Fostering an inclusive workplace
March 31, 2021
Published March 26, 2021 in the London Inc Magazine
Through its Employer Engagement services, Immploy can help you build a more diverse workforce ― and a better business
RESEARCH HAS CONSISTENTLY shown that a more diverse workforce is a more productive, more creative and more efficient one, both for individual employers and for the economy as a whole. Diversity really is strength, and for an employer looking to grow, hiring immigrants and newcomers can help their business tap into new ideas and new skills.
For Immploy, an Immigrant Employment Council run under the umbrella of WIL Employment Connections, this is nothing new. For nearly 20 years, Immploy has been in the business of helping immigrants and newcomers to Canada connect with meaningful employment opportunities and connecting employers with the oceans of skill and talent that a more diverse workforce has to offer. Their Job Match and Mentorship programs have proven to be popular and effective supports for workers who are looking to integrate into Canadian companies.
But for many employers, the diversification process can still seem like a mystifying and difficult one. Maybe they aren’t able to attract diversity in applicants, or maybe they are having trouble keeping staff around. For those employers, Immploy also offers coaching and mentoring services to help pave the way.
Photo, from left: Krish Ashok, Immploy job match advisor, Steve Dennison, WIL Employment Connections sales and marketing manager, and Emma Pratt, WIL Employment Connections sales and marketing coordinator
“We realized that we didn’t quite have the same number of resources and supports for employers as we did for candidates,” says Immploy project manager, Sienna Taylor. To address that, the organization developed its Employer Engagement services, a consultation and coaching program that helps businesses create a more diverse workforce and address barriers ― both implicit and explicit.
“We first sit down with employers for about an hour and a half to understand their business,” says Taylor, explaining that they look at things such as hiring practices, equity standards and workplace culture.
“From there, we develop customized education and training for them ― in whatever areas they need the most ― to help prepare them for welcoming newcomers into their workplace.”
This can often mean different things to different businesses. Some organizations can drive the process forward themselves; others understand the need for increased diversity but need a bit of help getting there. And some, notes Taylor, are only beginning to shape their approach to workplace diversity and inclusion.
“I don’t see it as a matter of having to pitch, convince or sell the idea of hiring newcomers. When you bring newcomers into your workplace, you’re bringing all of their knowledge and all of their skills. When we can bring that to the table, that’s when we start to see change” —Sienna Taylor
Immploy is well-suited to assist in each situation, helping to find common ground for newcomers and employers looking to hire through consultation, education and one-on-one peer mentorship to help integrate newcomers into the workplace.
“We move beyond the idea of just getting newcomers in the door,” says Taylor. “We’re also focused on creating welcoming workplaces where people feel a sense of belonging.”
And for Immploy, that can result in frank and honest discussions with employers ― but always with the goal to meet organizations where they are. “Sometimes there’s a little bit of fear, having these conversations,” observes Taylor. “What we’re trying to do with this initiative is create that safe space. Whether that’s through the consultation piece, or the education or coaching, it creates the space to explore.”
Photo, from left: Fabio Bonfim, Immploy mentorship team lead, Krish Ashok, Immploy job match advisor, Izabela Jucha, former Immploy virtual mentorship, Antwayne Stewart, Immploy online program coordinator, Mark Malu, Immploy job match advisor, and Nelida Forero, former Immploy project manager
Success for Immploy is getting to see both employees and businesses thrive off a new level of diversity. The synergies created by welcoming new talent and new ideas has helped many businesses around the region, and the aim is to see more stories of success and more regional businesses thriving with a diverse, multi-faceted workforce.
“I don’t see it as a matter of having to pitch, convince or sell the idea of hiring newcomers,” Taylor says. “When you bring newcomers into your workplace, you’re bringing all of their knowledge and all of their skills. These people are here in London, but they are bringing everything with them from where they are coming from. When we can bring that to the table, that’s when we start to see change.”