Medavie Wins Award for Inclusive Workplace

As one of only eight Atlantic Canadian companies to win an Atlantic Business Magazine Employer of Diversity award*, we’re even more committed to advancing our work toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a team of 8,000 professionals and a national health solutions partner.

“At Medavie, diversity plus equity plus inclusion equals belonging,” said Jennifer Taylor, Medavie’s Director of DEI, in a recent interview with Benefits Canada on demonstrating leadership in DEI.

“Creating that sense of belonging and a trusting environment for employees is so essential to fostering psychologically safe workplaces.”

We began our DEI journey by taking the pulse of employees to determine if they believed Medavie was an inclusive organization and felt that sense of belonging. We captured their insights into a two-year DEI strategy that has led to several initiatives, including:

  • the formation of a DEI council to support the strategy’s advancement
  • the creation of an Inclusive Language Guide to support employees in modelling the use of inclusive language
  • the establishment of a DEI resource centre to give employees ready access to DEI-related tools, information and resources
  • the delivery of training on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership to help leaders to be more self-aware
  • an assessment of our HR practices to ensure we’re attracting diverse talent and promoting it within our organization
  • the formation of Employee Resource Groups to connect colleagues who share similar interests, backgrounds and experiences
  • the organization of events throughout the year to celebrate cultural diversity and foster allyship
“Employees are responding positively to our efforts—and according to our most recent pulse survey, 93 percent feel strongly that Medavie is committed to inclusion.”

Our inclusive language project was another major initiative we carried out as part of our DEI strategy. An analysis of our forms and correspondence showed that we were using or asking for gender when, from a risk-focused perspective, insurers don’t need to know someone’s gender—only their sex assigned at birth — and only for certain benefits.

“We updated all forms and correspondence to have inclusive language, with an undisclosed option for plan members who are uncomfortable sharing their sex assigned at birth.”

Another ongoing focus for Medavie has been evolving our benefits offering to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. In support of this objective, we commissioned a survey of Canadian employers and employees to gain a better understanding of their DEI strategies and how inclusive benefits can meet the health and wellbeing needs of Canada’s increasingly multigenerational and culturally diverse workforce.**

The study found that the majority of working Canadians, especially younger employees under 40 and members of racialized communities, place a high premium on inclusive benefits, such as gender affirmation and fertility benefits, and personal wellness accounts that cover culturally appropriate options like traditional medicines and healing practices. In fact, 80% of respondents suggested that having inclusive benefits influences their loyalty to their current employer, and 60% would consider leaving their employer for one that offered more inclusive benefits.

As a not-for-profit, we work with community-based organizations that serve marginalized populations to recruit talent and remove barriers. For example, we have an extensive project underway to support the hiring of immigrants in Atlantic Canada. Through the Medavie Foundation, we invest in initiatives that make health care more accessible for marginalized communities.

As we continue to learn, grown and evolve as an organization that regards DEI as central to our mission of improving the wellbeing of Canadians, our top priorities include:

  • expanding our health benefits for women and gender-diverse Canadians to support them at all stages of life
  • investing in initiatives that make health care, particularly for mental health, more accessible to marginalized communities
  • listening and responding to the feedback we receive to ensure that our services and products truly reflect those we employ and serve
  • engaging and empowering employees to create a culture where everyone feels they can bring their true selves to work and can feel like they belong

Learn more about the results of our DEI survey and our DEI Commitment in Action.

Benefits Canada

DEI in Action at Medavie

*Atlantic Business Magazine’s Employers of Diversity program recognizes businesses with measurable benchmarks and initiatives to increase the diversity of their corporate culture, including diversity targets, health accommodations, flexible work options, respectful workplace policies and parental supports, as well as increasing the increasing the presence of marginalized populations on their staff and in leadership positions.
** The survey was conducted by research firm Abacus Data between February and March 2023. Respondents included a representative sample of 1,500 employers and employees with health benefits from Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.