The City of Ottawa has been recognized as being among Canada’s top diversity leaders in an annual competition that evaluates employers based on a range of workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs.
More than 2,750 employers of all sizes from the public and private sectors across Canada competed in this year’s Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition.
“The City strives to build diversity awareness among our employees as a direct reflection of the makeup of the community that we serve,” said Mayor Jim Watson in a news release. “This distinction recognizes our continuing commitment to having a workplace that is inclusive and accessible to all.”
Among the initiatives that earned Ottawa the recognition include a partnership with the City for All Women Initiative to help identify barriers to employment and to eliminate discrimination.
The city co-leads a committee with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition to work with community groups on finding solutions to issues affecting Aboriginals, and is a member of the Employment Accessibility Resource Network, working with service providers and employers to help persons with disabilities find jobs.
Hire Immigrants Ottawa is another partnership between the city and community groups, focusing on advancing the hiring of skilled immigrants.
A program called Diversity Champion builds relationships between the Ottawa Paramedic Service and minority groups to encourage their members to consider paramedicine as a career.
And the Ottawa Fire Services runs a “female firefighters in training” camp, a mentoring program for young women aged 15 to 19.
“The City is working with the community to ensure that all residents have equal access to facilities, products, services, grants, and employment opportunities,” said city manager Kent Kirkpatrick in the release.
“Our ongoing priority is to eliminate barriers and to generate a culture at the City of Ottawa that is respectful and inclusive.”
Since 2002, the City of Ottawa has had a policy in place to ensure equitable and inclusive recruitment practices. It also offers an award that recognizes employees who have worked to advance diversity initiatives within the government.
The Best Diversity Employers competition is managed by Mediacorp Canada Inc., a publisher of speciality employment periodicals and guides. Other Canadian cities recognized in the competition this year are Vancouver and Saskatoon.
The City of Ottawa also ranked among Mediacorp’s list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in 2012.
In addition to diversity, Mediacorp runs several other national competitions to recognize employers for excellence in issues of special interest, such as family-friendly workplaces, environmental values, young people, and older Canadians.