamed and rebranded in 2016) because I saw a large untapped market in need of strategic and functional human resources services,” says Ramona Packham, president of Caerus. “Then, as now, many SMEs, family-owned businesses and non-profit organizations were neither prepared nor equipped to deal with the growing need for human resources solutions. Not only did they lack human resources knowledge and expertise, they often lacked the resources to hire a dedicated human resources staff. And they weren’t alone – even larger, established companies frequently lacked the HR expertise needed to function efficiently.” While times have changed – as have the nature of human resources challenges – the basic Caerus approach is much the same as it was in 2008. “Nothing is more important to us than the relationship we have with our clients,” says Ramona. “We are committed to getting to know them and their business.” That includes being available whenever they call, sometimes including evenings and weekends. As a result, says Ramona, Caerus is perfectly positioned to identify the challenges they face, analyze their issues, and develop solutions

uniquely designed to meet their needs. It may also explain why 100 per cent of Caerus’s clients are the result of favourable referrals. While human resources challenges are often unique – and constantly evolving – small business owners frequently face similar problems and issues. Among the most common ones, says Ramona, are hiring and firing, managing poor performance, and conflicts with fellow employees. Handled correctly, she says, these problems can usually be overcome. In some instances, they may even become opportunities. Hiring the right person begins with finding the right person, not always easy in today’s tight labour market. While Caerus is not a recruiting firm, it does provide the HR expertise needed to ensure its clients can secure the right person for the right job. Firing is more difficult, says Ramona, and with a shortage of talented workers, should be a last resort. Identifying the issues that lead to poor or under-performance is key, says Ramona. “Knowing why an employee is performing poorly is usually the first step to improving performance.” Friction in the workplace is not uncommon but if left unresolved, can damage a business’s performance. Caerus tackles the problem head-on, meeting with those involved – as well as their immediate superiors – when necessary. Increasingly, says Ramona, small businesses are recognising the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “They’re looking for talent everywhere,” she says, “from new immigrants to persons with disabilities. They don’t have to be told that diversity and inclusion boosts morale and increases productivity.” Again, Caerus plays a key role, advising and assisting its clients on how best to make their employees feel accepted and valued. “Every small company wants to succeed,” says Ramona. “At Caerus, we’re committed to helping them do just that.”

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The Talent Shortage Continues To Pose Problems USINESS LEADERS ARE searching for ways to find and retain talent, and improve company results, in an increasingly competitive market*. Harnessing the diversity dividend can help improve team and business performance, while contributing to the growth of our local economy and increased participation in it. Read on to see how to broaden your search for talent and leverage diversity and inclusion in the workplace for better business results.

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LOCAL SOLUTIONS CAN BOOST YOUR TALENT SEARCH • The potential “diversity dividend” is increasingly recognized, and is reported to be Canada’s Global competitive advantage** • -What is it? Move away from “monoculture” and underrepresentation of certain population groups in the workforce to gain business advantages: variety perspectives and approaches, increased innovation, customer reach, etc…. • Our talented diverse population in Ottawa: for example, did you know Ottawa’s immigrant population is the most educated of any city in Canada? Our diverse population is resilient and talented; businesses need just open the door fully to enable participation and empower performance. Learn to overcome unconscious bias and to recruit for skills and competencies actually important to performing in the role. HARNESS THE DIVERSITY DIVIDEND NOW There are organizations, tools, and free services available to help businesses succeed in recruiting, empowering and retaining a diverse and performing workforce. Ottawa Employment Hub can help you navigate these resources and connect you to the partner organizations in our local community to meet your workforce development needs. These partners include our first-class postsecondary institutions and a rich network of employment service providers and umbrella organizations for different population groups. Are you ready to broaden your search, open your doors, and tap into the full pool of talent here in Ottawa? Find out how to leverage free services to help you find the skilled people you need and deploy them in your organization to harness the diversity dividend. Contact the Employer Help Desk at Ottawa Employment Hub now! * Ottawa’s unemployment rate less than the national and provincial rates (4.9% unemployment rate in Ottawa in March) OBGS local businesses say….OBGS survey results as per Immigration 2019 report In the 2019 Ottawa Business Growth Survey 44% of businesses reported that access to skilled workers has continued to worse over the last three years and 20% of those surveyed said talent acquisition and retention would be the top issue for Ottawa businesses over the next five years. {graph 1 of Imm’n 2019 report …concerns continuing to worsen over last 3 years} **Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage, Special Report, Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2017 http://www.fondationtrudeau.ca/sites/default/files/diversityspecial_report_final-web.pdf

