Respectful and Inclusive Workplace
We believe that it is our responsibility, as an employer, to foster 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, equity and inclusion are priorities for us, both as an employer and as an active owner in a variety of companies operating across 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 in which we are located 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 and our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures reinforce not only our commitment to provide a work environment of equal opportunities in employment, appointment and advancement, based on appropriate qualifications, requirements and performance, but also 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, equitable and inclusive work environment through the implementation of the following programs:
Our Respectful Workplace Policy and Procedures describe behaviours that are prohibited, as well as the roles and responsibilities of everyone 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 that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Power Corporation is also committed to handling 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, Equity and Inclusion
We support diversity at all levels of the organization. Power Corporation’s talent management practices aim to foster equal opportunities in employment based on appropriate qualifications, requirements, and performance, including as part of hiring- and advancement-related decisions. The Board believes diversity ensures directors provide the necessary range of perspectives to achieve effective stewardship and recognizes that gender diversity is a significant aspect of diversity. Power Corporation’s objective is to have at least 30 per cent of its Board composed of women by 2025. Following the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the number of women elected to the Board increased to four, representing 29 per cent of Board.
As it relates to our Board and senior management, this commitment was formalized through our policy relating to Board and Senior Management Diversity.
Power Corporation offers a variety of internal initiatives aimed at its women employees, such as career advancement counselling and sponsors the participation of its high performing women employees in external programs, including higher education programs, to prepare them for advancement to senior positions. We have also adopted human resource policies aimed at reducing barriers to gender diversity in our senior ranks. Moreover, as a Quebec-based company, the Corporation has, since 2001, complied with the Quebec Pay Equity Act, which provides for the creation of a pay equity plan applicable throughout the enterprise and the conducting of a pay equity audit every 5 years.
The women in our business represent:
29 per cent at the Power Corporation Board level
43 per cent at the management level at Power Corporation
31 per cent at the executive officer level within the Corporation's group companies (including its publicly traded operating companies and their respective principal subsidiaries)
Also, when considering executive officer positions at the Corporation and its publicly traded operating companies, there are four “members of visible minorities” (representing 12.5 per cent of the executive officers of the Corporation and its publicly traded operating companies), no “persons with disabilities” and no “Aboriginal peoples”, each as defined in the Employment Equity Act (Canada).
Highlights from our Group Companies
Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, two of our publicly traded operating companies, have adopted board and senior management diversity policies.
Canada Life, a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, seeks to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) into everything it does for its people, customers and communities. The company’s multi-year DE&I strategy will continue to strengthen its internal plan of action on people and culture, as well as expand Canada Life’s plans to include a forward thinking, outward looking view of diversity and inclusion at the company. In addition, the company’s strong commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive culture is reinforced by the support of its Diversity Leadership Council, championed and led by senior executives including the President, and the dedication of its six employee resource groups (ERG). These six ERGs hosted multiple informative, inspirational, and uplifting events throughout the year.
Putnam Investments’ Office of Diversity & Inclusion continued its work of promoting diversity and inclusion through existing and new programs. Key facets of its systemic approach included new companywide training on bias, a pilot sponsorship program for women and underrepresented groups in leadership and ongoing growth of various Business Impact Groups, including the Putnam Black Professional Network, the Putnam Multicultural Group, the Putnam Pride Alliance and Women of Putnam. The company has continued to make diversity and inclusion a top-five business priority for its CEO and leadership team, introducing scorecards for senior leadership based on engagement with diversity and inclusion-related goals and activities and tying diversity and inclusion goals to leadership compensation based on these scorecard results.
IGM Financial aims to use its voice to advance DE&I across the financial services industry by creating an inclusive culture where difference is embraced and leveraged, and the company’s connections to its employees, clients, stakeholders and communities are strengthened. In 2021, the company hired its first Vice-President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to refresh, expand and implement their strategy across the company. The company’s DE&I strategy is focused on three pillars:
An inclusive workplace that nurtures a culture of allyship and inclusive leadership by embedding a DE&I lens into everything they do, expanding DE&I awareness, capabilities and behaviours, and supporting business resource groups to deliver on their goals.
