Mississauga companies increasing gender balance and inclusion of underrepresented groups
Published January 25, 2022 at 11:44 am
Building and growing a business can be challenging for a multitude of different reasons, especially during the pandemic which has hit a number of sectors, many of those being small businesses, exceptionally hard.
That’s why Mississauga’s Economic Development Office (EDO) is working towards achieving three crucial factors that can help businesses and the city’s economic recovery – equity, diversity, and inclusive growth.
“Inclusion is a critical driver for ensuring economic growth and prosperity for all,” according to EDO’s Economic Recovery Plans. “Economic recovery will only be achieved when all community stakeholders have equal opportunities for economic mobility.”
What is inclusive growth?
Inclusive growth means expanding your business with the diversity of all members of your community in mind, including those who have not been equally represented throughout history and in today’s business world. Growing inclusively means that these truths are kept in mind when business decisions are made.
Why give priority to underrepresented groups?
Not all groups have benefitted equally throughout history, which is why Mississauga EDO is trying to reduce systemic barriers for people who might experience different challenges to accessing opportunities. By giving priority to underrepresented groups, the goal is to increase participation in the economy and build a more inclusive and equitable workforce.
How can businesses in Mississauga work towards inclusive growth, equity, and diversity?
Mississauga’s EDO has several different programs and initiatives that align with the City’s Economic Recovery Plans (Broader Industry and Small Business), focusing on taking an inclusive approach without being exclusive to any group. By not being exclusive, EDO wishes to reflect the diversity in Mississauga and engage everyone in the conversation of inclusivity as we grow and move forward together.
Through different inclusive recovery initiatives (including Women in Mississauga Manufacturing, and Life Sciences Equity and Diversity Collaborative), the EDO has been working with local companies towards shared goals of increasing gender balance, as well as diversity and inclusion of underrepresented populations in Mississauga’s local workforce.
Women in Mississauga Manufacturing Lunch and Learn Series
In response to the talent and skills challenges the local manufacturing community is facing, the EDO hosted Lunch and Learn Sessions on how to recruit/attract, retain, and advance women in advanced manufacturing employment positions. These three previous Lunch and Learn Sessions provided companies with strategies and tactics to increase the number of women applying for manufacturing positions, along with information about retaining employees and helping them advance once they are hired.
Additionally, Mississauga’s Economic Development Office has partnered with Build a Dream an organization which delivers specialized programs to encourage and empower women to explore careers where they are under-represented, to provide support to Mississauga advanced manufacturing companies looking to increase the number of women applying to available positions.
Watch the Women in Mississauga Manufacturing Lunch and Learn Sessions Below:
- Session 1: Data to Help Tell Your Story: The First Step in Your EDI Strategy
- Session 2: A New Approach to Talent Attraction Brand-Building/Recruitment
- Session 3: Tangible Tools to Help With Retention
Life Sciences Equity and Diversity Collaborative
Another initiative that aligns with the City’s Economic Recovery Framework is the Life Sciences Equity, & Diversity Collaborative. This initiative was announced in collaboration with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (Canada Region) and consists of several healthcare and life sciences companies dedicated to advancing gender equity and diversity in the workplace. Through this initiative, the EDO supports companies achieve their Equity, Diversity and Inclusion goals by developing strategic programs and facilitating opportunities for its members to connect, share best practices and learn from one another.
In response to company feedback, the Economic Development Office hosted a Diversity Recruitment Fair to learn about various organizations supporting the recruitment and hiring of underrepresented community groups. Watch the recorded Equity and Diversity Collaborative Fair Sessions below:
Entrepreneur Scale-Up Program
As noted by the EDO, the Entrepreneur Scale-up Program is a four-month program that supports innovative and inclusive companies as they work to grow and overcome barriers.
The program has allowed workshop and seminar attendees to address common challenges faced by companies, connect with experienced mentors, speakers, and peers, and present to investors, funders, and industry partners to get started on their next round of funding, sales, or partnerships.
To view recordings of past events, click here.
With a focus on Industry 4.0, sustainability, and inclusive recovery, the tailored program exists to help companies grow while contributing to social and environmental change. Industry 4.0 uses digital technologies to monitor, control, and improve machinery and processes, which can help companies increase productivity, reduce costs, or improve the quality of products or services.
Priority of the program is given to businesses owned or led by individuals from underrepresented communities such as women, Black entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, members of racialized communities, youth, members of the LGBTQ2 community, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, and members of official language minority communities.
Learn more about the Entrepreneur Scale-up Program here.
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