On October 24, leaders from business, finance, education, and the not-for-profit sectors gathered in Vancouver for a roundtable to explore ways to leverage diversity to gain a business edge and stimulate economic growth.
Co-organized by IEC-BC and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s Pluralism Project and hosted by RBC Royal Bank, the event aimed to capture the economic benefits of diversity, and identify ways in which Canadian businesses can effectively contribute to the global connections and benefit from them.
Participants noted that while diversity in Canada is a fact, inclusion is a conscious choice that needs to be supported by forward-looking decisions, policies, programs, and adequate infrastructure. And in a highly competitive global economy, access to international talent becomes one of the critical factors that can help boost productivity and innovation.
“Right now it’s not the “why,” but the “how,” said Kelly Pollack, IEC-BC’s CEO at the event. We need the right people to help grow our businesses, and we also need a comprehensive plan to maximize the contributions of skilled immigrants, international graduates, and refugees that have made Canada home.”
The event in Vancouver was one of the seven roundtables co-organized by the Pluralism Project across Canada with participation of more than 100 organizations. A report with policy recommendations is expected to be released in early 2017.