Celebrating diversity and recognizing its value is nothing new for CIBC. This June, they are celebrating their 20th Annual Diversity Month. It’s going to be a nationwide celebration of the diversity within CIBC and how it is a major strength of their organization. CIBC firmly believes that their success depends on a workforce that reflects the diversity of Canada.

“If we don’t have a workforce that mirrors the diverse communities that we serve, we’re not going to be able to help our diverse client base achieve what matters to them” says Matt Petersen, Director, CIBC Diversity Strategies. “We also need to make sure we have people who bring multiple talents, multiple perspectives and multiple ways of solving problems to ensure that we continue to be a leader in the financial services industry and continue to innovate.”

“We want to make sure that we’re ahead of the game in terms of attracting the best people from the broadest of talent pools and we know that new Canadians play a critical role in terms of the future prosperity of Canada,” he continued.

In order to reach skilled immigrants, CIBC has maintained close relationships with community partners such as TRIEC and ACCES Employment. Through these partnerships, the bank strives to reach new skilled immigrants and strengthen their brand as an employer of choice for new Canadians.

CIBC also strives to ensure their hiring and integration practices support the inclusion of these new Canadians. For example, they practice competency-based hiring where they focus on whether the candidate has the competency to succeed and not solely on whether they have previous Canadian experience. One practice to support this is getting candidates to demonstrate their understanding of a customer’s needs through a case study exercise during the interview process.

CIBC’s strategies to incorporate skilled immigrants into the workforce do not stop at the interview. A new initiative being launched during Diversity Month this June will establish an international professionals’ network at the bank. Building off of already-established ethno-cultural affinity groups, the new network will be a unique forum for skilled immigrants to share their experiences around achieving success, provide peer support and access specific resources around integrating into the CIBC work culture.

Through the establishment of this initiative and others, the diversity the bank will be celebrating this June is well supported throughout the year and it is paying off in terms of the CIBC’s ability to meet the needs of its customers.

“We really feel that our employees and their diverse skills and talents are the cornerstone to our success. Going forward we will continue to foster an inclusive environment that showcases that and develops those skills to their fullest potential,” concludes Petersen.