Hyundai Canada partners with BlackNorth Initiative to combat anti-black racism

MARKHAM, ON, - Hyundai Auto Canada today announced its commitment and steps taken after becoming the first automotive OEM to sign the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge to promote diversity and increase equity within the automotive business community. President and CEO, Don Romano, became a signatory of the pledge and has joined the BlackNorth Education Committee to actively participate in the elimination of systemic barriers in Canada's education system.

"Signing the BlackNorth Pledge is an important milestone for Hyundai Canada as an organization as well as for us as individuals looking to work in a more inclusive, mindful and respectful environment. Along with this pledge, we are creating a sustainable plan to have an equitable organization that recognizes and celebrates the efforts and achievements of every member within," said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Canada.

Community, education and partnership

Hyundai Canada continues its commitment to foster an inclusive and supportive environment. Mandatory unconscious bias training began in 2018 in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). Twenty per cent of team members have registered to become certified in a 3-course CCDI program titled Foundations in Diversity & Inclusion that includes Diversity and Inclusion Fundamentals, Unconscious Bias, Respect in the Workplace.

Hyundai Canada team members established two Employee Resource Group (ERG): Inclusion@HAC and Women@HAC. The company also established a Diversity Advisory Group that meets with the CEO monthly to advise on action steps towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

Difficult conversations and awareness sessions have been organized on a monthly basis and facilitated by various speakers. Some of these conversations tackled the topics of: White Privilege, Changing our Own Racist Behaviours, Cultural Competence, Be Colour Brave, Privilege as a Superpower, and LGBTQ 101.

Attract, retain and grow

Several methods have been developed in order to update hiring and onboarding strategies in order to attract, retain and grow a diverse staff:

• An artificial intelligence resume review programme and candidate competency assessment process have been implemented to ensure unconscious bias is removed from the selection process.
• The company set a goal of hiring 3.5 per cent staff from the Black community by the end of 2021, matching Canadian population data.
• The company has recently collected detailed demographic information from team members to establish internal benchmarks.
• Hyundai collects detailed demographic information from job candidates on a voluntary basis. This data is not linked to an individual candidate, but allows the company to analyze who is being attracted at the upper funnel of the recruiting process. This data is used to look at different ways of ensuring job vacancies are visible to BIPOC and other underrepresented communities.
• Hyundai has set up regular networking sessions titled "HACC Attracts" with diverse candidates referred by team members to meet them before positions even become available.

Scholarships and Initiatives

• Hyundai Canada has partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and donated $25,000 towards the creation of an anti-racism micro-grant program.
• Established two annual Hyundai Canada Diversity Scholarships with the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC). It is valued at $2,500 and will be presented to one full-time Black student and one full-time female student.
• Hyundai Canada has partnered with Onyx Initiative, and is working with university co-op education programs to attract student workforce from the Black community.
• The company is working with the ABSC and Accelerate Auto on a presentation to high school students to increase Black representation in the automotive industry.

Hyundai Canada will continue to take strides to end anti-Black racism in partnership with the BlackNorth Initiative by sharing best practices.