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WCT Recognizes Cogeco Connexion as Model for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

 

OTTAWA, April 16, 2018. Cogeco Connexion is the 2018 winner of Women in Communications and Technology’s (WCT) Company of the Year Award.  WCT presents the Company of the Year Award to businesses in the digital economy that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in making their workplaces more diverse, inclusive and supportive of women.

Cogeco Connexion is the second largest cable operator in Ontario and Québec in terms of the number of video service customers served. It provides its residential and small business customers with Internet, video and telephony services through its two-way broadband cable networks.

“I am very proud of this recognition of our tangible commitment to making Cogeco Connexion a diverse and inclusive organization,” said Ken Smithard, President of Cogeco Connexion. “Diversity and equity are core principles with deep roots in our corporate culture. I am particularly proud of Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Connexion’s initiative to put together the Cogeco Women’s Network, which spearheads initiatives that allow all of our female colleagues to develop their skills and enhance their career path, thus leading to significant contributions to Cogeco’s growth.”

“Cogeco Connexion takes diversity and inclusion seriously,” said Joanne Stanley, executive director of WCT.  “It understands that a more diverse workplace ensures that companies are more innovative and better run.  Cogeco’s programs are purposeful and metrics driven and senior management is accountable for outcomes.  As a result, it is achieving the kind of gender metrics that WCT would like to see more widely emulated throughout the digital economy.”

In 2011, Cogeco adopted a three-year employment equity plan to achieve a fair representation of designated groups including women.  This plan includes a number of progressive measures and objectives to foster diversity, employment equity and inclusion. 

Cogeco’s employment equity plan includes:

  • Providing all Cogeco women with professional development opportunities designed to enhance executive and leadership skills and competencies.
  • Professional networking and support through Cogeco’s Women’s Network (which is corporately funded) and other programs.
  • Ensuring a highly flexible work environment for all employees that offers teleworking, flexible work schedules, reduced work weeks and unpaid leaves of absence to help employees better manager work and family responsibilities.

Women at Cogeco Connexion constitute 32% of its total workforce.  (The information and communications industry average is 27 %.)  Its management cohort is also 32% female.  The company is publicly traded and 38% of its board of directors are women.  Cogeco’s 11-person senior management team, lead by President, Ken Smithard, includes four women.

As a national organization dedicated to the advancement of women in Canada’s digital economy, WCT is committed to encouraging all employers in the digital industries to up the numbers by increasing the rate of women’s employment in the sector and women’s influence in the companies they serve.  WCT’s Up the Numbers Program is a research and communications program designed to encourage practices – like gender metrics and analysis – and programs – like women’s networks, flexible work environments and executive career sponsorship to improve their overall diversity and inclusion.

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About Women in Communications and Technology

Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) is a national association committed to advancing women in Canadian communications, media and technology. WCT inspires and engages women from coast to coast through professional development programming, networking, mentorship and opportunities to recognize achievements in Canada’s digital economy.

 

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