Manulife Financial Corporation has announced much higher targets in the number of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour holding leadership positions across its North American businesses.
“We recognize how important it is to improve the diversity of our organization at all levels,” said Roy Gori, chief executive officer at Manulife. “Establishing goals not only demonstrates our commitment to this important work; it will help us build a more inclusive culture to drive innovation and enable us to better serve our customers.”
Manulife said that it will be increasing the number of minorities in leadership roles by 30% over the next five years. The insurer said that it will also ensure that minorities represent at least 25% of its graduate program.
The announcement was on top of Manulife’s previously promised $3.5 million to be invested on diversity initiatives. Similar commitments have been made by Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia.
Increased opportunities for Canada’s minorities will likely help make up for the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities.
A recent TD Bank study found that the proportion of those who are anxious about – or have already suffered – job losses or reduced hours due to the coronavirus was 64% among Black Canadians, 65% of South Asians, and 70% of Filipinos, versus the 53% rate in the general population.
Around 30% of Indigenous households are also expecting that they will have to borrow money for essential expenses in the next few months. This rate was just under 20% in the general population.