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After a whirlwind start to the year and the culmination of a successful week of International Women’s Day events, I took a moment to reflect on several recent conversations with individuals from the Ottawa and Kanata North business community – particularly those on diversity and, more specifically, how diversity positively affects business outcomes.

We all know that having different perspectives at the table is good for lively after-dinner conversations. More importantly, we all intuitively know that diversity
is good for innovation. At this point, most of you will say “show me the data.” Well, now there is more data to demonstrate that companies with more diverse, or
inclusive, workforces see greater financial returns.

In a 2018 report titled Diversity Matters, McKinsey researchers found “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity and those in the top quartile for gender diversity are respectively 35 per cent and 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.” This report, among others, shines light on the evidence that diversity drives innovation, and innovation helps drive bottom-line results.

My conclusion? Diversity + inclusion = better business outcomes. Period.

Business leaders and companies in Kanata North increasingly regard inclusion and diversity in their workforce as a source of competitive advantage and a key enabler of growth. The Kanata North workforce is comprised of individuals with many different mental and physical abilities, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities and perspectives. (Stay tuned, the Kanata North Business
Association will have more to share on this!)

Attracting, nurturing and retaining diverse talent is a source of opportunity for Kanata North. As Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North is all about unprecedented growth and opportunity. Contributing $13 billion to Canada’s GDP and with more than 33,000 workers and in excess of 540 companies, we are Canada’s capital of technology
and innovation. #SuccessHappensHere because our engine is our people, and their innovation (and diversity) is our strength.

I am putting a challenge out to our Kanata North business community to engage in
and continue the conversation on how your organization can attract and hire diverse talent and foster diversity. C-suite and HR leaders set the tone at the top. Make diversity, inclusion and equity part of your core values. I also strongly encourage you all to share your successes and lessons learned.

I look forward to exploring the topic of diversity and inclusion, creating more space for these conversations and, helping connect diverse bright minds to the many opportunities that are abundant in the Tech Park.

Veronica Farmer
Director of Operations,
Kanata North Business Association

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