Insights from the Canadian Aerospace Industry Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey 2022
Ruby Latif, Senior Manager, People Advisory Services, EY Canada,
Larisa Lescage, Consultant, People Advisory Services, EY Canada,
Marianne Verreault, Manager, People Advisory Services, EY Canada
Michelle Basile, Senior consultant, People Advisory Services, EY Canada
Aerospace has long been a male-dominated industry — and that reality is now seriously impacting the sector’s future growth, evolution and sustainability in Canada.
Industries and organizations grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) generate more innovative solutions, ideas and results. Contributing more than $24 billion to Canada’s national GDP in 2021, aerospace represents a veritable powerhouse of future potential. The problem is: a historic lack of diversity is now poised to hold the industry back from delivering on its promise.
Among the more than 200,000 employees who fill aerospace jobs from coast to coast:
- Men make up nearly 70% of the workforce
- Only 3% are Indigenous
- Almost half are over the age of 45 and nearing retirement
- Fewer than 7% of workers are 25 or younger
- Nearly three-quarters are non-immigrants
Taken together, that homogeneity puts aerospace at serious risk of losing out on the upsides that an industry grounded in DE&I can provide. It also reflects an industry that lacks the underlying factors it takes to recruit and retain top talent in a world where people should be valued and celebrated for the unique skills, experiences and backgrounds they contribute every single day.
Now’s the time for corporations to overhaul talent strategies and evolve for the better. Doing so can help propel aerospace towards a more sustainable and viable future — one that mirrors the rich diversity that sets Canada apart. Embracing this moment to adopt a new approach is the first step towards remaining competitive in a global market that gets smaller by the day, even as the demand for talent grows.
Organizations here should consider new ways to cement talent as a strategic lever, closely aligned to business goals. How?
- Embed inclusion at the heart of corporate culture
- Implement DE&I strategies to recruit and retain more diverse talent
- Capitalize on new pools of innovative and qualified talent from underrepresented groups
- Measure progress to strengthen governance and drive additional improvements
It’s going to take the right mix of behavioural and systemic change to improve DE&I at the industry level and build the industry’s future. Start now.