CIBC partners with Magnet to support employment for Canadians living with a disability

            Canadians struggling to tackle employment barriers are supported by a partnership between a bank and a social enterprise that focuses on diversity hiring.

            Committed to increasing employment opportunities for individuals living with a disability, CIBC announced on January 17 it is partnering with Magnet, an online network that connects job seekers to employers based on skills and talent needs, said a release from CIBC.

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            A recently commissioned survey revealed that almost two in five working-age Canadians living with a disability are unemployed. The new partnership between Magnet and CIBC aims to expand access to job opportunities for persons with disabilities, as the same poll revealed that 13 per cent of disabled persons cite lack of opportunities, nine per cent cite past non-inclusive employment experience and six per cent cite fear of discrimination as the reasons they are not employed. 

            "CIBC is committed to having a team that reflects our diverse clients and the communities in which we live and work," said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, senior executive vice-president of CIBC. "We recognize that persons with disabilities are a largely untapped resource pool and Magnet's platform will help us connect with these talented and experienced individuals, with the goal of matching them with the right job opportunities at CIBC."

            CIBC is committing to hiring 500 new team members with disabilities in 2017, with the number increasing every year. CIBC will be Magnet's diversity partner for Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities and will fund Magnet to further refine its search engine technology and expand the platform to offer more opportunities.

            "We are thrilled to partner with CIBC and are grateful for its support," said Mark Patterson, executive director of Magnet. "When forming this partnership, we were impressed with the authenticity and leadership of CIBC in being an inclusive employer and supporting community initiatives aimed at addressing the issue of employment barriers. We also met and are looking forward to working with many CIBC team members who also bring their personal passion to the initiative."

            About 37 per cent of Canadians living with a disability are not employed, and two thirds of that percentage say they are not working because of the disability. A total of 24 per cent of persons feel their most recent role did not leverage their qualifications well because they settled for the position, were not given further opportunities due to perceived limitations of employers, or were lacking workplace accommodations and support. Over half of Canadians do not reveal disabilities to a potential employer due to fear of discrimination. When employed, 70 per cent of respondents said they were comfortable discussing workplace accommodations, but 58 per cent received less than adequate help.

            CIBC currently works with a number of organizations that help identify persons with disabilities for employment opportunities. In 2015, CIBC became the first Canadian bank to form a partnership with Specialisterne, which connects persons on the autism spectrum with employers. CIBC also forged a relationship with Lime Connect in 2016 to offer recent grads with disabilities more opportunities to find meaningful employment.

            "We want to let job seekers with disabilities know that at CIBC we focus on the abilities and personal strengths of people," adds Dottori-Attanasio. "We need a diverse team to deliver on our goal of being a strong, innovative and relationship-oriented bank."

            Those who wish to learn more about careers at CIBC may visit the CIBC website.

            Magnet is a new network powered by data-rich, job-matching technology that connects job seekers with employers based upon skills, preferences and talent needs. The network provides real-time labour market information for decision makers and community planners to address unemployment and under-employment specifically as it relates to youth, new immigrants, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and other individuals facing barriers to employment.

            CIBC is a Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. It offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada. It also has offices in the United States and around the world.