Western Bulk Transport Head office: Edmonton CEO: Grant Mitchell Number of Alberta employees: 926 Job Openings: 6
The transportation industry is no easy place to build a diverse workforce, but Westcan’s efforts have been valiant as it does its best to bring people from all cultures and walks of life into its ranks. April Shand, vice-president of human resources, says visible minorities are well-represented at Westcan. Meanwhile, the company is still trying to bring more aboriginal people, people with disabilities and women onboard. “We recognize the typical truck driver is the middle-aged white male, and there are so many other groups of people in an untapped market,” says Shand. “Truck driving isn’t the most appealing for women. But there are women that, say, have kids at home and want to only work a five-hour shift. We might be able to accommodate that perfectly, with a nice, short city-haul.” To attract aboriginal employees, Westcan has worked in conjunction with Aboriginal Link since 2011. Through the recruitment network, the company extends job offers and opportunities to aboriginal workers. Supervisors, managers and executives alike are training to be more sensitive to the unique needs of all employees in a wide range of demographics. This sensitivity begins as early as an applicant’s first interview. “When we book an interview we’ll ask: ‘Are there any accommodations that need to be made to make the interview easier for you?’ ” Shand says. “Something simple like that is one of our best practices and it’s something that most companies won’t do.” To bolster its ranks, Westcan has used the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, hiring seasonal temporary workers from over 25 countries. Westcan also hires a little closer to home. “We had 200 seasonal employees from Eastern Canada come and work for us on the winter road this year,” Shand says. “It was our biggest number ever.” To ease access to jobs, Westcan even offers a novice driver program, minimizing career barriers by providing training to those with less than the two-year industry standard of experience.
Calgary Alternative Support Services, Calgary CASS’s 50 per cent female leadership team markets its job opportunities to marginalized and underrepresented groups. The company works with community organizations to be as inclusive as possible.
Diversified Transportation, Edmonton Also a finalist in the Best Overall, More than 750 Employees category, about half of Diversified’s employees are from a visible minority background, and a third of non-unionized employees are female. Livestock Water Recycling, Calgary The company has visible minorities and women working in both the office and the shop. Employees are strictly selected based on qualifications and fulfilment of the job requirements.
Tundra Petroleum Services, Red Deer Tundra makes sure that everyone works together in a team environment. Out of 14 employees, three are new Canadians and four are women. Tundra encourages everyone to vie for the job they want, and employs minorities and women as drivers.