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Cross-Cultural Workshops

for Businesses, HR, & People Managers Cultural competency is the key to creating and managing diverse and inclusive workplaces. In today’s competitive economy, it is not just an essential skill, it is a business imperative. Learn practical cultural competency building strategies:

1. Introduction to Cultural Competency Building 2. Intercultural Problem-Solving Strategies 3. Effective Cultural Adaptation Strategies 4. Performance Management and Feedback 5. Creating the Workplace that Accommodates Effectively 6. Dimensions of Inclusiveness 7. Culturally Competent Interviewing Skills

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Commercial Leasing and Property Management Finding the right space for your business


CAPITAL/Algonquin College

Algonquin College building an inclusive environment for students and staff A

LGONQUIN COLLEGE IS experiencing an inclusion

infusion. Many organizations talk about diversity and inclusion. The College is integrating these ideas in every aspect of what it does, creating new opportunities for students and staff to learn about other people and cultures — and about themselves. “This isn’t something that can be achieved with a policy,” says Sarah Gauen, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at the College, although she is proud of the Inclusion and Diversity Policy launched by the College in December. “Our emphasis on these ideas is intended to foster personal growth. By learning about diversity and inclusion, we can all interact more effectively with people around us who have other views and experiences.” To promote such conversations, a series of Inclusion Infusion talks at the College feature interesting and challenging speakers. These have included author and activist Robyn Maynard on the topic of anti-black racism in Canada and a panel exploring questions of faith featuring a rabbi, an imam and a chaplain.

In its most recent initiative, the College is building a microcredential around inclusion and diversity as part of a new series of self-directed online learning opportunities for employees. Additional programs are emphasizing and enhancing diversity and inclusion for the College’s 20,000+ students. The We Saved You a Seat program, for instance, sets aside 30 per cent of places for female students in select male-dominated programs and provides financial support through scholarships and awards. The International Student Centre runs programs to help students from more than 100 countries studying at the College navigate the school, Ottawa’s workplaces and Canadian society. The Centre for Accessible Learning helps students with special needs get the accommodation they need, and a new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act advisor coordinates accessibility work across the campus. “There are so many systems at the College that are dedicated to ensuring our employees and our students are successful,” Gauen says. “That’s what we’re all about.”

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CAPITAL/Priti Lad CPA

How a virtual CFO can deliver real results VERY DAY, MORE and more small business owners and entrepreneurs are enjoying the benefits that come with hiring a virtual chief financial officer (vCFO). And they’re finding that those benefits can be significant, from monitoring their financial health and well-being to offering expert financial insight and guidance. But many business owners have also discovered that if they are to take full advantage of those benefits, they need an experienced, dedicated and skilled professional. With nearly two decades of experience as a controller and chief financial officer, Priti Lad clearly ticks all the boxes. As an owner of Priti Lad Professional Corporation, a full-service financial consulting firm, she is ideally positioned to provid outsourced finance functions – such as controller and virtual CFO – that caters to corporate businesses. Priti has extensive experience in both government and the private sector, with a well-earned reputation as a strategic thinker. She has a history of successfully streamlining business operations and increasing efficiency. Her leadership, communication and interpersonal skills enable her to consistently establish fruitful relationships with staff and management at small businesses. Equally important, Priti appreciates that the vCFO concept comes with both challenges and opportunities. In short, a virtual CFO handles all of the duties of a traditional CFO but works remotely and/or on a part-time basis. Generally using cloud technology, this was done to monitor the financial health and well-being of the business in real-time. And, depending on the client’s needs, they can also carry out back-office functions, such as managing account ledgers.

