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Successful businesses will depend on their diversity, according to Women with Drive panel

TORONTO, Ont. – The workplace of tomorrow is one that is changing. Diversity within the workplace has become a hot button issue for many, as we see more women coming out of university and more businesses putting a focus on hiring those with different backgrounds and marketing themselves as being an inclusive place to work.

At Trucking HR Canada’s second annual Women with Drive Leadership Summit on March 3, a panel of diversity experts were asked to speak about this new changing work environment and how businesses can and should strive to be diverse and inclusive all of minorities if they want to see success. The panel included Jennifer Laidlaw, diversity inclusion with CIBC, Shannon MacDonald, chief inclusion officer with Deloitte and Kelley Platt, chief diversity officer, Daimler and president of Western Star Trucks.

Lou Smyrlis, Truck News’ editorial director moderated the panel.

What is diversity? To start, the panelists were asked to define diversity.

Platt explained that diversity is all about inclusion saying, “Diversity is including the right people in the workplace. It’s really about respecting each individual in our organization…so whether you’re sweeping the floor at a truck plant or answering the telephones or whether you’re one of our senior sales and marketing people, your role is of value of you should be respected.”

MacDonald went on further to say that diversity is more than what people can see like gender, ethnic background, and accessibility.

“On the surface, diversity is measured by what we can see. That’s why I think gender gets a lot of attention…and visible ethnicities,” she said. “But it’s what is under the surface… it’s the diversity of thought and the collaboration of ideas –that’s true diversity.”

She stressed that most HR teams think that by bringing in people of various ethnic backgrounds or more women into the workplace will automatically fix their diversity problem, when really they should be focusing on someone’s diverse thinking to achieve the goal of diversity. read more at


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