University in Canada deemed 2023's best employers for diversity

Toronto Metropolitan University takes the top spot in Forbes' list

University in Canada deemed 2023's best employers for diversity

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), formerly known as Ryerson University, took the top spot in Forbes’ list of Canada’s Best Employers for Diversity 2023.

The top industries on the list for this year were education, healthcare, and social sector, and retail and wholesale. 7 universities were a part of the top 25 companies, namely: McMaster University (3rd), Memorial University of Newfoundland (4th), Sheridan College (12th), University of Manitoba (14th), University of Waterloo (20th), and University of British Columbia (22nd).

Canadian universities taking the top spots in the list was no surprise as Rosalind Chow, PhD, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, said that Canada considers higher education a right.

“[Universities] would be important places to role model how to work on EDI issues,” she said.

Following TMU’s move to change their name in 2022 to acknowledge how their previous namesake’s advocacy had caused the displacement of indigenous children from their homes and cultures, the university set to motion strategies that improved inclusivity such as adapting hiring and promotion practices, adding implicit bias trainings, ensuring access to gender-affirming health benefits, and further engagements with students and employees.

“There is so much incredible work happening at TMU to advance equity and decolonization,” said Tanya De Mello, TMU’s vice president of equity and community inclusion.

Taking the 9th spot in 2022, TMU had moved up the ranks through its efforts to collect and analyze employee diversity data and investing in the development of faculty and staff hailing from marginalized groups, De Mello said.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are given much more attention now as business leaders strive to cultivate an inclusive culture through creating strategies, WTW reported. In their 2019 survey, 60% of employers in the UK intend to promote diversity and inclusion in their benefits design.

“Today, more than ever, business leaders recognize the benefits of having a truly diverse workforce and appreciate the innovation, ideas and perspectives that can be gained from having alternative life experience and backgrounds,” WTW said.

Forbes said that the survey to determine the best employees for diversity ranking involved around 12,000 Canadian employees who worked in companies that had at least 500 employees. Answers from respondents who belonged to minority groups were given more value than those who were not a part of them. They were also asked to give an evaluation regarding the practices about diversity within their industries.

The criteria for analyzing the companies’ practice involving diversity included the presence of employee resource groups, efforts to recruit minorities, publication of diversity data, providing an accessible environment to people with disabilities, and the percentage of women in board and executive positions.