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Getting the services that business owner need while saving money is obviously important, says Priti, but small business owners want to grow – and that requires more than cutting down costs. “The best virtual CFOs do more than simply pay the bills and balance the books,” she says. “They offer insightful and meaningful advice as well as advanced financial services and tools, enabling clients to focus on what is most important to them – and that’s usually growing their business.” “An effective vCFO should offer all the expertise and knowledge of a regular CFO,” says Priti, “and like a regular CFO, be prepared to deliver that expertise and knowledge when the business needs it. Ideally, a vCFO should deliver expert level advice, financial planning, strategizing and reporting.” And because a vCFO can manage several accounts at the same time, entrepreneurs and small businesses save money because they pay only for the functions they need. Priti focuses on increasing efficiency by streamlining business operations. And that, she says, almost always begins by building a positive relationship with the client. “It doesn’t matter if they’re an individual, a small organization or a large enterprise, my primary approach is always the same – work with them and respect the distinct and diverse needs of each individual. It’s not enough to just produce positive results; those results must be produced in an efficient and timely manner.” Today, more and more companies are choosing to travel a path of hiring vCFO. They recognize that outsourcing finance function delivers benefits such as saving time and money, access to best technology, accuracy of data, flexibility, expert advice for better decision making and focus on the real goal. For a growing number of small business, that path leads directly to the Priti Lad Professional Corporation.

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CAPITAL/OLIP

BUILDING EQUITABLE ORGANIZATIONS: EQUITY OTTAWA BY D E N I S E D E BY

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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION are

good for business—but they’re the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating equitable organizations. That’s the wisdom emerging from a group of leaders and equity specialists in Ottawa who have been working together on inclusion in their organizations for the past eight years, through the Equity Ottawa initiative. Created by the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) and Centretown Community Health Centre, Equity Ottawa enables local organizations to strengthen their capacities for equity. For partner organizations, that means improving human resource policies and practices so that immigrants, racialized people and other equity-seeking groups have equal opportunities to contribute their talents. It also means removing barriers to equity in organizations’ governance, service delivery, product development and marketing strategies, community and client engagement, performance measurement, and organizational culture—including practices that may unknowingly perpetuate biases, such as assessments of an employee’s “fit” that don’t accommodate cultural differences. “Strategic and sustained actions in a range of domains are essential to achieve equitable organizations purposefully and progressively over time,” explains Hindia Mohamoud, director of OLIP. “Equity Ottawa provides a forum for partners to have ‘courageous’

Hindia Mohamoud, director of OLIP

38   C A P ITAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E

conversations about persistent inequities, and to co-create solutions.” Equity Ottawa provides organizations with opportunities for learning, dialogue, peer support and collaborative planning. Together, the partners have developed an action plan to address equity barriers—and monitor results. First up is to measure progress across Ottawa organizations in improving representation of equity groups at senior management levels. “Ottawa’s population and workforce are increasingly diverse, and the city’s economic prosperity will depend increasingly on immigrant talent,” says Mohamoud. “Local organizations are making progress, for example in enhancing diversity in senior leadership. Partners are also introducing equity and antiracism policies, implementing workforce diversity audits, improving their equity data collection systems, and establishing structures for planning and monitoring equity, such as the City of Ottawa’s new anti-racism secretariat. We look forward to continuing to facilitate these important efforts.” Equity Ottawa includes municipal organizations, health service providers, educational institutions, social service agencies, and other organization and community stakeholders. Participation is open to interested organizations. Equity Ottawa has received support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is sustained through partner engagement. olip-plio.ca


How to Successfully Hire a Diverse Workforce

biases of the ‘insider groups’ that exist in every organization. Our deep analysis about how the behaviour of people belonging to an insider group can have a greater influence on our and systems influence and impact the organization’s perspectives, experiences and behaviours than if we were left to ability to establish an inclusive interpret situations from our individual environment; one that respects individuals perspectives. Understanding the various for their talents, skills and abilities to the insider groups in an organization can shed benefit of the collective. light on how selective perceptions may Having biases is human. How would result in placing a higher or lower value on your employees rate your organization on screening criteria at the various stages of the meritocracy and inclusivity of your recruitment. These selective perceptions HR practices? Despite our best intentions, may also impact the decisions affecting when unconscious bias gets in the way, the growth and development of employees the outcome may not result in our desired throughout their tenure in the organization. impact of an inclusive workplace. The key At the organizational level, consider the to success is creating a safe process for an impact insider groups are having on the open dialogue across all levels and teams to organization’s culture, philanthropic better understand what people are unwilling activities, as well as customer outreach or unable to report. and support. It all starts by opening up the Successful recruitment programs take dialogue and inviting outsiders into your into consideration how the systems in insider groups to creatively problem solve the organization may include or exclude around how best to be inclusive. From Karen Brownrigg, CHRL, CEC various groups based on the unconscious that open dialogue, diversity and inclusion Senior human resources leader and executive coach will flourish.

