Giatec had a great 2022! One of the highlights was receiving recognition for our efforts toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Giatec received the Hire Immigrants Ottawa Employer Excellence Award for the second year in a row. Likewise, it also received the Best Leader for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from the Best Ottawa Business Awards. Giatec couldn’t be prouder of this recognition.
Implementing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Giatec
As an organization founded by two Iranian immigrants, Giatec has always valued diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the company has grown, these values of DEI have only strengthened. These are some of the ways that Giatec has implemented DEI activities and practices within our organization. We will also discuss how they have impacted the organization over the past year.
Hiring and Empowering a World-Class Workforce
Hiring a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We believe that to achieve a world-class workforce, it is necessary to have diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This provides tangible benefits that enhance our understanding of the global business and the industry needs of our clients. A global perspective enables Giatec to bring robust, innovative solutions to the world as we revolutionize the concrete industry.
Our team includes over 120 employees who have immigrated from over 15 different countries and speak over 20 languages. In addition, more than 38% of our workforce are women, who are also in leadership, scientific and technical roles. Given that the tech and construction industries are both largely male-dominated, 38% is a significant representation split.
We lead by example in all areas of the business and our leadership team is no exception. They are a true representation of the openness and inclusion we strive for. Our leadership team comprises 50% women. As well, over 75% of this team were born outside of Canada and have various cultural and religious backgrounds.
Refraining From Layoffs and Hiring Freezes During the Pandemic
On the contrary, our headcount has continued to grow. We have remained creative with our recruitment process in order to bring in the best possible talent to our team. A large portion of our headcount growth has been achieved through international recruitment as well as expanding our global markets by hiring international representatives.
In our last fiscal year, we were able to bring on board an additional 7 full-time employees from international locations. Those include India, Dubai, Brazil, Jordan, the UK, and the USA. This is in addition to employees we already had working in both Brazil and South Africa.
Giatec is actively partnering with organizations such as Invest Ottawa, Hire Immigrants Ottawa, and World Skills. This allows us to access internationally trained talent and provide equal employment opportunities. Giatec is also actively participating in Mentorship sessions and career coaching with recent immigrants to support new immigrants, help them integrate into the community and workforce as well as transfer important skills and knowledge.
Welcoming and Open Onboarding Process That Includes International Talent
Diversity, equity and inclusion are practices we always include in employee onboarding, departmental meetings, monthly and quarterly meetings, and other interactions. We believe that these practices not only create a positive working environment but also benefit our employees. Diversity, equity and inclusion allow them to be exposed to different cultures, beliefs, and norms, which help develop their cultural intelligence.
Upon onboarding, our new employees have the opportunity to meet multiple Giatec employees who are not a part of their immediate team. This allows them to build connections across the board. The same practices apply to remote employees so they all have the same opportunities to grow and connect with the team.
Very importantly, we embrace skilled immigrants and encourage them to showcase their international experience. That is integral to Giatec’s success, as we operate internationally. International experience brings a diverse perspective that allows us to have more innovative dialogues with employees and customers. The experience of our employees can also include international training, which sometimes covers different expertise and subjects. A greater knowledge base helps to create a multidisciplinary approach to different professional areas. For this reason, we encourage sharing skills throughout our different teams, and we provide opportunities for employees to job shadow other employees. Our employees with particular expertise are encouraged to present internal ‘Lunch n’ Learns’ so that everyone can experience and learn from their expertise.
DEI Practices Help Us Revolutionize the Industry
Giatec’s relationship with diversity, equity and inclusion is one that is always ongoing and evolving. While we are extremely proud of where we are now, we know that there are always more ways for us to develop and improve our DEI policies as our team grows. We never want to be stagnant, and the more diversity, equity and inclusion play a role in our organization, the stronger we will be as a company.
For that reason, our goal is that all Giatec team members feel integrated, comfortable, and included in our Giatec community, with access to equal opportunities no matter their gender, race, religion, etc. Our policies strive to eliminate conscious/unconscious bias that can present itself through working relationships, recruitment processes, and promotion/salary discussions.
We look forward to continuing to develop our DEI strength through new initiatives in 2023!