A Message from Kelly Pollack, IEC-BC CEO – May 2016

Vancouver is becoming a truly global city, with major demographic and cultural shifts happening everywhere. A recent column in The Vancouver Sun describes just how fast this pace of change is. Two out of three Vancouverites were born outside the Province (a whopping 42% were born in foreign countries, and another 16% came from regions outside of BC).

As I think about these changes, I can’t help asking myself, “Are we ready to embrace these changes? Are we ready to welcome new Canadians with their different accents and perspectives in our workplaces?”

In today’s fast-paced, increasingly global environment, diversity is a key component in the innovation cycle. As noted in a recent EY report, it is a critical factor in an organization’s ability to generate better ideas and products, attract new clients and partners, and improve both reputation and financial performance.

Yet despite these obvious opportunities, we are still not leveraging the global talent that is at our doorstep, and we continue to frame immigrants as having deficits instead of bringing assets. And this is costing us dearly.

Very often, it’s our conscious and unconscious biases that are to blame.  This was one of the main conclusions of the  Employer Forum: Unlock Bias, Leverage Global Talent that we hosted earlier this year.

Being a global city offers both opportunities and challenges. So let’s seize the opportunities, and disrupt our biases – because it’s ALREADY 2016!