2024 Top 10 Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief People Officers

In Canada, pursuing diversity and inclusion has become a cornerstone of a progressive workplace culture, with Human Resources (HR) and Chief People professionals playing a pivotal role in driving these initiatives forward. As the nation continues to embrace its multicultural identity, HR leaders are stepping up to champion diversity in all its forms, fostering environments where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered. So, it is with great pleasure that DiversityCan Magazine presents the 2024 Top 10 Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief People Officers, the people who have dedicated their lives to integrating the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in their respective workplaces.

In an era where diversity is recognized as a cornerstone of progress and innovation, DiversityCan Magazine believes it is an honor to highlight the profiles of trailblazers who share the rich tapestry of human experiences and offer readers a unique perspective on the world around them. Canadian professionals working in the talent space have recognized the intrinsic link between diversity and organizational success. Beyond mere compliance with legislation, they understand that diverse perspectives drive innovation, creativity, and overall business performance. As such, Officers nationwide are integrating diversity and inclusion (DEIB) strategies into their core business objectives.

With a goal of continuous improvement, the 2024 Top 10 Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief People Officers are recognized for their success on many levels. They have evaluated existing Human Resources and talent management systems to identify barriers to access for underrepresented groups. New policies and practices, initiatives, and programs have risen from that foundation, all designed to move towards zero barriers for recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention. These are the professionals who are responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action for Indigenous peoples and embracing all groups of people who have historically received unequal treatment, like LGBTQ+ community members.

Across industries, each Officer has developed programs and initiatives that best fit their organizations. They include offering leadership training programs to develop awareness of the impact of biases, creating cross-functional workgroups, and establishing goals and metrics for accountability. The Officers have developed and implemented various programs that ensure measurable results are achieved because talking about DEIB is not enough. There must be action. The programs offer personal learning and career plans, mentoring opportunities, Indigenous peoples recruitment campaigns, career development and advancement pipeline opportunities for diverse groups, and more.

The HR and People Officers have also ensured everyone has a voice in their organization through various means. There are annual surveys, confidential employee platforms, Employee Resource Groups or DEI Affinity Groups, and cross-function workgroups. The professionals listen to people, learning about their lives and work experiences to create the most effective DEIB strategies. The Officers are also social advocates, reaching out to form partnerships with diversity advocacy organizations and community support groups. They encourage employees to participate in volunteer opportunities when they become available.

The Top 10 Chief Human Resources and Chief People Officers are passionate about creating a just and equitable society by ensuring their respective organizations are role models. The Officers are champions of diversity, excellent communicators who can overcome resistance to their work, and empathetic leaders. They constantly work to increase trust and transparency to help people achieve their goals. The Officers also work in many industries, so their efforts are building a business and social environment across Canada built on DEIB values.

By embracing diversity as a strategic imperative, investing in education and training, advocating for underrepresented groups, measuring impact, and fostering collaboration, the professionals drive positive change and shape a future where every individual can thrive. The 2024 Top 10 Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief People Officers promote diversity and inclusion within their organizations and serve as catalysts for societal change. Their efforts are transforming workplaces and paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive Canada.

As Canada continues to evolve as a diverse and inclusive society, HR and People Officers remain steadfast in their commitment to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. The staff at DiversityCan Magazine congratulates each Officer for their success in the diversity space and encourages business leaders to read the bios of the Officers as a source of inspiration for developing strategies in their own organizations to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural values.

Rachel Gottlieb

Chief Human Resources Officer for Technology & Operations and Corporate Areas
BMO Financial Group

Kirk Merrett

Director of Human Resources and Administration
Hyundai Auto Canada

Manisha Burman

Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
CI Financial

Deborah Maynard

Chief Human Resources Officer, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives
Coast Mental Health