Today Xerox was named Best Diversity Employer by MediaCorp Canada for 2016 – our seventh consecutive year making this important list. Awards such as this demonstrate that we see diversity as a competitive advantage – in fact, it’s been a part of our DNA since the early days of our company when Xerox Chairman Joseph C. Wilson found himself and the company in the midst of the 1960’s race riots in Rochester, NY.

Xerox Canada was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2016.

To better understand the issues behind the riots, Wilson met with black leaders and learned one of the key reasons for the unrest was sufficient access to jobs for African Americans. To help with the situation, Wilson and Xerox President C. Peter McColough began calling for all Xerox managers to increase their hiring of African-Americans. This began a ground-breaking effort by Xerox to achieve equality among its workforce, which continues today in policies such as our Wilson Rule, which requires that women and minorities be among the final pool of qualified candidates for every open management position in the U.S.

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The benefits of having a diverse workforce are not new, and include wide-ranging areas such as improving employee satisfaction and retention, bringing more ideas and innovation to the table and even providing better customer service. Despite these benefits, Canadian businesses are not fully leveraging the potential of a diverse workforce, according to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s 2015 Diversity Report Card, which measures diversity trends at the board level of Canadian businesses. The report shows that board diversity for women and visible minorities is increasing, though slower than the recommended pace, and the percentage of director-level Aboriginal leaders and leaders with disabilities remains low overall.

“Diversity is not a nice-to-have, it is a crucial issue for Canadian competitiveness,” says Dr. Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy, Conference Board of Canada. “It is worrying that so many directors find their boards lack international experience and orientation—a key to global success. This gap means that organizations are more likely to be unaware of international opportunities and lack the insights and connections to find success in new markets. This past year, regulators in Canada sent a clear message to the boards of Canadian organizations: The pace of change in fostering board diversity is too slow.”

According to Statistics Canada, more than 20% of Canada’s current population comes from people born in other countries – the most diverse population amongst all of the G8 countries. That means that one out of every five people comes from another country who have different cultural traditions and thoughts that businesses can learn and innovate from.

Here are some of Xerox’s top diversity tips to help Canadian businesses of all sizes hire and benefit from our diverse populations:

  • Develop recruiting and hiring strategies that support diversity – such as the Xerox Wilson Rule – to make diversity a priority in your organization
  • Openly discuss and train managers about how unconscious bias can negatively impact the workplace
  • Remember that diversity isn’t just about visible minorities and gender. Celebrate diversity of all kinds, including diversity in the way people think and express themselves (introvert versus extrovert), age diversity (millennials, generation x and y and baby boomers) and sexual orientation. Create a work environment where people are free to be themselves and express their thoughts.
  • Use diversity as a competitive advantage. Bring many different ideas and backgrounds to the table when discussing important business decisions to consider multiple options and solutions

Use these tips as the foundation of your diversity strategy and continue to build a culture that welcomes and understands the advantages a diverse workforce bring to your business.

Source:: xerox news