CANADA needs more boardrooms and businesses that reflect our diversity. A more inclusive workforce is paramount to ensuring that Canada can meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the modern and global economy. Diversity is our strength, and we’re committed to ensuring our businesses reflect that diversity.
This was the message that Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, delivered at a panel discussion hosted by the Ted Rogers School of Management’s Diversity Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Bains discussed efforts to develop a new generation of leaders equipped with a variety of skills and experience, which will lead to job creation and business opportunities that will benefit all Canadians. He outlined the measures proposed in Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and the Competition Act, which are designed to encourage Canada’s publicly traded companies to recruit more women and other under-represented groups on their corporate boards and in their senior management ranks.
A growing body of research shows that businesses benefit from better performance and stronger balance sheets as a result of having senior leaders from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
Bains took the opportunity to speak with panelists and with young professionals and leaders on the importance of strategies to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate leadership positions. He outlined various aspects of how Bill C-25 will empower designated under-represented groups such as women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
Bains also highlighted his recent participation at the meeting of G7 ministers of industry and information and communications technologies in Turin, Italy, during which he advocated for Canada’s values of diversity and inclusion.
Bains said: “Diversity is Canada’s strength. In the boardroom, as in life, multiple perspectives lead to innovative thinking and better performance. Our values of diversity, openness and inclusion give Canadians a competitive edge in a global economy that depends on people’s ability to navigate through different cultures and languages. I am proud that our proposed legislation, Bill C-25, is promoting these values.”