Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 28, 2017

Photo, Southwire's Jean-François BourquiBy Jean-François Bourqui

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a term that companies are starting to zero in on, and as a result, is quickly becoming a trend. Creating a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment for employees is a priority for many forward thinking organizations, which are focused on sustaining successful and long-term multi-generational businesses.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “diversity” as the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization. “Inclusion” is defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. However, in a business sense, the meaning and need for D&I are so much more. D&I in some ways are like bacon and eggs. They are not the same, but together make up a winning combination. In an ever changing global business environment, where technologies and customer experience are becoming the way of the future, having a diverse and inclusive environment will be the winning formula. This will help companies be proactive and stay ahead of the curve when making important business decisions that will impact their futures.

Companies that embrace a diverse workforce will have increased adaptability, broader service range, variety of viewpoints, and more effective execution due to the increased level of talent, skill set and experiences that they bring. This will result in increased efficiencies relating to performance and productivity, as well as innovation which in turn will also lead to positive employer branding when recruiting future talent.

Companies that embrace inclusivity understand that one size does not fit all, and that fostering a culture of equity is an essential part of being successful. An inclusive culture gives every employee a voice and encourages them to share knowledge and best practices with one another. When employees feel part of a team, and part of a common goal where they are contributing and being heard, it leads to enhanced collaboration, enhanced morale, and enhanced efficiencies in the workplace. This leads to progressive results and directly impacts a company’s bottom line in a positive way.

MasterCard is a prime example of a global company who has a very strong focus on D&I. MasterCard created an internal group of networks they call Business Research Groups (BRGs). BRGs are available for all MasterCard employees around the world. There are currently 9 different BRGs in place with 50 chapters and 2,500 members worldwide. One of MasterCard’s BRGs that exists today is called YOPROS (Young Professionals).

Twenty to thirty percent of the global workforce is made up of employees who are born between 1978 and 1995. This age group of professionals plays a very important role as influencers and drivers of business decisions across all industries today, and in the future. WLN (Women’s Leadership Network) is another BRG. It seeks to advance women’s careers and performance through a culture of mentoring and coaching. SALUTE is a BRG that provides global support for active and veteran military personnel and their families by facilitating a successful transition into MasterCard’s corporate culture.

The other MasterCard BRGs include WWAVE (Workers With Accumulated Valued Experience), LEAD (Leveraging Employees of African Descent), Latin Network (Employees of Latin Descent), Pride (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender), East (Exploring Asian Societies and Trends), and ADAPTability (focuses on needs of employees with disabilities).

All BRGs have the common goal of providing its employees with a platform to network, share information, build relationships, and create a team environment that will contribute to their professional growth. These BRGs exist to help MasterCard achieve their goal of understanding complex and constant changing dynamics in the global marketplace. It allows them to leverage the unique strengths, views, and experiences through BRGs to help create growth, innovation and success. However, measuring the success of D&I is not so cut and dry. Sure, diversity initiatives can be measurable (e.g., by 2018, Company “XYZ” wants 30% of our workforce to be Millennials), but inclusion is a little more challenging to measure. One of the most common ways to measure inclusion success rate is through employee engagement survey feedback.

Bottom line, companies with D&I initiatives outperform their peers by a fair margin. Numerous research studies (McKinsey’s research, Catalyst research and Deloitte Australia research) validate this point. So the big question is, if you are a business leader or a future business leader, are you motivated enough to take the necessary steps to develop a D&I strategy for your organization?

Jean-François Bourqui is a Regional Sales Manager for Southwire Canada. Jean-François graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor in Commerce specializing in International Management in 2006. He has spent his entire 10.5 year professional career with Southwire Canada working in various roles such as Account Manager, Sales/Pricing Analyst, Customer Service Manager and Outside Sales Representative.

