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Canada provides the most welcoming workplaces in the world, research claims

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Canadian workplaces are the most welcoming in the world, a new study has claimed.

Research firm Kantar says it arrived at that conclusion after it carried out a digital survey of 18,000 people across 14 countries between April and June of this year.

The results, published Tuesday, detailed that Canada's strength stemmed from female representation at senior levels, as well as the majority of Canadians believing their employers were actively pursuing a more diverse and open workplace.

Each country measured was given an overall final score after adding up points given to metrics such as "sense of belonging," "absence of discrimination" and "presence of negative behavior." For each category, respondents were given several statements and asked to say whether they agreed with, or had experienced, individual scenarios.

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The U.S. followed Canada in second place, scoring highly because of strengths in gender and ethnic diversity at senior leadership levels. More than 60% of American respondents said they believed their employer was actively trying to include people from all backgrounds in their workforce.

Germany, Italy and Spain rounded out the top five, with Mexico and Singapore receiving the lowest scores.

Kantar's 'Inclusion Index'

  1. Canada
  2. United States
  3. Germany
  4. Italy
  5. Spain
  6. The Netherlands
  7. Brazil
  8. United Kingdom
  9. France
  10. Poland
  11. Japan
  12. Australia
  13. Singapore
  14. Mexico

Workplace discrimination

While top scorer Canada was given an overall mark of 66%, other parts of the study found there was still much work to be done to make its workplaces more tolerant and welcoming.

Kantar found that 20% of Canadians and 17% of Americans had experienced bullying at work over the past year.

Globally, a fifth of respondents said they had personally been a victim of bullying, harassment or undermining at work over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, 80% said they had observed or experienced discrimination — but only third felt they were able to report it.

One in ten employees from an ethnic minority background told researchers they felt they were treated differently at work because of their ethnicity, while a fifth of all workers believed ethnic minority colleagues had had their career progression damaged because of their ethnicity.

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Workplace bullying was most pervasive in Brazil, Mexico and Singapore, according to the report, while Italy, the Netherlands and Spain were the countries with the lowest levels of bullying.

When it came to gender equality, more than a quarter of all women said they had been made to feel they didn't belong in their workplace, with one in five believing they were paid less than their male counterparts.

Researchers also found that a quarter of LGBTQ people had been bullied at work over the past year, with more than a third of the LGBTQ workforce believing they had faced obstacles in career progression due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Most welcoming industries

Kantar's report also broke its findings down by industry, ranking sectors based on the feedback from respondents.

Those working in the pharmaceuticals and education sectors were most satisfied with how welcoming their workplace was, while the tech sector was given the lowest score.

  1. Health and pharmaceuticals
  2. Education
  3. Professional services
  4. Retail, wholesale and e-commerce
  5. Financial services
  6. Public sector
  7. Travel, transportation and logistics
  8. Construction and property
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Technology and telecoms
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