Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

To understand DEI, an employer must understand the definitions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and what it looks like in the workplace. 

Diversity in a workforce is when there is a wide range of backgrounds and cultural traits amongst the team and it is shown to foster innovation, improve problem-solving capabilities, and reflect the diversity of communities.  The general definition of equity sees deserving groups such as those who identify as women, Indigenous Peoples, persons of colour, persons with disabilities, and/or LGBTQIA2S+ peoples treated fairly and respectfully in the workplace with equal opportunities for training and promotion and compensation. Inclusion is valuing a sense of belonging during the onboarding, management and performance review processes and creating a psychologically safe workplace.

Click the button below to view an example of a DEI policy developed by the Canadian Wood Council. 


With the competition in the labour market affecting many VAW employers, seeking to diversify their workforce can provide opportunities to access potential employees outside their current pool of candidates.   

  • Click Here to Find out more about hiring from Indigenous groups with Indigenous Works Tips for hiring Aboriginal employees
  • WorkBC provides information on programs and supports for employees with disabilities. Click Here to learn more
  • Ready, Willing and Able provides assistance in hiring employees with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. Click Here to learn more
  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters has created a summary on how to attract women to the manufacturing sector. Click Here to view the report


Employers should review hiring processes to identify and determine if bias exists within current procedures.  An overall focus should be on skills and abilities to the extent possible for each role and ensure that the same questions are asked of every applicant.  Notes should be taken during each interview and when possible,  include more than one individual, either during one interview with the candidate or in a first and second round format.  A review of resumes or candidates that were not selected can provide insight into whether there is bias at play, whether subconscious or not. All interview notes should be kept on file, attached to the resume, for review during a regularly scheduled HR audit that can identify areas for improvement.

The new Pay Transparency Act , effective November 1, 2023 in BC, was enacted to require employers to pay employees fairly and treat underrepresented employees equally.  Employers should ensure they understand the requirements under the Act and implement required changes to their recruiting processes, pay procedures and reporting requirements, when necessary.


Lack of trust, communication challenges and differing working styles can impact the employee experience in a negative way.  Employers should proactively create an environment that is inclusive and respectful and ensure employees feel supported in identifying opportunities for improvement.  Training should be provided to senior leaders to encourage and motivate their team and to promote and advocate for an inclusive working environment.

HR's Role

HR can take the lead in creating a DEI policy for the business and gaining support from senior leaders in making it a priority and gain buy-in for the goals and objectives it sets out.  HR can also implement DEI initiatives during the recruitment process and expanding the pool of candidates with the help of external resources to help a business meet their labour needs.  AS well, HR should ensure that the business is meeting all pay transparency requirements under the new legislation.