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ECRUITING A DIVERSE workforce begins with a

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CAPITAL/Neil Squire

NEIL SQUIRE FIGHTS FOR THOSE WHO NEED ASSISTANCE OMETIMES A VOICE of support and a little extra backing in life can go a long way. Neil Squire, a not-for-profit organization with offices across Canada, has been cognizant of that need since 1984. The organization was founded after its namesake Neil Squire, a 21-year old University of Victoria student and basketball star, crashed on a stretch of black ice and was left without movement in either his arms or legs or the ability to speak. An older relative with an engineering background, Bill Cameron, endeavoured to provide Neil with a voice. Cameron and his team designed and installed a machine for him to communicate using Morse code. After Neil died in 1984, four years after his accident, the dedicated team that had developed this early computer technology wanted to provide the same opportunities for others in similar circumstances. “Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to become more independent and self-sufficient, and valued members of society,” says Cheryl Colmer, Neil Squire’s Ottawa-based Central Regional Manager. Neil Squire delivers employment programs, computer tutoring programs, and ergonomic and assistive technology services. Colmer highlighted Working Together, an employment program that supports job seekers with a disability secure employment, and also assists the employers doing the hiring. Working Together is funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. “When we get to the point with the job seeker where they’ve got a clear employment goal - that polished resume, the practiced interview skills, we support the job seeker to connect with employers,” explains Colmer. “Then we speak with an entrusted

S

employer who sees the candidate as a valuable member of their team, to support the employer to make sure the proper accommodations are being put in place,” she adds. This involves a holistic effort as Working Together draws upon the skills and expertise of 120 employees and 1,700 volunteers throughout the organization. For example, individuals who specialize in computer tutoring help to ensure the job seeker’s technology skills are relevant for the workplace. Members who specialize in ergonomics and assistive technology devices advise employers on having the right equipment in place to make the work environment comfortable. While the traditional focus of Neil Squire has been on assisting those with physical disabilities, the organization also works with individuals with mental health issues, such as acute anxiety, to help them secure employment. Or they may intervene on behalf of somebody who is already employed but is having problems at work. They also work with employers to help them recognize the problem and the solutions. “We often hear employers acknowledge that they may not be aware they already have team members with a disability on staff. An employee may have an invisible disability they haven’t disclosed to their supervisor,” says Colmer. Colmer says that individuals who have a physical or mental disability help to enrich the workplace because they add to the diversity within it. “When people have lived with illness and injury and disability they develop a unique way of thinking and problem solving. Having a different perspective really brings creativity to the team,” she stresses. Neil Squire is running all programs virtually with no stoppage of services to clients due to COVID-19.

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Even after 32 years, and even during a global pandemic, there is still more to discover. Getting to know our clients is something we’ve been doing for decades. Getting the job done virtually has been a part of that customer journey - especially now! Sign up for our ZOOM Discovery Session and get an expert analysis and recommended solutions summary tailored to the unique requirements of your specific project.

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Scott Conway, LGG Media

Wade Brown, RBC Dominion

Karen Kedrosky, Carleton University Co-op Education

Caroline Topolovec, Iversoft

Jennifer Cross, FLUX Lighting Inc.

Kevin Easey, Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group (OSEG)

CAPITAL AROUND TOWN

Natalie MacArthur, InvestOttawa

Jarrod Goldsmith eSax

Jean Ouellette, Freedom 55 Financial

Jenn Reynolds Fresh Legal

Natalie MacArthur, InvestOttawa

Sueling Ching, OBOT

Ingrid Argyle, Ottawa Employment Hub

42   C A P ITAL S PRI NG 2020  |  THE BUSINES S MAG A ZINE O F THE OT TAWA BOA R D OF TR A D E

Brittany Williston Performance Plus

Jeff Buckstein Capital Magazine

HAYDEN CHRISTI NA

Wendy Trudel, Community Employment Resource Centre


THE LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW EXPERTS

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ABOUT US

À PROPOS DE NOUS

As a boutique labour and employment law firm, Emond Harnden has represented the interests of management in both official languages since 1987.

Emond Harnden est un cabinet d'avocats en droit du travail et de l’emploi qui représente exclusivement les intérêts des employeurs, dans les deux langues officielles, depuis 1987.

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CAPITAL Magazine Spring 2020  

Ottawa Board of Trade's magazine.

CAPITAL Magazine Spring 2020  

Ottawa Board of Trade's magazine.

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