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Benchmarking diversity & inclusion practices

Posted by Rowe School of Business on February 21, 2019 in Research

Dalhousie University and CCDI release results national study on diversity and inclusion in Canadian workplaces

In 2017, Dalhousie University and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion formed a research partnership, with the commitment to collaborate on conducting a benchmarking study with the goal of capturing national data on the following:

  • Diversity and inclusion practices in Canadian organizations.
  • The working relationships between Senior Leaders of organizations and their diversity and inclusion D&I) managers.

This project was led by Dr. Eddy Ng (Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University) and his team comprising of Dr. Greg Sears (Carleton University) and Dr. Kara A. Arnold (Memorial University of Newfoundland).

In June of 2018, CCDI launched two online surveys, for Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel. The surveys aimed to capture the current state of D&I management, as well as attitudes and perceptions of D&I practices that are occurring at Canadian organizations. A total of 56 Senior Leader surveys and 168 Diversity Personnel surveys were submitted.


According to a 2006 Conference Board of Canada Report, there is a growing awareness of the importance of D&I strategies. This commitment requires leadership buy-in that is supported by sound practices and policies which include active D&I communications and measurable objectives. Deloitte’s 2012 and 2013 reports that examined D&I in relation to leadership and organization performance also indicate that Senior Leaders and Managers can affect the D&I climate within an organization by influencing attitudes, values, communications, plans and policies.

Keeping in mind the important role that Senior Leaders and Managers have in developing a D&I culture, the current study aimed to capture two things:

  • The attitudes and communication strategies of Senior Leaders in relation to D&I, and
  • The perceptions of Diversity Personnel in relation to D&I investments and strategies that are being implemented in their organizations.

The purpose of collecting this data is to provide a national benchmarking resource that aids Canadian organizations when they are assessing their D&I development.


This report presents the results of the two online surveys for Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel. The surveys were made publicly available between June through November 2018. Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel working at Canadian organizations were invited to participate. A total of 56 Senior Leader surveys and 168 Diversity Personnel surveys were analyzed.

Read the full report [PDF - 658 kb].