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Embracing Cultural Diversity in the BC Workplace Demonstration Project launched

You can download a copy of the project guidebook here.

DIVERSEcity Community Resources and its Advisory Team for the Embracing Cultural Diversity in the BC Workplace Demonstration Project launched Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, a member of the Project’s Advisory Team, MC’d the event at the Sheraton Hotel in Surrey on January 20th.

“We launched a one of a kind employer and community resource – - an all in one stop shop - created in Surrey, that will help solve looming labour shortages and make BC’s economy more competitive at a global level. This leadership project will help business (a) Access new markets and new employees. (b) Improve customer service. (c) Gain experience. (d) And Create dynamic workplaces,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, a not for profit business organization representing over 3,600 business contacts. Both employers and potential employees can access the latest tips, strategies and research at They can base future diversity policies on a new workplace guidebook. And a series of training sessions in the Lower Mainland will provide training to both employers and new immigrants. “There are all kinds of information and tools here that employers have never had before.”

Canada’s economy is experiencing big changes. Retiring baby boomers in BC will help create more than a million job openings by 2015. And Canada’s low birth rate has not produced enough workers to replace them. Employers in Surrey and beyond can keep their businesses competitive by recruiting, hiring and training more new immigrants. This is a reality. These workers have skills and experiences from all over the world. They’re full of new ideas, perspectives and talent. New immigrant workers also belong to fast-growing immigrant communities. They speak different languages, and understand other cultures. They know how to connect to those communities. And that is evident right here in Surrey where 49% of our population has a mother tongue other than English.

There are many clear benefits to creating culturally diverse workforces. This resource, called ‘Get in the Know’ will provide businesses with the tools and strategies to hire and retain a more diverse workforce. immigrants confidently, that will build inclusion in the workplace and resources to support employers in the hiring process.

The project was funded by the Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development. The Project Advisory board consisted of business leaders, stakeholders and service agencies that are helping make Surrey a provincial leader in workplace diversity. Each member has deep ties to the community and understands the benefits of a multicultural society. Throughout the project the Advisory met to share their experiences and perspectives, provide input and direction to new resorces and develop sound approaches for inclusive workforces.

Project Advisory Board: the Surrey Board of Trade, Canada Safeway, ScotiaBank, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, BC Government and Employees Service Union, Douglas College, BC Human Resources Management Association, the Association for Technology Professionals in BC and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. Project Consultants: PEERs Employment and Education Resources


Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade, 604.581.7130