BRAMPTON, ON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) has been named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2011 by Mediacorp Canada Inc, based on its efforts to honour the diversity of its colleagues, customers and the communities around them. Loblaw's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principle Reflect the Nation's Diversity is central to its inclusive workplace culture.

"Being recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers is a testament to the value the Company places on reflecting the diverse make-up of the communities we serve in all parts of our business," said Judy McCrie, executive vice president, human resources and labour relations, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We recognize there is still more work to be done and we remain committed to placing importance on diversity initiatives."  

Loblaw's diversity efforts are spearheaded by its Inclusion Council, made up of senior leaders across the organization. The Council's mandate is to ensure Loblaw stores reflect the ethnicity of the communities in which they serve, to increase the percentage of women store managers and hire more individuals with disabilities in stores and store support offices. In 2009, the Council launched an Inclusion Toolkit to support managers in recruiting and hiring more diverse candidates.

Following are some of the initiatives that helped Loblaw earn its place on Canada's Best Diversity Employers list:

  • Development opportunities for women: Loblaw continues to work to increase the number of women in senior positions by promoting from within the organization. To date, Loblaw has achieved a 53.7 per cent increase in women store managers from when the Company first started measuring progress in 2008. Also, Loblaw launched a series of Women@Loblaw initiatives aimed at connecting women leaders for professional development and networking.
  • Recruitment: In addition to traditional recruitment channels Loblaw also partners with a number of not-for-profit organizations, including Career Edge Organization and ACCES Employment, to give hiring managers more exposure to a broad range of candidates. This includes newcomers to Canada, visible minorities, women, Aboriginal Canadians, persons with disabilities, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, and youth and mature workers. A partnership with Social Capital Partners enables Loblaw to enhance recruitment and retention outcomes for these diverse groups.  Loblaw also reaches out to diverse candidates online through TalentOyster.com, Canada's first all-inclusive job board available in 11 languages, and diversityworking.ca.
  • Expanding stores and in-store products: In 2009, Loblaw took a step forward to better serve Canada's largest growing customer segment by acquiring T&T Supermarket Inc. (T&T), one of Canada's leading Asian food retailers. As well, Loblaw's goal is to offer the most authentic products from first-generation manufacturers so that new Canadians and their families can find the tastes of home at their local store. To help customers navigate inside the stores, Loblaw's product selection is tailored accordingly and items are stocked in dedicated aisles, with signage to promote them. Multicultural offerings are highlighted in local cultural newspapers.  

Launched in 2008, Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition recognizes employers across Canada that have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. Employers are examined based on a range of diversity initiatives covering five major employee groups: (a) Women; (b) Members of visible minorities; (c) Persons with disabilities; (d) Aboriginal peoples; and (e) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/Transsexual (LGBT) peoples.

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 138,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian customers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to customers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Public Relations Department, Loblaw Companies Limited
pr@loblaw.ca or (905) 459-2500

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