Loblaw named one of Canada's best diversity employers


Loblaw Companies' recent efforts to hire more female store managers helped to earn it a spot on a list of Canadian companies that are doing a good job promoting employment diversity.

Loblaw was one of 45 companies named to "Canada's Best Diversity Employers" list for 2011 by MediaCorp Canada, a publisher of employment guides.

A program started by Loblaw three years ago to increase the number of females running its stores has resulted in a 54% increase in women managers.

Loblaw has also made an effort to promote more women from within. It created an online network called Women@Loblaw that gives professional development support to women staffers through mentoring and workshops.

Loblaw has widened its recruitment efforts beyond the traditional channels as well. It has worked with non-profit groups such as Career Edge and ACCES Employment to give hiring managers more exposure to a broad range of candidates.

Loblaw also uses diversity-oriented jobsites such as TalentOyster.com and DiversityWorking.ca. And it has gotten involved in job fairs such as the Aboriginal Human Resources Council's Inclusion Works career fair in Toronto and Montreal, and the Rainbow Employment Network's job fair in Toronto.

MediaCorp applauded Loblaw for translating job advertisements and inserting them as part of product flyers in order to attract ethnic applicants. 

At head office, Loblaw has created what it calls the Inclusion Council. Made up of senior leadership, its mandate is to make sure Loblaw stores reflect the ethnicity of their communities, increase the percentage of women store managers and hire more people with disabilities.

"Being recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers is a testament to the value on reflecting the diverse make-up of the communities we serve in all parts of our business," Judy McCrie, executive vice-president of human resources and labour relations at Loblaw, said in a statement.

According to MediaCorp., 54% of all Loblaw employees are women, including 47% of managers. Fifteen per cent of its total workforce is made up of visible minorities, including 14% of managers.

Other food industry companies that made the Best Diversity Employers list this year include Procter & Gamble and Agrium Inc.

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