National Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarking Study

CCDI and Dalhousie University release results of national study on diversity and inclusion in Canadian workplaces

In 2017, Dalhousie University and CCDI formed a research partnership, with the commitment to collaborate on conducting a benchmarking study with the goal of capturing national data on the following:

  • Diversity and inclusion practices in Canadian organizations.
  • The working relationships between Senior Leaders of organizations and their diversity and inclusion D&I) managers.

This project was led by Dr. Eddy Ng (Dalhousie University) and his team comprising of Dr. Greg Sears (Carleton University) and Dr. Kara A. Arnold (Memorial University of Newfoundland).

In June of 2018, CCDI launched two online surveys, for Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel. The surveys aimed to capture the current state of D&I management, as well as attitudes and perceptions of D&I practices that are occurring at Canadian organizations. A total of 56 Senior Leader surveys and 168 Diversity Personnel surveys were submitted.


This report presents the results of the two online surveys for Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel. The surveys were made publicly available between June through November 2018. Senior Leaders and Diversity Personnel working at Canadian organizations were invited to participate. A total of 56 Senior Leader surveys and 168 Diversity Personnel surveys were analyzed.

Senior Leaders’ attitudes and commitment to D&I

The figure on the following page highlights findings from the Senior Leaders’ survey. The vast majority of Senior Leaders (95%) believe that diversity is a business strategy that positively contributes to innovation, creativity and problem solving. Moreover, 100% of Senior Leaders believe that diverse viewpoints add value to their organizations. The vast majority (91%) also indicate that D&I is a mission that they value and are committed to.

Although Senior Leaders are committed to diversity as a business strategy, only 73% indicate that they emphasize D&I in their business strategies, and even less (68%) indicate that they frequently communicate about D&I to their employees.

These findings suggest that while Senior Leaders do see value in D&I as a business strategy, more communications and emphasis on enacting D&I strategies is necessary.


CCDI and Dalhousie University thank all survey participants for contributing to work that is aimed at improving D&I in Canadian organizations.

CCDI and Dalhousie also acknowledge funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC Insight Grant #435-2016-1227) and the F.C. Manning Chair in Economics and Business at Dalhousie University in support of this project.

Please click here to read the full report.

Research / Study

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