2021 Canadian Private Capital State of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report
Diversity & Inclusion

2021 Canadian Private Capital State of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report

Taking steps to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment among the Canadian private capital industry

In February 2022, CVCA and Diversio released the results of a 2021 survey on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the private capital industry. 

The report, sponsored by BDC Capital, CIBC Innovation Banking, and The51, examines the results from a study conducted by Diversio in 2021 and provides the most accurate snapshot of the industry to date.

Research shows that diverse workforces bring higher productivity and profitability. While greater focus has been placed on DEI in recent years, and the pipeline for diverse talent has improved, the Canadian private capital industry still has opportunities for improvement before it reaches greater representation in the workforce.

The 2021 study provides the first look at inclusion data and the areas that require improvement. With a benchmark of new inclusion data, private capital organizations can further create a culture that strives for equity and embraces, respects, accepts, and values differences. 

2021 REPORT Recommendations for Next Steps

Based on the report’s findings, the CVCA and Diversio recommend that Canadian private capital begin attributing significant focus and attention to enhancing inclusion across their workplaces while continuing to prioritize diverse & inclusive recruiting practices. Specifically, we recommend that:

  • Canadian private capital firms should continue to drive diverse & inclusive hiring practices with a specific focus on recruiting racially and ethnically diverse individuals who are Black, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, and Latinx at both the senior and junior levels. The goal of the industry should be to reach representation equal to that seen in the population and while exciting strides have been made in this regard, there is still lots of work to be done.
  • All Canadian private capital should identify and conspicuously report concrete goals for improving workplace diversity and inclusion. This means that every VC and PE firm should begin by measuring their current state, setting a baseline (a peer benchmark can also be helpful here), and identifying concrete goals centered around specific issues faced by employees (e.g., increasing fair management scores for women, people of colour, and people with disabilities by several points in 12 months). This will assist firms in cultivating inclusive environments across their workplaces that empower individuals at all levels of the organization.
  • All firms should consider how to meaningfully address inclusion challenges most common across the industry: inclusive culture (ensuring everyone is heard by their teams); fair management (ensuring all managers are unbiased); and career development (ensuring everyone feels like someone is invested in their growth and development). To understand the best way to get started, firms can refer to diversity certifications such as the Diversio Certification which helps firms assess what programs and policies they have in place and makes recommendations on how to fill gaps.

Diversio the people intelligence platform that measures, tracks, and improves diversity & inclusion.

As consumers pressure businesses to increase their diversity and inclusion standards, companies are realizing they have to do more than make public proclamations & pledges — they have to walk the talk.” But many companies struggle to create an actionable plan, even with the best intentions.

This is where Diversio makes a difference. Diversio’s technology platform uses artificial intelligence to uncover bias, recommend solutions, and quantify results. By tracking employee feedback and public perception in real-time, you get a data-driven approach to D&I with measurable targets & actionable goals from a database of 1,000+ solutions, as well as early warning signs for poor company culture, employee dissatisfaction, or a PR crisis.

Diversio — The Diversity Data Experts™