Dentons’ lawyers are in the business of ethics. To them, supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is simply the right thing to do. “If you don’t think this is important, you’re not paying attention,” says Carman McNary, managing partner in the Edmonton office. The firm upholds these values when recruiting and hiring new staff. Talent management and diversity professionals monitor the process and job openings are promoted through organizations like the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. “It makes our culture richer,” McNary says. “It makes conversations more productive and creative.”

An inclusive team also serves the needs of Dentons’ wide-ranging group of clients. McNary finds diversity a positive business strategy as it shows clients “what matters to them matters to us. We have a growing number of key and substantial clients for whom this is a very important value.”
As part of Dentons’ commitment to diversity, the firm has affinity groups in place for team members, like those who associate with the LGTBQ community. Team members take part in Calgary and Edmonton’s Pride Festivals, which Dentons sponsors, and McNary says participation is growing each year. “We are proud to participate in a public way that let’s our community know that’s who we are,” he says.

The firm has also developed a comprehensive network to support and promote women. Dentons’ Women LEAD (Leadership, Entrepreneurism, Advancement, Development) fosters an environment that attracts, develops and inspires women business leaders and builds networks with clients and the communities in which the firm works.

The Finalists

Ambyint, Calgary
The oilfield service company launched its unlimited vacation policy to allow recent immigrants time to visit home more frequently and for longer periods of time.

City of Red Deer
All full-time, permanent employees take diversity and inclusion training, and the City has an 18-member team to champion policies in keeping with its vision of a welcoming and inclusive community.

Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, Calgary
In just one example of the law firm’s commitment to diversity, 44 per cent of the Calgary office’s partners and 64 per cent of its associates are women.

Vertex, Sherwood Park
Vertex has a well-developed temporary foreign worker program that has helped smooth the integration of foreign workers and helped their transition to permanent residence.