Horizn is proud to be one of 47 leading Toronto-area tech companies to have partnered with MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) towards the goal of bringing diversity, inclusion and belonging practices forward. As part of this partnership, Horizn participated in the recently published MaRS report titled Tech for All: Breaking Barriers In Toronto’s Innovation Community and signed the Tech for All Agreement.

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The Tech for All Report

Tech for All presents MaRS research results on the state of DIBs in Toronto’s tech sector. It aims to shed light on the challenges companies face in attracting, hiring and retaining diverse talent, and to provide data on how workers feel about the state of DIBs in their workplaces.

MaRS undertook a comprehensive research study that included:

  • conducting focus groups with 110 Toronto tech-sector employers and 28 tech-sector employees;
  • interviewing 16 DIBs experts; and
  • surveying 456 Toronto tech-sector employees.

While the survey found that employees vary widely in their feelings about the organizations where they work, there is good news: employers want to engage in and/or improve their DIBs initiatives.

“Continuing to have real conversations about diversity, inclusion, and belonging is critical,” says Robin Dindayal, Horizn’s Chief Operating Officer. He is one of the many employees from the Toronto tech sector who shared his thoughts with MaRS in the lead up to the report’s publication.

One of the great benefits of being a tech company in Toronto is access to the highly diverse talent pool. Horizn’s employees reflect that diversity, with a unique group of men and women coming from over 15 different countries. Of course, Horizn and the industry as a whole still have many opportunities to improve diversity, inclusion, and belonging, as the report makes clear.

“Not only are many of our employees first and second generation immigrants from all over the world, but our office collectively speaks 20 different languages,” says Dindayal. For many Horizn employees, belonging to such a diverse group of colleagues is one of their favourite things about working at the fintech company.

“This report clearly outlines how some marginalized groups feel excluded from the job market and at their places of work, and it should serve as a wake-up call for all of us to work more diligently on these issues,” says Lekan Olawoye, lead executive, talent development, MaRS. “Fortunately, many companies, including MaRS, are taking this seriously and are starting to institute policies and technologies that are having a positive impact.”

The publication of the Tech for All Report represents an important step forward, but as the report acknowledges, the work has just started. Other tech-sector organizations are encouraged to join the Tech for All Agreement and participate in the sector-wide Inclusion Council. The launch meeting is expected to take place in January 2019.

The MaRS Tech for All Report can be accessed online in full at https://talentdevelopment.marsdd.com/resource/tech-for-all/