Respectful and Inclusive Workplace
We believe that it is our responsibility as an employer to offer a workplace where all people are treated with respect and dignity, in an inclusive, diverse and safe work environment. As workforce demographics change, diversity has become a business imperative and a key ingredient of success.
We strive to offer our employees a work environment that allows them to thrive and feel valued, respected and included. We are committed to creating and maintaining a workplace characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, discrimination, oppression and exploitation.
We will not tolerate discrimination – on the basis of, among other things, age, sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion or disability –, as well as sexual or psychological harassment, or violence in the workplace. We will take appropriate and immediate action in response to complaints or knowledge of violations of our policy.
Diversity and inclusion are priorities for us, both as an employer and as an active owner in a variety of companies operating in numerous geographic locations. Our group companies attract a diverse team of employees, all with unique expertise and perspective, from different backgrounds, age groups, genders and nationalities. Attracting and retaining a workforce that reflects the communities where we operate and the breadth of experience we need underpins our goal to be a great employer and to achieve our business objectives.
Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures reinforce our commitment to provide a work environment of equal opportunities in employment, appointment and advancement, based on appropriate qualifications, requirements and performance, and our commitment to support an inclusive and diverse workforce.
Anchored by our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures, we have focused our strategy on supporting a respectful, diverse and inclusive work environment through the following programs:
Our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures describe behaviours that are prohibited, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each and every one in maintaining a respectful workplace, free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
The policy also outlines the procedures and mechanisms that are available for anyone believing they have been subject to or have witnessed any behaviour which is contrary to the Policy, including a reporting hotline and web portal operated by a third-party provider which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Power Corporation is also committed to handle all complaints swiftly and confidentially, to the extent possible in light of the need to take appropriate corrective measures. The Corporation will not take any reprisal or retaliation measures, including any adverse employment measures, against any Director, officer, employee and/or third party who in good faith brings forward actual or potential violations or other concerns.
We provide an annual training on our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and on our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures, which emphasize our commitment to provide a respectful and equitable workplace.
Diversity and Inclusion
We support diversity at all levels of the organization. Talent management practices in place at Power Corporation aim at fostering equal opportunities in employment based on appropriate qualifications, requirements and performance, including as part of hiring- and advancement-related decisions.
As it relates to our Board and senior management, this commitment was formalized through our policy relating to Board and Senior Management Diversity.
Accordingly, Power Corporation offers a variety of internal initiatives aimed at its female employees, including flexible work arrangements and career advancement counselling. We have also adopted human resource policies aimed at reducing barriers to gender diversity in its senior ranks. Additionally, we sponsor the participation of our high performing female employees in external programs, including conferences and higher education programs, in order to prepare female employees for advancement to senior positions.
The women in our business represent:
15.39 per cent at the Power Corporation Board level
29 per cent at the management and executive level at Power Corporation
30 per cent at the executive officer level within the Corporation's group companies (including its publicly traded subsidiaries and their respective principal subsidiaries)
In addition, three of the Corporation's officers are members of visible minorities.
Also, when considering executive officer positions at the Corporation and its publicly traded subsidiaries, there are four members of visible minorities (representing 11 per cent of the executive officers of the Corporation and its publicly traded subsidiaries), no persons with disabilities and one Aboriginal person (representing three per cent of the executive officers of the Corporation and its publicly traded subsidiaries), each as defined in the Employment Equity Act (Canada).
Highlights from our Group Companies
Our subsidiaries, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, have adopted Board and Senior Management Diversity policies.
Great-West Lifeco’s Diversity Leadership Council in Canada is committed to helping include all employees, no matter their age, background or abilities. This culture makes its workplace a safe space where all employees can contribute to their full potential.
IGM Financial’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy is aimed at fostering an inclusive, equitable and consistent experience for employees, advisors and clients that supports the company’s business objectives now and into the future. It focuses on three pillars of action: raising awareness; improving inclusive leadership behaviours; and increasing external partnerships and community engagement.
