As published on LinkedIn

I have the privilege of engaging directly with clients, team members and other stakeholders, hearing about their ambitions for the future. This gives me the benefit of learning from a wide range of individuals with unique perspectives on important matters at home and around the world. A key takeaway for me entering a new year is that we could all gain from embedding inclusion in how we approach issues and opportunities.

This was reflected in the many conversations I had in the year gone by – whether it was opening our new Legacy Space at CIBC Square, dedicated to fostering dialogue among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, or leading the 2022 International Monetary Conference, which brought together leaders from across the financial services industry globally to look to the future. In all of these interactions, a common thread was the power of intentional inclusion in moving us all forward, be it socially or economically.  

A visit to the East Coast later in 2022 particularly struck me. East Coasters came together to help one another and rebuild following Hurricane Fiona, while staying focused on growth through an inclusive mindset – attracting young people and immigrants to boost their economy, and recognizing the important role that technology will play in prosperity, even if it means embracing change.

Canada is at a pivotal point when it comes to our economic future, and we need more inclusive thinking to be leaders of tomorrow. Traditional industries are evolving to meet the climate challenges of our time. Our prosperity is being challenged by housing affordability, including for newcomers and younger Canadians. And despite the obvious benefits of making inclusion a priority, many communities continue to be underrepresented in key roles. 

To continue to innovate, be an attractive place for investments, and importantly, keep our nation economically prosperous and a country where people’s ambitions can become a reality, being intentional about inclusion will be foundational to our success. Candidly, we’re not there yet, but we’ve taken positive strides.

Looking forward to 2023, whatever your role – in the private sector, the public sector, or in any role where you can influence and lead others, I urge you to approach every opportunity with the lens of inclusion. It’s imperative that as a nation, we listen and give space to voices that historically haven’t been heard. By creating access to opportunity and an inclusive society that leverages all of our human capital, we will be more competitive and stronger for it.

Wishing you all a prosperous 2023.