Last week’s Census release confirmed what many of us already knew: immigrants in Canada are a significant force and their numbers continue to grow.

Immigrants now make up 21.9% of Canada’s population whilst in Toronto 46.1% of the population were born outside of the country, with the majority of newcomers coming from India, China, Philippines, Pakistan and Italy.

Toronto reflects a Canada-wide trend, where the majority of newcomers are entering under the ‘Economic’ category. This means they are specifically selected for their ability to “enhance and promote economic development”. Additionally, we know immigrants and their descendants play a significant role in shaping and enriching the ethnic, cultural and linguistic composition of the Canadian population – 76.4% of immigrants reported knowing more than one language compared with 27.5% of Canadian born people.

So, what does this mean for employers both now and in the future?

Now more than ever, employers are realizing the need to cultivate and support a diverse and inclusive organization. They see the benefits of embracing a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the communities they serve. Some of the most interesting data to come out of the recent Census release is that 2 out of 5 children in Canada have an immigrant background and in Toronto, the second generation makes up 28.6% of the population. Therefore, it is imperative that organizations leverage talents of these people who will become the Canadian workforce of the future.

TRIEC has recently developed the Inclusive Workplace Competencies to support employers to build an inclusive work environment that leverages the diverse Canadian talent pool. These competencies (that define the knowledge, skills and behaviour needed to build an inclusive workplace) have multiple applications – for example they can be used them in recruitment, training and performance management. They enable organizations to better define what an inclusive workplace looks like and measure their progress. The framework is divided into three distinct spheres: within myself, within my team and within my organization and is designed to be customized to an organization’s needs enabling them to utilize the full potential of their workforce.

As Canada’s diversity continues to flourish, we, at TRIEC, will continue to work with employers in embracing inclusion.

Find out more about the Inclusive Workplace Competencies