Attracting, developing, retaining and accelerating diverse talent by driving accountability for diverse representation, engaging with external partners to access talent and collaborating with IGM leaders on talent initiatives.
Leveraging DE&I in the marketplace by building synergy with IGM Financial’s sustainable investing and corporate sustainability effort, amplifying their social media voice through leadership and pursuing partnerships that enhance their strategy.
IGM Financial’s Board and Senior Management DE&I Policy, adopted in 2016, had a diversity objective of at least 30 per cent both women and men directors by calendar-end 2021. This was surpassed, with 33 per cent of the company’s Board positions held by women. In addition, the company had a target for women to hold 35 per cent of vice-president and above roles by the end of 2021. While they did not meet this target, increasing the representation of women and Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities in its leadership is a priority in their corporate strategy. To drive continued progress, the company has updated its leadership targets to 35 per cent women at the vice-president level or above (including 40 per cent at the assistant vice-president level or above), as well as 3.5 per cent Black executive representation, by 2025.
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. Similarly, Canada Life also formed a new employee resource group (ERG) for Black and Persons of Colour, alongside its ERGs for Women in Leadership, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous Peoples, Persons with Disabilities and Young Professionals. As for Wealthsimple, its goal is to have 3.5 per cent of executive and board roles based in Canada made up of Black leaders by 2025.
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.
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 be notably age, gender, sexual identity and orientation, disability, ethnicity, and cultural and religious background.
IGM Financial believes that one of the greatest contributions it can make is through sustained action on DE&I within its company, its investments, its industry and its communities. The company understands the importance DE&I plays in attracting, developing, retaining and accelerating diverse talent, by driving accountability for diverse representation, engaging with external partners to access talent and collaborating with IGM leaders on talent initiatives. They also require all their people leaders have DE&I objectives as part of their annual short-term incentive objectives.
IGM Financial is taking intentional steps to increase diversity at all levels of its organization. First, the talent acquisition team continued to embed DE&I into recruiting practices through various initiatives, including: ensuring inclusive language in job postings, conducting interview training for leaders and hiring managers to reduce bias and creating new partnerships and deepening existing relationships with organizations serving diverse communities. Second, the company is working to build a pipeline of talent: in Winnipeg, the company created a new role of Senior Talent Advisor, Indigenous Relations, to help build a pipeline of strong, Indigenous talent across the company; through its support for The Onyx – an initiative that helps Black students and recent graduate access placements, mentorship and coaching – IGM Financial is able to advertise jobs, attend an annual career fair, host information sessions and provide mentors; and lastly, in partnership with Accelerate Her Future – an organization that specializes in developing and connecting Black, Indigenous and women of colour with employers – the company provides mentors and gains access to evens and an annual resume book. Third, in 2021 IGM Financial retained a third-party firm to conduct a gender pay audit among its senior managers and above to identify any pay disparities that may exist between men and women engage in work of similar value. The results showed that the company did not have a statistically significant gender pay gap and in the few instances where differences existed, actions were taken to close the gap.
To elevate the important role its diverse communities play in supporting strategic business priorities, IGM Financial created business resource groups (BRGs) to replace its more informal Partners in Action teams. The company currently has four BRGs: the Black Advisory Council, the 2SLGBTQIA+ Business Resource Group, the Indigenous Business Resource Group and the Women Business Resource Group. BRGs are volunteer employee-led groups with a common goal of cultivating an inclusive work environment through a focus on career development, mentoring, networking, and business impact. The company also created a BRG playbook to support their success and help them align their goals and activities with the overall DE&I and those of other BRGs. Throughout 2021, 330 people attended Advancing Allyship and Anti-racism workshops, four Allyship and Indigenous Reconciliation webinars were held and 65 per cent of IGM Financial employees completed inclusive behaviours training. In addition, five virtual KAIROS blanket exercises were held in the same year to deepen understanding of the historic and contemporary relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Understanding the demographic make-up of its workforce is critical for setting representation targets and tracking its progress. This is why, in late 2020 IGM Financial launched the Count me in! voluntary self-ID to gather data on many aspects of their employees’ identity. The data collected through their talent management system is confidential. Thus far, 57 per cent of the company’s employees have provided their information.
