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More than a Quota: The Importance of Diverse Hiring 

This blog was co-authored by Toronto Global’s Senior Advisor of Talent Partnerships, Courtney Bowen, and Senior Analyst of Business Insights, Sophia Chea.

Diversity has been a hot topic in recent years, everywhere from boardrooms to public debate, but what does it really mean to uphold it in a workplace? Along with its rise in acceptance comes a fair share of skepticism – where some consider diversity as nothing more than a buzzword – we are highlighting the importance of diversity hiring an inclusive workforce. 

“Diversity hiring,” involves creating and implementing a strategy to counteract bias, while attracting and retaining qualified candidates (Cooks-Campbell, 2021). A conscious effort to embrace diversity and equity through recruitment is critical for organizations and can provide significant benefits to workplace culture and productivity.  

However, limited candidate pools are a challenge in industries where diversity is low.  Collaborating with community organizations, professional networks, and educational institutions, posting on diversity-focused job boards and attending career fairs can broaden a company’s recruitment options.  At Toronto Global we have seen this in our work with international companies in the Toronto Region. 

The Importance of Diversity Hiring

Embracing diverse talent fosters innovation, creativity and leads to improved performance and profit. Diverse teams bring together individuals with unique perspectives and problem-solving skills.  

Diverse workforces can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover rates. This can help companies save time and funds on recruitment and training. It can be challenging to measure the impact of diverse hiring on a company’s bottom line in real-time, but there are ways to measure the long-term effects of diverse hiring through employee surveys. 

 A diverse workforce can help companies build relationships with a diverse customer base and establish deeper connections. In addition, having access to a wider spectrum of experiences and thinking can reinforce the strength and effectiveness of teams. 

For instance, a diverse sales team encourages creativity, innovation, and productivity, ultimately increasing sales and enabling a business to stay ahead of the competition. A study conducted in 2019 by McKinsey & Company showed that executive teams in the top-quartile of ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36 per cent in profitability. The same study finds that greater gender diversity equally contributes to greater profitability.  

Diversity in the workplace isn’t just about hiring, but about creating an inclusive culture where all employees feel valued and can thrive. 

The Toronto Region Advantage

The Toronto Region is one of the most culturally diverse metropolitan areas in the world boasting a kaleidoscope of languages, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. Visible minorities make up nearly 55 per cent of the population with South Asians, Chinese, and Black communities being the largest minority groups – there are over 190 different languages in the Toronto Region. In addition, 50 per cent of our population is also foreign-born – a percentage higher than any other metropolitan region in North America. 

With a large visible minority population comes a diverse talent pool. Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census, data on the Toronto Region found the following data for visible minorities:  

  • 76% of Chemists 
  • 64% of Financial and Investment Analysts   
  • 69% of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers  
  • 75% of Software Engineers and Designers  
  • 39%  of Human Resource Managers – although lower, this percentage is still higher than any other Canadian metropolitan area.  

*South Asian and Chinese make up the majority of the visible minority group share  

As for gender diversity for the same five occupations the data for women:  

  • 50% of Chemists  
  • 43% of Financial and Investment Analysts  
  • 25% of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers  
  • 21% of Software Engineers and Designers  
  • 73% of Human Resources Managers  
Diversity Hiring Graph 1
Diversity by occupation in the Toronto Region
Diversity Hiring Graph 2
Gender diversity by occupation in the Toronto Region

Although the Toronto Region is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world, it is important to acknowledge that there is still room for improvement. Particularly augmenting gender diversity in fields traditionally dominated by men can improve the gap.

Post-secondary institutions have identified programs to diversify Canadian talent in underrepresented industries such as technology. A great example is York University and Shopify’s partnership on the Dev Degree program. This experiential learning program allows students to achieve a Bachelor of Computer Science degree while working on Shopify development teams, giving students work experience before they graduate. Women account for 51 per cent of students in this program (York University, 2018).  

Companies operating in the Toronto Region have a unique opportunity as the multicultural fabric of the region offers businesses the chance to engage with a wide range of talents and perspectives. As a global business hub, the Toronto Region attracts professionals from around the world, contributing to its diverse talent pool. With leading universities, research institutions, and a thriving tech industry, the Toronto Region offers a rich landscape of highly skilled graduates and professionals from various disciplines. 

Partnering With Toronto Global

Diverse hiring goes far beyond ensuring the representation of different races, genders, and backgrounds. It is about recognizing and respecting the unique perspectives, experiences, and contributions of every individual, regardless of their background. Diverse hiring is most successful when it is a constant consideration throughout the entire recruitment process, presenting the opportunity to reinvigorate teams. 

For international businesses and/or site selectors seeking detailed information on the availability and diversity of talent in the Toronto Region, Toronto Global is your partner to assist you with your expansion efforts.  

Connect with the Toronto Global Talent Team for more information at


Cooks-Campbell, A. (2021, December 3). The difference between diversity hiring and a “diversity hire.” BetterUp.  

Dixon-Fyle, S. et al. (2020, May 19). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Company. 

York University (2018, September 24) Shopify, York University partner to offer innovative computer science degree program.  

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