Priorities

Team members

Diversity and inclusion

At Bell, we do not just accept difference – we celebrate it. Bell is committed to an inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace where all team members feel valued, respected, supported and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. A truly diverse team and inclusive workplace fosters innovation and creativity, better reflects the customers we serve, and increases team member engagement.

WHY IT MATTERS

G R I 103

Organizations that have integrated diversity and inclusion programs foster team member innovation and creativity, widen the talent pool, and increase team member satisfaction. This allows each team member to bring their best self to work every day, increases engagement and delivers better products and services to our customers.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

Bell has a variety of diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives across the country. We have set publicly-disclosed targets while monitoring and reporting on our ongoing performance.

The Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), established in 2014, champions diversity and inclusion across the organization, defining Bell’s diversity and inclusion strategy and developing company‑wide implementation plans for specific actions. The DLC is comprised of 14 diverse senior leaders, with representation from all business groups and geographies. Under their leadership, we work to ensure our business strategy and human resources policies align with our diversity and inclusion goals.

In addition to the DLC, our governance framework includes business unit committees, employee-led networks and other inclusion groups to support our diversity and inclusion strategy.

Diversity and inclusion targets

In step with our overarching corporate objective to improve gender diversity, we are strategically focused on increasing the diversity of our senior leadership. Bell is a signatory of the Catalyst Accord 2022 and member of the 30% Club. We have established a goal of at least 35% women in executive positions (vice president level and above) by the end of 2021. We also continue advocating for more women to take on roles in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and are expanding efforts to increase the representation of other underrepresented groups, such as visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities.

In 2020, Bell committed to taking meaningful actions to address the impacts of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) team members at our company and in our communities. Along with a number of education and awareness initiatives, this included setting a new target for BIPOC representation on our senior management team of at least 25% by 2025 (director level and above and including executive officers), and a target of 40% BIPOC representation in our recent graduate and intern hires.

As part of our effort to continuously improve our diversity and inclusion strategy, we consult with members of underrepresented groups to understand their experiences at work. In 2020, we facilitated both in‑person and virtual feedback consultations, encouraging discussions around workplace experience and inclusion at Bell. In conjunction with our Bell team survey results, we analyzed the insights to identify areas of opportunity and continuously improve our strategic direction and tactics. We also seek out and adopt best practices on workplace accessibility and inclusion. Looking ahead, we plan to continue building momentum for our diversity and inclusion strategy based on concrete objective setting and the integration of inclusive leadership practices across Bell processes.

Performance in 2020

Our diversity and inclusion strategy, coupled with high self‑disclosure rate of 83%, has significantly increased the representation of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities in our workforce. We have maintained our strategic focus on making our senior leadership team more representative of our overall employee population through focused talent management strategies and best-in-class development programs for high-potential leaders, including from underrepresented groups.

Workforce diversity (in %)GRI 405-1

Diversity group
twenty nineteen LMA
twenty twenty
twenty nineteen
twenty eighteen
twenty seventeen
Women 36.6percent Footnote 2: Occupational labour market availability indicates the percentage of persons in each designated group in the Canadian workforce that may have the skills necessary to fill occupational roles at Bell based on December 2019 headcount. The data are provided to Bell by the Canadian government, and are based on data from the 2016 National Household Survey and 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability. This is the most current information available 34percent 32.7percent Footnote 3: Starting in 2019, an update to the representation calculation was made in order to increase accuracy. Also, to be consistent with the BCE Notice of 2020 Annual General Shareholder Meeting and Management Proxy Circular, the reporting date has been changed to January 31, 2020 32.3percent 32.6percent
Visibe minorities4Footnote 4: Data for visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous depend upon full‑time and part-time employee self-identification in Bell’s diversity questionnaire. 24.0percent Footnote 2: Occupational labour market availability indicates the percentage of persons in each designated group in the Canadian workforce that may have the skills necessary to fill occupational roles at Bell based on December 2019 headcount. The data are provided to Bell by the Canadian government, and are based on data from the 2016 National Household Survey and 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability. This is the most current information available 22.4 percent 21.3percent Footnote 3: Starting in 2019, an update to the representation calculation was made in order to increase accuracy. Also, to be consistent with the BCE Notice of 2020 Annual General Shareholder Meeting and Management Proxy Circular, the reporting date has been changed to January 31, 2020 18.6percent 18.6percent
Persons with disabilities 10.00percent Footnote 2: Occupational labour market availability indicates the percentage of persons in each designated group in the Canadian workforce that may have the skills necessary to fill occupational roles at Bell based on December 2019 headcount. The data are provided to Bell by the Canadian government, and are based on data from the 2016 National Household Survey and 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability. This is the most current information available 5.1 percent 4.3percent Footnote 3: Starting in 2019, an update to the representation calculation was made in order to increase accuracy. Also, to be consistent with the BCE Notice of 2020 Annual General Shareholder Meeting and Management Proxy Circular, the reporting date has been changed to January 31, 2020 3.6percent 3.8percent
Indigenous 2.8percent Footnote 2: Occupational labour market availability indicates the percentage of persons in each designated group in the Canadian workforce that may have the skills necessary to fill occupational roles at Bell based on December 2019 headcount. The data are provided to Bell by the Canadian government, and are based on data from the 2016 National Household Survey and 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability. This is the most current information available 2.5percent 2.5percent Footnote 3: Starting in 2019, an update to the representation calculation was made in order to increase accuracy. Also, to be consistent with the BCE Notice of 2020 Annual General Shareholder Meeting and Management Proxy Circular, the reporting date has been changed to January 31, 2020 2.4percent 2.2percent

