Meet Élise and Clémence from Talent and Diversity team - Acclr

For the first episode in our series on the talented people at the CCMM, we are pleased to welcome Élise Le Dref, Director, Talent and Diversity – Acclr, and Clémence Jaruga, Head, Talent and Diversity – Mentorship. They spoke to us about the Acclr – Talent and Diversity team, their mandates, and the convictions that fuel them in their mission every day.

What is the biggest challenge right now in your sector, the thing you work on daily?

Élise: At the moment, we are focusing on managing obstacles to integration, managing diversity, and linguistic issues, particularly with respect to francization. There is a tendency to reduce diversity to immigrants, but it is much broader than that. We have to work to change these perceptions of diversity and better understand obstacles.

Clémence: For instance, take issues of performance and recruitment. Managing diversity on teams also means rethinking the normality of performance. Managers need to adapt their evaluation grids to the diversity of their teams. In the same vein, when recruiting, we encourage people not just to look for “the right fit” for a position, but also for people who complement existing team members. These are more complex efforts, but which result in more creativity, and, ultimately, greater effectiveness.

Élise: This all rests on bias, on the habitual blueprints we rely on in the working world. I remember a recruiter who would look only at profiles from the same university. With this logic, they are limiting themselves in what teams can contribute. Diversity is synonymous with creativity, problem solving, and, ultimately, productivity.

Concretely, how can managers put this search for diversity into practice?

Élise: They need to rethink their recruitment strategies, expand their channels, and move beyond traditional platforms. When drawing up the job description, they need to think differently to attract other profiles. Employers have traditionally recruited within their networks, but the labour shortage is changing that.

For example, it is common practice to give candidates a written French test with a fixed duration. For candidates whose mother tongue is not French, this may be unsuitable and present an additional challenge. They need to change recruitment routines that reproduce the same biases and the same inequalities. That is how we change the paradigm, moving from formal equality to true equality.

What is the Chamber doing to tackle this challenge?

Clémence: I can use Mentoring Inc. as an example. This is a program that works on several levels to change the power dynamic. For two months, we guide a mentor and mentee through training and personalized follow-up. We are aiming for skills development on both sides and a culture of mutual aid. We are convinced this program can gradually create a more inclusive mindset in businesses.

We show businesses that they need to adopt this logic. Half of Quebec employees are considering leaving their job; 40% of employees want to leave before the end of their probation period. That is a lot of wasted time and money for employers. To reverse these trends, we need to modernize processes, work on internal validation, use available tools, and promote inclusion. That has a direct impact on well-being, and it creates a virtuous circle of job retention and value creation.

In closing, what advice would you give employers and managers to foster a more inclusive, ethical, and diversified environment?

Clémence: First, they need to review job offers with a focus on inclusive communication, both internally and externally. Next, I would emphasize awareness and training for managers and employees. Start by taking stock of the current situation and then find innovative solutions. People need to explore realities that are not necessarily their own.

Élise: Generally, we encourage a case-by-case approach. An inclusive process is one that respects the individual. Every employer, manager, and employee has their own experience and their own reality that should be taken into account. By considering each person’s specificities, we can make real progress at the scale of the organization, no matter its size.

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