Chart showing the continuum of diversity and inclusion cultures

Figure: Bersin by Deloitte D&I Benchmarking Data, 3/2014

 

 

 

Taylor GerrieBy Taylor Gerrie

Technology is our greatest ally and accomplishment, but do the costs outweigh the benefits? In my opinion, they absolutely do! As consumers we use technology in almost everything we do. We use it for entertainment when we watch television, we use it to control the temperature in our homes, we use it when driving to destinations we have never been to. Technology has made our lives so much more convenient and efficient. Technology has brought out these benefits in the workplace as well. This technological phenomenon has also had a huge impact in the electrical industry. 

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CybersecurityDuring a recent Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group meeting, representatives from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and International Society of Automation (ISA) outlined a new program to address the growing risk of unprotected and under-protected building control systems in the U.S. and abroad.

Building owners, users, and manufacturers of control systems continuously work to find practical ways to create safe and more secure environments.

 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

No one likes to hear that they are behind. And that is exactly what the results are when it comes to diversity within Electro-Federation Canada’s membership. Most within our industry already know this, but does everyone understand what the impact could be on our businesses? There are many studies and reports that show that diversity improves competitiveness. A study by McKinsey shows that top quartile performance in diversity yields between 15% and 35% improvements in profit. 

 

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Kim QuelchBy Kim Quelch

What a great conference that Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) has put on once again this year in beautiful Quebec City. We as YPNs (Young Professionals Network) had the opportunity to take part in the proceedings with a panel discussion centred on the future of the electrical industry. Three members from EFC’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) participated in this panel discussion a few weeks ago (Dave Branscombe, Independent Electric; Lori Bagazzoli, Viscor; and Jonathan Perlis, Standard-Stanpro and Chair of Quebec Region’s YPN committee).

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AztecAztec Electrical Supply is one of the most dynamic, fastest growing electrical and automation distributors in Canada. The supplier has four Ontario locations, in Concord, Cambridge, Burlington and Mississauga.

They specialize in supplying quality automation and electrical products to electrical contractors, manufacturing plants, OEMs and custom machine builders. Their comprehensive inventory includes electrical and pneumatic products for breakdowns and emergencies, as well as everyday contractor and MRO requirements. They also work closely with their partners to source specialty products that may be required for major projects.

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MersenMersen Knowledge Center – Electrical Power is Mersen Electrical Power North America’s official online self-registering E-learning portal for electrical distributors, engineers, and end users. Our newest training module, “Application Basics: Photovoltaic Fuses in Solar Applications- M307E," will help you learn about the main components of a typical photovoltaic installation, understand the different segmentations of solar market, and identify Mersen fuses and fuses holders designed for use in photovoltaic installations.

 

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Roger HalletPhoenix Contact Canada is pleased to announce that Roger Hallett has accepted the position of General Manager, taking on leadership for our Canadian operations.

Prior to joining Phoenix Contact, Roger held a series of senior management roles with Festo, Siemens and ABB. Originally from the UK, Roger’s international career has involved living and working in Germany, South East Asia, and Japan. After a 5-year posting in Japan, in 2002 Roger relocated to Canada and after some years decided to settle there. He became a Canadian citizen in 2007.

 

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Jules MarchildonTechspan Industries is pleased to announce that Jules Marchildon has joined our Fusetek division in the position of Ontario Regional Sales Manager.

Jules comes to us with over 30 years of experience selling Power Electronic products, most recently as the Electrical Sales Manager at Mersen. He has also worked for a Distributor and for a Manufacturers Rep Agency, which has given him a broad understanding of the entire electrical channel. Jules brings with him proven leadership and technical sales.

 

 

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House of ElectricalHouse of Electrical Supplies is a distribution company that specializes in ‘service’. They go beyond what a standard supplier provides, not just with knowledgeable employees, but with a compliment of support services.

From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical stocks electrical supplies for a wide range of applications. For over 30 years, they have been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment and construction markets across the greater metropolitan Toronto area. Their product solutions range from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution.

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