This year we’re celebrating our 8th Annual Immigrant Success Awards, which recognize extraordinary leadership in immigrant inclusion. As we do so, it’s interesting to look back at our past IS Awards winners to see where they are now in their engagement with immigrant inclusion. Read on for 2009  winner industry leader in employment diversity Dentons Canada (formerly Fraser Milner Casgrain) story. Stay tuned for 2014 winners to be announced May 8th! 

Read also about 2007  IS Award winner Alan Rego here.

An industry leader in employment diversity, Dentons Canada (formerly Fraser Milner Casgrain) won one of the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Council’s (TRIEC) 2009 Immigrant Success (IS) awards in recognition of its innovative internship program for internationally trained professionals.

Nearly a decade ago, the Toronto-based law firm identified diversity and inclusion as a formal corporate strategy designed to attract top talent and clients. FMC implemented several tactics aimed at increasing diversity within the firm, including a partnership with TRIEC and the launch of what would later become an award-winning internship program. This six-month paid internship provides Canadian experience and on-the-job training to skilled immigrants in all departments, from internationally trained lawyers to administrators, marketers and IT technicians.

With the internship program thriving in Toronto, Dentons Canada is set to launch a similar program in the firm’s Calgary office come June 2014. The first candidate selected for the Calgary program is originally from Poland and will benefit from six months working in the Dentons Calgary office followed by a six-month placement at Imperial Oil.

In the four years since its IS Award win, FMC has transformed from a national firm to its new incarnation as Dentons, a polycentric global firm with offices in over 50 countries. As they celebrate their one-year anniversary as a global firm, diversity and inclusion remain a key part of the company’s vision.

 “At Dentons we believe that hiring and mentoring skilled immigrants is essential to the well-being of our firm,” said Michael Schafler, Co-lead, National litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group and Manager, Toronto Litigation Group, Dentons Canada.  “Not only is maintaining a diverse workforce the right thing to do, it demonstrates leadership in the industry and strengthens the quality of our work. Put simply, it’s good business.”