An office meeting between five people from different backgrounds exchanging ideas including one with disability and a women.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Levers for Your Growth

If you’re an SME or an NPO, managing your organization by incorporating equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) practices can increase your competitive advantage. In fact, it could make your organization more innovative, productive and resilient.

EDI practices promote greater inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds, including those from under-represented groups, and their economic participation in all regions of Quebec.

Below you will find ways of incorporating EDI into your management methods and your organizational planning. You will also find out how EDI is included in the steps of your application for financial assistance from CED.

EDI: economic and competitive advantages for your organization

Studies by several organizations specialized in organizational management demonstrate that by incorporating EDI practices, your organization could:

  • enjoy greater profitability;
  • attract better talent;
  • earn increased innovation-generated revenue;
  • access more diverse markets and have more opportunities to break into new markets;
  • improve employee satisfaction and engagement;
  • avoid potential harm to its reputation caused by missteps related to diversity and inclusion.
Did you know that…
  • Diverse businesses have a 70% greater chance of breaking into new markets than organizations that do not recruit or actively support talent from under-represented groups.
  • Businesses with a more diverse management team earn average innovation-generated revenues that are almost twice as high.

Sources: Harvard Business Review and McKinsey

CED and your EDI steps

When you submit your application for assistance, you may be asked to:

  1. Answer questions relating to your organization’s current and future EDI practices;
  2. Complete a self-declaration on whether your organization is managed by one or more persons from under-represented groups and whether your project aims to directly support them.

The business office in your region will be able to assist you with these steps.

Unless explicitly indicated as a program criterion, the information provided will not affect the evaluation of your project or any financial assistance you may be granted. The data collected by CED will be used for statistical purposes to improve program and service delivery for our clients.

Four steps for incorporating EDI into your organization

1. Complete an EDI diagnosis

A diagnosis is based on data collection and analysis. It will provide you with information on the daily issues experienced by people from diverse backgrounds and identify which measures to take to address these issues. The diagnosis may be done through a survey, a literature review, interviews or consultations.

2. Develop an EDI plan

This is a strategic planning document that includes, for example, the policy statement, the objectives, the activities, the targets, the indicators, the persons responsible and the deadlines pertaining to EDI. This plan will enable your organization to make progress with respect to the established issues.

If you have limited resources, you can choose one objective and actions that address a single management priority, as a first step.

Here are some examples of EDI objectives and actions that pertain to a management priority

Management priority: employee recruitment

Objective: diversify the hiring of staff for the SME or the NPO to attract and retain high quality talent.

Examples of activities:

  • Post job openings that can be viewed by all audiences, including those specifically connected with under-represented groups.
  • Describe the positions and offers of employment in a non-specific manner to attract a higher number and a greater diversity of qualified people.
  • Use gender-neutral language so as not to imply that the position is meant for a person of a specific gender.
Management priority: employee retention

Objective: increase employee inclusion, retention and the sense of belonging, especially for persons from under-represented groups.

Examples of activities:

  • Create formal channels of communications from employees who may experience harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Offer greater work/life flexibility, particularly when employees return from parental leave.
  • Practice inclusive leadership by organizing team building activities, including through discussions, conferences or training.

Discover how to create an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) plan

3. Implement EDI actions

During this step, you will carry out the activities that address the issues identified in your diagnosis and that are included in your EDI Plan.

4. Monitor the situation and encourage ongoing improvement

Your organization should regularly take stock of progress made with respect to EDI. This step will let your organization reflect on progress made, communicate results, make adjustments as needed and consolidate EDI-related lessons learned.

There may be obstacles that impede the development and implementation of a plan for incorporating EDI practices, such as a lack of resources or knowledge about these issues or resistance to change by managers and employees.

Every measure taken toward implementing EDI, as small as it may be, is a step in the right direction.

Related links

The 50-30 Challenge
An initiative by the Government of Canada aimed at connecting organizations that aim to be more inclusive. The Challenge provides a network and tools to address the lack of knowledge and resources in this area. Registration for the 50-30 Challenge is voluntary and free.

Business Benefits Finder (Innovation Canada)
A tool that targets resources, funding, tools and experts in organizational management, including programs that support people from under-represented groups.

Quebec Interuniversity EDI Network
A network that brings together the academic and external communities including public, community and private organizations seeking to integrate best practices in EDI within their organizations.

Université Laval
Training and tools related to EDI.

Glossary of under-represented groups used by CED

Black communities

Persons who are members of the Black community population.

Indigenous peoples

Persons who identify themselves as First Nations people, Inuit, or Métis.


Persons who identify as belonging the following communities: Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, or other sexual and gender diverse communities.

Members of official language minority communities

Person whose first official language spoken is the minority official language in the province or territory of residence.

Newcomers to Canada and immigrants

Persons who are, or have been, landed immigrants or permanent residents, who have been granted the right to reside in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants who have obtained Canadian citizenship through naturalization are included in this group. Newcomers are considered recent landed immigrants who arrived in Canada within the last five years.

Persons with a disability

Persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, or learning impairment and: (a) consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment; or (b) believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment. This also includes persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment may have been accommodated in situations of employment.

Racialized communities

Persons, other than Indigenous peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour (e.g. South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese).


Persons who identify with the female gender.


Below the age of 40.

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