Benefits Canada’s June issue is our annual diversity, equity and inclusion issue. The DEI Leadership columns explore the various ways employers, benefits and pension plan sponsors and institutional investors are integrating diversity, equity and inclusion efforts into their workplaces, benefits packages and investment portfolios. You can read all of them below.

Canada Life

David B. Simmonds, Senior Vice-President, Global Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer

“Our goal is to be a workplace that reflects the communities we live in—with an inclusive, safe and welcoming culture that ensures everyone is valued as their full selves.”

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Shelley Sjoberg, Assistant Vice-President, Product Development and Support

“We’ve focused on building solutions that remove barriers and meet plan members wherever they are, such as virtual health care. We’re also extending gender affirmation supports to our entire business.”

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Medavie Blue Cross

Jennifer Taylor-Oland, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“We want to hear from people with a wide range of backgrounds and we’re applying this approach when looking at other benefit offerings for fertility, women’s health and more.”

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Sun Life

Marie-Chantal Côté, Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits

“We heard loud and clear that applying an inclusive lens is important—and that employers and providers have work to do to meet the needs of diverse Canadians.”

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Arthur J. Gallagher

Farzeen Mawji, National Practice Leader, Inclusion & Diversity Practice in Canada

“When organizations embed DEI into everything they do, employees have an environment in which they feel safe to share their opinions and perspectives, and that drives innovation and creativity.”

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Sunil Hirjee, Vice-President, Group Sales & Partner Experience, Brokerage and Consulting for Ontario, Western and Atlantic Canada

“Beneva is all about people protecting people. We focus on DEI because it drives employee engagement by creating an environment that respects and celebrates differences and similarities.”

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MFS Investment Management

Dan Fiala, Associate Director, Relationship Management
Nadia Savva, Managing Director, Insurance Platforms and Subadvisory

“We see DEI as an ongoing journey for MFS and our industry. We’re always mindful of the work we must do to progress, and we’re setting the foundation to do that work effectively.”

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Novo Nordisk

Angie Ng, Director, Human Resources
Cal Rolle, Diversity & Inclusion Manager

“It’s our responsibility as an organization to make sure employees feel safe and know they belong. DEI isn’t a shiny object. It’s part of our organizational culture and fabric.”

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Sun Life

Marie-Chantal Côté, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits

“Every Canadian should have the opportunity to feel valued and included, and every organization should cultivate an environment in which that happens.”

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William Blair

William Blair Investment Management colleagues Gil Fitzgerald, Corwin Marbly and Xiaowei Hargrove meet for a post-lockdown happy hour in Chicago in the fall of 2021.

Interview with Stephanie Braming, Partner, Global Head of Investment Management

“You get a 'diversity bonus' when you add individuals who can foster debate and foster different viewpoints. I believe this ultimately leads to better outcomes for our clients.”

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