In early 2018, all three of IGM Financial’s operating companies became signatories to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, which promote gender equality in the workplace, communities and marketplace. With guidance from organizations such as GATE, Catalyst and Women in Capital Markets, IGM Financial is implementing targeted strategies and initiatives aimed at enabling the upward mobility of existing talent and increasing sourcing opportunities for external talent. While the ultimate goal is gender parity, they set a short-term objective of having at least 35 per cent of IGM executive roles – vice-president and above – held by women by 2020. IG Wealth Management has also set an objective of having at least 35 per cent of its independent financial advisors be women by 2025.
IGM Financial also joined Pride at Work, an initiative aimed at improving the climate and inclusiveness for LGBTQ2+ people in Canadian workplaces, while IG Wealth Management joined the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion whose mission is to help those they work with be inclusive, free of prejudice and discrimination, and to generate the awareness, dialogue and action for people to recognize diversity as an asset and not an obstacle.
In 2020, Mackenzie Investments, IG Wealth Management and Investment Planning Counsel, as well as Canada Life and Wealthsimple, have all signed the BlackNorth Initiative’s pledge, which objective is to combat anti-Black systemic racism in corporate Canada.
Both IG Wealth Management and Canada Life are signatories of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, committing to acting on one goal each year for three years to help advance a specific Call to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Pargesa’s subsidiary Groupe Bruxelles Lambert has also developed a Diversity & Inclusion Policy which supports and facilitates a diverse and inclusive environment that embraces differences and recognizes their beneﬁts. These differences can notably be age, gender, sexual identity and orientation, disability, ethnicity, and cultural and religious background.
Imerys’ Diversity and Inclusion Charter clearly articulates the shared commitment to achieving greater diversity, as well as inclusion, across the group. Over the past year and a half, with broad participation from employees across functions and geographies, Imerys has analyzed the key drivers and challenges, and structured a new diversity and inclusion program, which was presented to and validated by its entire executive committee in 2019. The group designated a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, composed of four members of the executive committee as well as functional senior managers to ensure the program is successfully implemented and the objectives achieved. In addition, Imerys nominated a new Diversity and Inclusion coordinator responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing the new program in close collaboration with business areas and functions. The program shall address areas for improvement centered around decisions process and governance, learning and development, culture and communication, human resources and offices and sites accessibility. The deployment of the three-year program shall begin fully in 2020 and shall continue to be the focus of particular efforts at all levels of the organization for several years to come.
IGM Financial prioritizes diversity and inclusion as they want to reflect the vibrancy and mosaic of Canada, and also because they believe diversity and inclusion will help them elevate their performance, grow their business and learn from one another. IGM Partners in Action (PIA) teams are critical for fostering a culture of inclusion. These employee-led groups bring together individuals with shared interests, values or affinities to act as change makers and champions of an inclusive workplace. Other initiatives supporting inclusion are unconscious bias training available to all employees, training and communications on the Respectful Workplace Policies, and promotion of multi-cultural calendar observances to build awareness of all dimensions of diversity.
In 2019, IGM Financial also conducted its first voluntary, anonymous, diversity self-disclosure survey among IGM senior leaders (AVP and above) to benchmark themselves externally and guide future efforts.
Indigenous peoples are another focus area at IGM Financial and at its operating companies. With the support of their Indigenous Partners in Action team, they offer employee training on the history of Indigenous relations and the need for reconciliation. The Kairos Blanket Exercise, which helps people better understand the policies and actions that have affected Canada’s Indigenous peoples, was attended by 125 employees and advisors from IG Wealth Management, and 13 employees from Mackenzie Investments, bringing the total number to 343 since the program’s introduction in 2017.
IG Wealth Management conducted an online survey to provide a benchmark on advisor demographics, attitudes towards diversity and feelings about inclusion in their region offices, and inform action plans. Participation was 32 per cent higher than in 2017 when the survey was last conducted. Among the key learnings: 83 per cent of respondents believe that all different types of people are respected in their region; and perceived barriers are decreasing in the areas of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and religion or beliefs.
