LEADING ON DIVERSITY AWARD - OWNER CLIENT RECIPIENT
In 2020 Dream established a Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement team which consists of leaders and employees from of all levels, regions, and backgrounds throughout the organization. This team is passionate about elevating and building expertise and responsibility to making a difference and having an impact on diversity issues within the organization and throughout the communities in which Dream operates.
In 2021 Dream unveiled a Social Procurement Strategy that is one of the most ambitious in Canada. By supporting equity-seeking groups and creating new pathways for local, independent and socially responsible businesses, its targets and strategies provide clear private-sector leader to support diversity through real estate and development activities.
The Dream Strategy includes the following targets: • 20% of the value of contracts awarded by 2025 to businesses that are majority owned or managed by an equity-seeking group • 20% of the value of contracts awarded by 2025 local, independent, and/or socially responsible businesses • 20% of annual jobs created through capital and operating spending filled by individuals from an equity-seeking group • 30% of apprentice hours created individuals from an equity-seeking group
In addition, Dream’s recruitment team focuses on continuing to hire diverse talent while removing unconscious bias during the hiring process. It is also aiming to target a larger network by supporting community-based organizations to create pipelines to recruit, attract, expose and mentor underrepresented communities.
“ Dream has been working with an independent Diversity Consultant to do a full review of our recruitment and selection practices. Based on our findings we are coordinating enhancements to our programs, polices and processes. Enhancements include bias and manager training, interviewing & selection enhancements, reviewing our disability accommodations during the application and interview stages, partnering with community organization that assist with pairing BiPOC, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+ and disabilities.
Dream has created a Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement Commitment (see attached) to guide our internal activities in the areas of education, advancement, recruitment and community support.
Currently we have obtained our first Diversity statistics through our 2021 Employee Engagement Survey. In Q1 of 2022, we are formally launching our first voluntary Employee Demographic Census survey. This will be launched to our Canadian based employees and board members. In Q2 we will extend our survey to our employees based in the US and Europe. With this data, we will continue to measure and analyse our demographic data.
Dream has formed a Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement Committee who focuses on our internal policies and practices as well as externally in the communities to improve Diversity and Inclusions. Some highlights of our community efforts are: Dream Scholarship – This year Dream will be providing 3 x 3,500 scholarships to high schools students from underrepresented communities to be used towards post-secondary education tuition and books in any of the provinces Dream operates. The goal is to support the pipeline of diverse talent within the communities and continue the relationship with these students throughout their schooling and provide opportunities for hire through our current intern program. Dream contributes to GEM (Girls E Mentorship) – They offer a research based mentorship and scholarship program for high school girls facing socioeconomic barriers to build their professional skills and achieve their academic and career potential. www.girlsementorship.com. Dream sponsors 2 scholarships and 1 summer intern to work at Dream. Dream has provided space for CEE (Canadian Education & Empowerment Centre for young black professionals) at our Ellington location. Provided 16500 sq ft of space rent free for 3 years which equals appox. 750K community benefit. Dream has donated funds to many other charitable organizations in recent years including: Minwaashin Lodge, Tropicana Community Services, Rainbow Railroad, Legacy of Hope, The Shoebox Project, South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services (SACHSS), Black Women in Motion, National Association of Friendship Centres, Indspire and Bill McMurray Residences plus many more. Significantly, as Dream has expanded its commitment to impact, it realized that significant action to create inclusive communities would be difficult to deliver through solely through its for-profit entities. As a response to that, in late 2021 it established the Dream Community Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the well-being of individuals, families, and neighbourhoods across Canada. In conjunction with Dream, the Dream Community Foundation supports and expands Dream’s overall impact mandate with a specific focus on building inclusive communities through providing resident and community benefits and programming that goes above and beyond traditional property management. These programs fall under four themes: Affordable Living, Health & Wellness, Education & Skills, and Culture & Belonging. The Foundation is being supported by a seed commitment of $25 million from the Cooper family, continuing the Cooper family’s commitment to building more inclusive communities. The Foundation’s first projects include Weston Common and seven apartment buildings throughout downtown Toronto.
In time, it will contribute significant programs at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa, at Quayside in Toronto, and in many other communities. Since a late 2021 launch, the Foundation has begun community programming at Weston Common.