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Workplace diversity: ‘To win in your market, you need to hire the market

Submitted by on February 18, 2014 – 8:16 amNo Comment | 4,174 views

When Zabeen Hirji came to Canada in 1974, she never dreamed she would have the career she does today. Although the civil rights movement had pushed equality issues to the forefront, a Tanzanian immigrant like her had little chance of reaching her full potential in the business world.

When she started working at Royal Bank of Canada in 1977, the bank had no female or visible minority executives. With some encouragement from one senior manager, though, she persevered, and gradually climbed the ranks. Today, Ms. Hirji sits on RBC’s executive committee as the head of HR.

“The culture at RBC has changed,” she says. “Today, diversity is seen as an asset.”

Once considered primarily an issue of social responsibility, a growing number of organizations have embraced workplace diversity as the range of benefits – both financial and non-financial – have become more clear.

“It definitely leads to a stronger bottom line,” says Robin Taub, chartered accountant and owner of Robin Taub Financial Consulting. “Return on equity, return on sales, return on capital, share performance, stock price growth.”

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Source: The Globe & Mail. By JONATHAN STOLLER. October 24, 2013.

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