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. In 2021, to celebrate both National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canada Life’s Indigenous Peoples employee resource group hosted two virtual events to help employees learn more about the heritage and cultures of Indigenous Peoples and how to influence positive change as we work towards truth and reconciliation.
Moreover, in an effort to help employees better identify and understand their own unconscious biases and the unintended impacts they may have, Canada Life continued to offer its Inclusion for All training that provides the tools and practices to create greater inclusion at work and in our communities. Moreover, the company also continued to offer KAIROS blanket exercises. These sessions, developed by KAIROS in collaboration with Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and educators, cover more than 500 years of Canadian-Indigenous history and foster truth, respect, reconciliation and understanding of our shared history among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
In the case of Putnam Investments, the company’s various Business Impact Groups promote networking opportunities and help associates across the company build stronger relationships and gain deeper awareness of others’ experiences and cultures. For example, the Putnam Multicultural Group fosters celebration and respect for the different cultures, ethnicities and religions of the world, while the Putnam Pride Alliance works to advance a caring, affirming, and welcoming community that advocates for and celebrates the company’s LGBTQIA+ associates and allies.
Following its 2020 publication of commitments to help make Wealthsimple more inclusive, the company has been proactive in sharing regular updates about how it is working to make itself more inclusive and diverse. Some highlights from 2021 and 2022 include:
Wealthsimple hired a director of DE&I with the task to deepen the company’s DE&I practices, develop strategies to bring about systemic, sustainable change and ensure that clear metrics are developed to hold the company accountable of its progress;
In March 2022, nearly 31 per cent of employees in Wealthsimple’s Engineering, Data Science, and Portfolio Management teams were women, up from 18 per cent in August 2020. In its Engineering team alone, the number of women, non-binary, transgender, intersex, two-spirit, or gender-non-conforming employees rose from 20.5 per cent to 30 per cent in 2021. In leadership roles, that number rose from 5 per cent to 24 per cent;
In 2021, Wealthsimple Magazine met its goal of having at least 20 per cent of our assigned writers and artists be racialized;
In March 2022, Wealthsimple announced its commitment to increase the representation of racialized peoples – Indigenous, Black, Latin American, Middle Eastern, North African, or West Asian – in their senior leadership. It hopes to increase the number from 33 per cent to 38 per cent by mid-2023;
Also in March 2022, the company announced another goal of increasing gender diversity among senior leadership from 42 per cent to 45 per cent by mid-2023; and
The company expanded a peer-mentoring program that enables women from across the company to share experiences and receive sponsorship from senior company leaders.
To help ensure they meet this senior leadership diversity goals, Wealthsimple has created a new senior-leadership hiring strategy, which includes practices to encourage equitable and diverse hiring and to mitigate bias. Every candidate on the shortlist for a senior-leadership role goes through a DE&I-specific interview to ensure that the company is hiring people who are invested in building diverse, inclusive teams and in fostering equitability. Wealthsimple also plans on collecting dynamic demographic data throughout the company to better understand who among their team members is thriving, being promoted, and sticking around, as well as who is leaving the company.
Moreover, aligned with its diversity-in-leadership efforts, Wealthsimple is in the process of conducting a company-wide audit to identify and address areas where bias exists, especially concerning marginalized communities. As part of that effort, they partnered with the consultancy group Feminuity, to help them better understand women’s experiences at the company. A report by the consultancy group revealed that there were six main barriers to inclusion faced by women at the company: lack of representation and in leadership, poor work-life balance, inclusive mindset, not enough psychological safety, a lack of recognition, and too much “glue work” (work that is less prestigious and less promotable). As a result of this report, Wealthsimple is committing to improve work conditions, hold leadership accountable, and establish accountability metrics to ensure women feel empowered and supported.