Great-West Lifeco is putting in place the building blocks to meet the needs of a diverse and multicultural employee population, reflective of its customers. As one of the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord’s inaugural signatories, Canada Life has committed to fostering a workplace culture in which Indigenous peoples and all employees can contribute to their fullest potential. The company is providing support to Indigenous community programs, including a contribution to Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program, which awarded bursaries to 22 Indigenous university and college students. In 2019, Canada Life also announced a combined financial commitment of over $500,000 to Teach For Canada and Taking IT Global to help the two organizations expand to Manitoba. Teach For Canada works with northern First Nations to recruit, prepare and support committed teachers, while Taking IT Global’s Connected North program delivers immersive and interactive youth engagement services to remote, underserved Indigenous communities through high-definition two-way video communication and collaboration technology.
As a way to foster inclusion in the workplace, in 2019, all Canada Life’s employees had the opportunity to participate in unconscious bias training, which teaches ways to identify and challenge stereotypes or biases individuals may hold without even being aware.
In early 2020, Wealthsimple conducted its second diversity and inclusion global internal survey. In light of the results, the company decided to implement new initiatives to further foster diversity. For instance, its leadership teams will now participate yearly in anti-racism, unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion training, while all other employees will be encouraged to take part. A Diversity Task Force has also been created with members of the executive team as well as six members of their team who have different lived experiences. Finally, a diversity audit of their business partners will be conducted. As a way to further foster diversity, Wealthsimple supported the creation of six employee resource groups: BIPOC, Women of Wealthsimple, Engineering Women, Parents, Mental Health at Wealthsimple, and Rainbow (LGBTQI2S).
In line with its commitment to develop all its programs focusing on achieving greater diversity and inclusion, globally and locally, and to respect and promote the principle of non-discrimination and equal opportunity, in particular with regards to human resources management, Imerys’ human resources policies and practices are regularly updated to include specific diversity and inclusion principles and requirements at the appropriate steps within each process. Diversity and inclusion requirements were likewise added to the group’s Leadership Behaviors, the behavioral model against which the group’s formal performance appraisals are conducted. In 2019, training and awareness raising sessions were held focusing on inclusion, conscious collaboration and unconscious bias. In addition, Imerys had 167 employees with disabilities in 2019 and a total of over 90 different nationalities were represented within the group permanent employee headcount.
In recent years, Great-West Lifeco has supported the launch of networking and mentoring groups in Canada to support the advancement of women in the organization. In 2019, these groups held local activities for all employees, including networking events, presentations and a speaker series with senior leaders from the companies. For example, to celebrate International Women’s Day, its Women in Leadership groups organized an event in Toronto that was live-streamed to employees in London, Regina and Winnipeg. A guest speaker discussed what corporations and individuals can do to contribute to transform the culture and accelerate gender diversity in the financial industry.
Both IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie Investments have implemented Taking the Stage®, a program for women focusing on the skills and tactics that drive leadership presence and effectiveness. In 2019, the Taking the Stage training for women was delivered to 271 employees and advisors from IG Wealth Management, and 32 employees from Mackenzie Investments.
IGM Financial continues to monitor its progress annually to ensure it is making real gains regarding gender diversity among its leaders and among IG Wealth Management advisors. Since the adoption of its board and senior management diversity policy, in 2016, 83 per cent of vacant board positions have been filled by women directors and the percentage of women on the Board has risen from 12.5 per cent to 33 per cent in 2019. In 2019, women comprised 34 per cent of IGM Financial’s executive team, up from 31 per cent in 2018. At the end of 2019, women made up 30 per cent of the company’s total advisor network and accounted for 39 per cent of all new recruits at IG Wealth Management through the year.
Wealthsimple is one of the founding partners of #MovetheDial, an organization whose objective is to increase the participation and leadership of all women in tech.
In 2019, the Who’s Who Women in Business edition of the Winnipeg Free Press featured several women evolving within Canada Life and GLC Asset Management Group, who were identified as leading Winnipeg’s financial services industry.