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Mississauga and HBA Canada’s Equity and Diversity Collaborative Makes Great Strides in its Inaugural Year

7 March 2022

Today, Mayor Bonnie Crombie joined the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Canada and Mississauga’s Economic Development Office at the Equity and Diversity Collaborative’s (EDC) annual executive meeting to share the EDC’s first annual report and celebrate the accomplishments of the EDC in its inaugural year.

The EDC, a first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada, was launched in February of 2021 and brings together a consortium of health care and life sciences companies dedicated to advancing gender equity and diversity in the workplace.

“As Mayor of one of the most diverse cities in Canada, I’m very pleased that our organization is partnering with HBA Canada to advance the goals of equity and diversity in workplaces in our great city,” said Mayor Crombie. “The EDC has made significant progress this year in laying the groundwork for the future, helping companies connect, share best practices, and learn from one another. There is more work to be done. I look forward to our continued partnership as we work together to achieve greater equity and diversity in our workplaces in the future.”

The EDC 2021 Annual Report details activities and accomplishments from EDC’s first year. Highlights include:

  • The delivery of educational content on equity, diversity, and inclusions in the workplace.
  • Diversification of members’ recruitment channels resulting from facilitated connections with new partners.
  • Co-creating core priorities for improvement across recruitment, hiring, and promotion practices and solutions for efficient implementation and impact.

“Based on the HBA’s previous successes with initiatives like the Gender Parity Collaborative, we were confident that bringing the EDC model to Canada would create significant impact,” said Danielle Portnik, HBA Canada, Regional Chair. “Our teams at HBA Canada and Mississauga’s Economic Development Office are incredibly proud of the Collaborative’s progress in 2021 and eager to enable continued impact in 2022.”

With a solid foundation in place, the EDC is committed to continuous improvement. Goals for 2022 include:

  • EDC, which currently represents more than 4,300 employees, will welcome some new members in 2022, broadening their reach. Announcement of new members coming soon.
  • Recognizing gaps in companies’ ability to report on demographic data and the need for strategic alignment across the life sciences sector, this year the EDC will be doubling down its efforts to focus on equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, and data collection.

“As an innovation-based biopharmaceutical company, we believe inclusion and diversity are fundamental to delivering our purpose – because innovation requires breakthrough ideas that only come from a diverse workforce empowered to challenge conventional thinking and find new ways to solve challenges,” said Gena Restivo, VP of HR, Communications and Sustainability at AstraZeneca Canada. “We are proud to partner with other Mississauga life sciences companies to share best practices and learn how we can continue to accelerate diversity, equity, and inclusion across our teams, and continue to create safe spaces where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered.”

The EDC supports the mission of achieving gender parity and significant representation of other under-represented groups including racialized persons, people living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community at all levels of their organizations and on Canadian boards. The EDC is committed to leading by example and is continually looking at how to improve its own practices and operations.

“Research has shown that a diverse workforce has broader positive societal impacts, leading to greater economic growth. A focus on equity and diversity benefits everyone, and the best way we can make a difference is by uniting to advance our efforts,” said Bonnie Brown, Director, Economic Development. “The EDC’s approach has enabled cross-company learning and collaboration, which has proven to be a great benefit for all involved.”

To learn more about the work of the EDC, visit their website.

About the City of Mississauga’s Life Sciences Sector: Mississauga is a connected ecosystem that cultivates and nurtures commercialization of life sciences innovations: a proven destination where diverse companies and exceptional talent grow, succeed and prosper. Mississauga is a leading Canadian life sciences hub with over 470 life sciences companies employing over 25,000 people. Guided by the Mississauga Life Sciences Cluster Strategy and in collaboration with the industry, Mississauga champions the life sciences sector through strong advocacy, a focus on talent and workforce development, and facilitation of business connections that lead to better business opportunities and results for its companies. For more information, please visit Mississauga Life Sciences.

About the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Canada: The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Canada is affiliated with the global not-for-profit organization, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, dedicated to furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. With nearly 70 locations throughout the world, the HBA serves a community of more than 70,000 individuals and 175 corporate partners. The organization provides networking forums to build relationships; access to industry thought leaders to broaden perspective, and educational programs to develop leadership skills. In 2018, the HBA founded the Gender Parity Collaborative. This award-winning consortium of 15 global leading healthcare and life-sciences companies is accelerating gender equality and diversity by fostering and adopting systemic changes in the industry workplace. For more info, please visit HBA Canada.

Tweet: Today, Mayor Crombie joined @citymississauga’s Equity and Diversity Collaborative to share the EDC’s first annual report and celebrate the accomplishments in advancing gender equity and diversity in Mississauga’s life sciences sector.