1) What is workplace diversity?

Workplace diversity means creating an inclusive environment that embraces people's individual differences and provides opportunities for all staff to achieve their full potential.

When staff is encouraged to work in their areas of strength and capability, they are happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with the organization.


2) What are the benefits of a diverse workforce?

Recognizing diversity also allows for employees to feel needed and have a sense of belonging, which in turn increases their commitment to the company and allows each

person to contribute in a unique way. Other Highlights of a diverse workforce:

Builds trust and reassurance Reduce absenteeism and workplace bullying Minimizes workplace conflicts, safety and health concerns.


3) How do I retain a diverse workforce?

Retaining a diverse workforce is as easy as respecting people and embracing the differences that exist in your organization. You can also include diversity as part of your mission statement and display it on your website. This works both for recruiting and retaining a diverse staff. As well be aware of your own biases and stereotypes and integrate diversity training into your work environment.


4) What practical steps can an employer take to maintain a diverse workforce?

Employees stay at organizations because they feel valued, respected, and appreciated.

“Great ways to engage diverse talent are through executive/leadership - development programs and ongoing mentoring for promotional opportunities. Employees should be

encouraged at every level to participate in the diversity process. 


5) Why hire an immigrant?

By 2030, immigration will account for nearly all of Canada’s population growth. “The Canadian - born workforce is shrinking and the demand for labour is growing. Skilled immigrants fill that need and help Canadian companies do business with the world. They boost innovation and reflect the markets in which Can adian organizations operate.


6) What can employers do to attract both Immigrant and Aboriginal candidates?

Reach out to different places. If you are always recruiting from the same place. It will be hard to increase your diversity. Contact the Central Vancouver I

sland Multicultural society and local Aboriginal Employment programs offered through Snuneymuxw, Tillicum and Nanaimo Youth Services - just to name a few to find a more diverse labor pool.


7) B.C. has so many skilled immigrants; we don’t need to worry, right?

In British Columbia, more than one million jobs will be created by 2015. At the same time, more than one-quarter of the current workforce will retire. This is a challenge for which there need to be both short and long-term solutions. Across the globe, countries are experiencing similar demands for labour. With this new reality, British Columbia is in direct competition with other regions for skilled workers. (From Campbell River and Area Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association)


8) In the present economic environment it is hard for me to think of hiring at this point?

While the current economic slowdown may lead to lay - offs or a freeze in hiring in some sectors – a temporary respite,labour shortage will soon be felt across many sectors. Falling birth rates, unprecedented retirements and an increasing demand for top talent will continue put pressure on employers to meet their labour force needs, more so when the economic slowdown rebounds.


9) I am worried about how the new diverse population is going to adapt to our community. I want to hire a more diverse staff, but what if they cannot get used to Nanaimo?

Staff is always the most valuable asset to an organization. You want to make sure they feel comfortable and supported in a new place. Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society has various services to help new employees to settle in the area, including language learning, settlement support and much more. Go to CVIMS.



10) Immigrants and local people both can work. I still don’t see the point of hiring immigrants instead of local people.

Hiring locally is important. However, when this is not an option, it is important to consider the asset immigrants bring to your organization. According to Intercultural Employment Department if Kamloops Immigrants Services, “by hiring immigrants and visible minorities, employees gain employees with great diversity in their education, training, skills and life experience. These employees bring a fresh perspective and diverse point of view, allowing businesses to better connect with clientele.”