Canada's Best
Diversity Employers (2017)
Winners from our 10th annual editorial competition
Enjoying a lighter moment at Toronto's Distillery District (PHOTO CREDIT: Weekend Images/Getty)

About the Competition

A child care worker at YMCA of Greater Toronto and some of her young charges


Now in its 10th year, Canada's Best Diversity Employers recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. This competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: (a) Women; (b) Members of visible minorities; (c) Persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; and (e) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transsexual (LGBT) peoples. This competition replaced our two annual rankings of the top employers for women and visible minorities, which we published as an appendix to our book between 2002 and 2007, when the present competition was launched. Read the special magazine announcing this year's winners published in the March 28, 2017 edition of The Globe and Mail.

Selection Process

To determine this year's winners of the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition, Mediacorp editors reviewed diversity and inclusiveness initiatives at employers that applied for the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. From this overall applicant pool, a smaller short-list of employers with noteworthy and unique diversity initiatives was developed. The short-listed candidates' programs were then compared to those of other employers in the same field. The finalists chosen represent the diversity leaders in their industry and region of Canada.

Governor General David Johnston presents the Meritorious Service Medal to RBC's chief human resources officer Zabeen Hirji for her work in advancing diversity and inclusion

Editorial Partner

The Globe and Mail is our editorial partner on the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition. Each year, we co-publish a large national magazine announcing the winners, which appears in The Globe's national edition. Read the Globe's feature on this year's winners. You can also read the press release from March 28, 2017 from the organizers with additional background on this year's competition.

SaskTel employees volunteer at a local soup kitchen

Eligibility Requirements

Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply for this competition. Employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector. Each applicant must have an interesting initiative for at least one of the five above diversity groups covered by this competition.

2018 Competition

Applications for our 2018 competition will be available early in 2017. Our 2018 winners will be announced in The Globe and Mail early in 2018.

Editorial Conference

To learn more about the competition, we invite you to join us at the Top Employer Summit, our annual editorial conference on the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This event lets you discover the latest best practices from winners, meet competition organizers and editors, and hear inspiring stories from world-class speakers – all presented in a commercial-free format. The conference is Canada’s largest annual event for senior-level HR professionals.

I arrived in Canada from India in May of last year. I felt very isolated being in a new place. I was applying for jobs and heard nothing, there were no replies. After months of unanswered applications, I became associated with The Mentoring Partnership (TMP). With coaching from my mentor from CIBC, I connected with potential employers and was soon able to join CIBC. I went from knowing no one in Canada to finding one person who believed in me and shortly after a whole organization that believes in me.

Richika Singhal, Sourcing Associate, CIBC

I’m really proud of my visibility against all odds. It’s a world that is dangerous when you are visibly Trans. You have to be strong and brave to overcome every little barrier that is going to get thrown your way daily. And there will be a significant amount. For me nevertheless, visibility is liberty, and it is important that I am visible so that others don’t have to be.

Rachel Clark, IT Specialist and award winning Transgender Activist, TD Bank

The diversity of CMHC’s employees is something that we can all be proud of. We enjoy a workplace where everyone is encouraged to be their true self and share their diverse perspectives. As “One CMHC” our collective strength stems from our individual uniqueness. Whether it’s language, religion, colour, gender, beliefs, abilities, skills, interests -- everyone’s contribution to CMHC’s diverse workplace adds to the collective richness of our culture.

Peter De Barros, CMHC’s National Diversity Champion

Members of the recruitment team at the City of Edmonton meeting with local community college graduates
Members of the recruitment team at the City of Edmonton meeting with local community college graduates


Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2017 set an outstanding example of how Canadians make diversity our strength.

From corporate strategy to successful implementation, these employers make diversity and inclusion integral to their workplaces and the way they do business. By hiring people who truly reflect all Canadians, including new immigrants, aboriginals, LGBTQ people and those with disabilities, these organizations benefit too, boosting their energy and innovation through an influx of fresh voices.

Additionally - because we're not there yet - many organizations have targeted programs supporting women employees, particularly in industries such as engineering, mining or agribusiness.

For instance, Agrium Inc. in Calgary recently piloted a Women's Leadership Development program to prepare high potential female candidates for senior management positions, matching participants with a mentor as well as with a group of potential sponsors.

Notably, women at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto currently comprise approximately half of their senior leadership team and 36 per cent of the firm's board of directors, a result of maintaining an annual internal pipeline scorecard that records the gender demographics of partners, associates and students.

Besides creating a safe and inclusive environment at work, most companies also reach out to the community at large, forming partnerships with local or national groups. Just a few of many examples include: Toronto's KPMG LLP that recently began providing employment assistance to veterans by partnering with Canada Company's Military Employment Transition Program; Sodexo Canada in Burlington that partnered with Ready Willing and Able Canada last year to hire more than 100 individuals with disabilities; and SaskTel's partnerships with First Nations bands, tribal councils and aboriginal employment agencies with the aim of increasing the number of aboriginal employees in their work force.

Then there's the City of Ottawa, that over the past year participated in more than 30 recruitment fairs, conducted 34 information sessions, attended 57 community outreach events and delivered 18 pre-employment workshops to foster communication with the immigrant community. Now that's saying welcome.

2017 Winners

Here are 2017 winners of the Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors' full Reasons for Selection:
Radia Chraibi, Children's Services Support Assistant with the City of Toronto, attends a Toronto Public Service Women's Network speed mentoring event.

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