Jane Lewis, Procter & Gamble: 2008 IS Awards Winner: Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award

For over 10 years, Jane Lewis has been at the helm of Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) efforts to nurture a diverse workforce including skilled immigrants.

As Country Human Resources Manager in Canada, Jane has a broad range of responsibilities, from shaping the company’s recruitment strategy to overseeing compensation and benefits for P&G’s 3,000 employees. She joined P&G in 1984 after graduating from Queen’s University with two degrees. Jane worked in Finance and Product Supply before moving to the HR team in 1991.

In addition to HR, Jane also leads the organization’s national diversity initiatives. “I think there is a huge amount of power in building diversity directly into P&G’s business strategy.” Jane says. “It’s great to lead diversity in my role. It facilitates making things happen.” And she certainly has.

In 2004, Jane attended a conference and heard about Career Bridge, a paid-internship program that helps professional-level immigrants gain Canadian work experience while employers benefit from the skills of this diverse talent pool. Jane didn’t hesitate to get involved. She joined the founding advisory committee for Career Bridge and became a champion of the program. Soon, P&G became a host organization. “Under Jane’s leadership, P&G began hiring interns from the program. This has been a key source of new immigrants coming into the company,” says company president Tim Penner.

Jane has been instrumental in building the capacity of employee networking groups which offer networking, coaching and learning opportunities to diverse staff, says Claudia Alvarez, an immigrant from Columbia and co-leader of the Latin Network.

Thanks to Jane, P&G opened its first prayer room at its head office in Toronto and diversity calendars are widely distributed to ensure key meetings do not conflict with key holidays and religious observances.

Jane is committed to delivering measurable results for P&G so she introduced a Diversity Leadership Assessment Tool to track the company’s progress on creating an environment where all staff can thrive. Each year, employees rate managers in twenty-two different areas from their cross-cultural communication skills to how supervisors foster team work among staff from different backgrounds.

Jane’s passion to heighten awareness and inclusivity has not been confined to P&G. She has presented at the Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Conference and is a member of the Council on Inclusive Work Environments, exemplifying her leadership and dedication to the inclusion of immigrants in the Canadian workforce.