The Responsible Investment Association is creating a statement on diversity and inclusion and inviting Canadian institutional investors to sign on.

The initial signatories of the statement, which is currently circulating, include the Alberta Investment Management Corp. the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the OPSEU Pension Trust and the University of Toronto Asset Management among others. The RIA said investors have until Sept. 30, 2020 to sign the document.

“Promoting diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do; it is good for business and our society,” read the statement. “A growing body of research shows that higher levels of diversity and inclusion are associated with improved corporate financial performance, driving growth and strengthening employee engagement. Incorporating diversity and inclusion into business decisions can create opportunities for underrepresented groups while simultaneously contributing to leadership development, improved reputation and a stronger governance and risk profile.”

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The statement further outlined that, as investors, signatories expect Canadian companies to endeavour to enhance annual public disclosures of diversity data; adopt policies, targets and timelines to improve diversity on boards and among senior management; and bolster and disclose how they intend to address barriers to diversity and inclusion.

In turn, signatories promise to engage with their portfolio companies on their expectations of improved diversity and inclusion practices; integrate such practices into their own investment processes; and improve diversity and inclusion practices at an organizational level.

“We will report on our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and we commit to reviewing and updating our approach as we learn from our experience,” said the statement. “We invite other investors to join us and share experiences and best practices to enhance our purposeful and collective efforts to bring about a more inclusive and anti-racist business and investment landscape in Canada.”

Read: Scotiabank to increase workforce diversity, combat racial discrimination in workplace