“Extensive brain science research has
shown that men and women have a tendency
to solve problems differently,”
said Jennifer Laidlaw, CHRE of CIBC
Gender Diversity and Inclusion. Using
both skillsets fully produces stronger results.
“Organizations that create a culture
of difference thinking are more likely to
have more innovation, more productivity,
certainly better collaboration and better
decision-making. They’re able to reduce
risks and costs and create superior financial
performance. Certainly, at CIBC we
continue to strengthen our commitment
to creating gender-balanced leadership
teams, because of the real value of men
and women working together to create superior
EMPOWERING WOMEN FOR
At Amex Canada, 66 per cent of the workforce
is female, and from 2010 to 2014 the
proportion of women in senior leadership
positions rose from 43 to 52 per cent,
says Naomi Titleman, Amex Canada’s vice
president of human resources.
The company employs many different
strategies to achieve this level of participation.
Twice each year, says Titleman,
Amex Canada asks employees what they
want in a sounding called Employee Pulse.
The insights gained from this survey are
analyzed to produce a clear picture of employee
needs and wants.
“We have specific diversity and inclusion
training and workshops,” said Titleman.
“The ones most relevant to women are the
workshops in gender intelligence, inclusive
leadership and sponsorship – the theory
is that in order to progress to more senior
levels, you need that sponsor to kind of
pound on the table and advocate on your
In addition, Amex Canada has active
employee networks, such as WIN, the
Women’s Interest Network, and Parents
“They’re led by leaders as well as employees.
Each network has an executive
sponsor at the VP level or higher. Anything
they run is entirely based on what the network
wants,” said Titleman, who adds that
the parents’ group has invited guest speakers
ranging from a nutritionist to a police
“ORGANIZATIONS THAT CREATE A
CULTURE OF DIFFERENCE THINKING
ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE MORE
INNOVATION, MORE PRODUCTIVITY,
CERTAINLY BETTER COLLABORATION
AND BETTER DECISION-MAKING.”
– JENNIFER LAIDLAW, CHRE, GENDER DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, CIBC
26 ❚ JANUARY 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL