Diversity in the workplace: an ongoing debate

Until recently, Garda World, an international security services firm, held a number of online job postings “for Canadian Citizens only.” The company soon withdrew these ads, but this event raises once again the issue of diversity management in the workplace. After all, integration starts at work.

In Canada, Garda is well known as one of the main companies that hires screening officers for many of the country’s airports. As such, many where shocked when news came out that some of their job ads excluded employment opportunities to non-Canadians, an act against federal regulations. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) stipulates that security workers can be either citizens or permanent residents.

“These are requirements and they have to be clear so we’ve asked Garda to modify their language on recruitment postings, and we understand they will do that as soon as they can,” said Mathieu Larocque, CATSA spokesperson, to the CBC.

Such exclusionary practices are nothing new, yet the advantages of having a diverse immigrant workforce are plenty and undisputed.

In 2013, the Globe and Mail published a special feature discussing workplace diversity, and the conclusion was clear.

“From boosting innovation to capturing greater market share and reducing employee turnover, the benefits of workplace diversity are well documented and embraced by leading Canadian employers.”

One such employer is Zabeen Hirji, who sits on RBC’s executive committee as the head of the Human Ressources department. “To win in your market, you need to hire the market,” she states.

Garda now encourages affected past candidates to file a complaint about their experience, and investigations could be launched.
 

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