As part of Bell’s commitment to addressing racism and discrimination while building a diverse and inclusive workplace, and in addition to the new BIPOC targets set, we’ve stepped up by developing partnerships with leading BIPOC organizations, holding events and providing resources to support a diverse and inclusive workplace. Some of these initiatives included:

  • Bell’s CEO Mirko Bibic signing the Canada Business Council statement denouncing racism in all its forms
  • A new $5 million Bell Let's Talk Diversity Fund to support the mental health and well-being of Canada's BIPOC communities, including an inaugural donation of $250,000 for the Black Youth Helpline
  • A Premier Partnership with the Onyx Initiative, which focuses on driving corporate Canada’s recruitment of Black college and university students
  • Partnering with the Black Professionals in Tech Network which aims to engage and recruit talent in technology and communications
  • Promoting greater diversity in Canadian media with the launch of the Hire BIPOC web portal and Bell Media’s creation of a Content Diversity Task Force in partnership with BIPOC TV & Film
  • Bell Media and Reelworld Film Festival and Screen Institute creating the Reelworld Producers Program for BIPOC candidates
  • The IDEA competition on Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity which challenges companies and marketing agencies to submit creative campaigns that demonstrate a clear message of diversity and inclusion
  • A partnership with Ryerson University and TSN, to launch the Jonathan Gayle-West Memorial Internship Program, which provides BIPOC students with the opportunity to work both behind the scenes and in front of the camera alongside broadcasters to get hands-on experience in the creation of a high-profile sports program
  • The launch of the Black Journalism Fellowship, a program supported by CTV News that offers mentorship and skills training to journalists in the early phases of their careers
Key target: At least 35% women in executive positions (vice president level and above) by the end of 2021.
2018 29%
2019 32%
2020 32%
2021 35%
Key target 35%

In 2020, we addressed the role of language in conveying respect, promoting equality and as a key element of allyship. Bell partnered with gender inclusivity consultants from Transfocus for a very well‑received webinar covering concepts and language around gender diversity and providing tips to better understand the issues facing people across the gender spectrum. As part of our continued focus on allyship and education, this online event recording was shared across the organization.

In 2018, we launched an inclusive leadership development program for executives focused on disrupting unconscious bias and supporting leaders in developing and advancing our diverse talent pipeline. Over 80% of executives have already completed this training. In 2020, we extended the offering, launching unconscious bias training to middle management leaders and have since trained over 1,500 leaders. The training aims to raise awareness and equip leaders with practical actions to disrupt unconscious bias and create an inclusive and accessible workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.

We further support the diversity and inclusion of our workforce through numerous initiatives that foster inclusion and by empowering our employee resource groups (ERGs) including the Black Professionals at Bell, Pride at Bell and Women at Bell network with an emphasis on continuous learning, networking and spotlighting key ERG members and their career journey. We continue to strive to increase company‑wide awareness and build inclusion for underrepresented groups.

Key target: 30% women non-executive directors on the BCE Board by the end of 2021.
2018 31%
2019 31%
2020 27%
2021 38% Footnote 5: The variation from 2019 to 2020 is the result of appointments made to the BCE Board during the year in 2020 in anticipation of the retirements of three directors at the 2021 annual shareholder meeting. Following BCE’s 2021 annual shareholder meeting on April 29, 2021, 38% of our non-executive directors and 36% of all directors are women, surpassing our target.
Key target 30%

In 2020, Bell launched a new Diversity and inclusion collaboration community offering an inclusive digital space for team members across the company to connect, share experiences, resources and get involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

We developed an inclusion calendar highlighting more than 100 dates across cultures and inclusive celebrations and formally acknowledged important awareness initiatives, including Black History Month, International Women’s Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), National Indigenous Peoples Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The impact of our sustained efforts is apparent in the results of our annual team member survey: in 2020, 85% of team members responded favourably to the statement “People of all backgrounds (cultural, gender, age, religion, disability, etc.) can succeed in my company.”

Bell works with leading diversity and inclusion-focused organizations to provide team members with access to partner events, mentoring, networking, and other professional development resources including the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion, Catalyst, the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), Lime Connect, the Onyx Initiative, Pride at Work, Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), and more.

Diversity awards and recognitions

Since 2017, Bell has consecutively received recognition as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and for our successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from the following groups, namely: women; Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC); visible minorities; persons with disabilities; and the LGBTQ+ community. Bell has been recognized for leading the way and our commitment to an inclusive and accessible workplace as well as our ongoing action to combat systemic racism.

In 2020, Women in Communications and Technology honoured Sonia Brar, Vice President, IT – Bell Media & BCE Corporate Systems, as Innovator of the Year. Sonia was recognized for her innovative approach in leading large-scale digital transformation projects at Bell. She has also worked throughout her career to support and help develop women’s careers in an often male-dominated field.
Cynthia Loyst, co-host of CTV’s The Social, has been named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women as part of this year’s Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 awards. Recognized in the arts, sports and entertainment category for her impact on Canadian culture, Cynthia is a renowned broadcaster and dedicated advocate for sexual health information.
For a 3rd year in a row, Bell’s focus on gender equity in the workplace was recognized by Women in Governance, an organization supporting women in leadership development, career advancement and board governance.

Bell received the Gold Parity Certification following an assessment of our progress on gender parity and the effectiveness of systemic enablers including governance, data analysis, talent development and leadership.

Bell Canada has also been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2020), Canada’s Top Employers for Young People (2020), Montréal’s Top Employers (2020), Canada’s Top Family‑Friendly Employers (2020), and TalentEgg’s Special Award for Social Responsibility in Recruiting (2020) underscoring BCE’s commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace for all employees.

To learn more, see the Team member recognition information sheet in the Key documents section.