On April 17th, 2018, the City of Montreal honored Insum with the Abe-Limonchik intercultural award. This distinction recognizes “exceptional contribution to intercultural relations and the promotion of diversity”.
The evaluation criteria for this unique award are as follows:
- The distinct, innovative and exemplary nature of the practices put in place
- The impact of having created a greater awareness of the richness of ethnocultural diversity
- The improvement of intercultural relations by bringing together members of various communities and origins.
- Commitment to the integration of members of diverse origins and their participation in Montreal society
- The actions aiming to stop discrimination and promote ethnocultural diversity
Furthermore, the award has three categories, which are Individual, Enterprise, and Organization.
At the ceremony, the city recognized Insum’s involvement in several programs encouraging intercultural relations. These commitments lead to the hiring of several highly qualified employees. In addition, Insum makes a point of hiring new immigrants. As a result, they represent 35% of the company’s workforce.
Insum’s take on this Intercultural Award
We spoke to Michel St-Amour, President of Insum solutions and to Marie Cadoret, Administrative Assistant, and participant in one of Insum’s immigration programs.
A President’s perspective
“For us, this distinction recognizes our corporate environment or corporate ecosystem, if you will. It nice to know that we stand out in the industry and among our peers, and it also validates what comes naturally to us through our inclusive values. Furthermore, it tells us that there is a quality to what we are doing that you don’t find elsewhere. It’s not a cliché to say we accept people as they are, it’s for real. That’s because we make no distinctions between countries of origin or religions and we try our best to make everyone feel at home. Everyone has the same importance.
So our “over and above” effort in this area is recognized for all to see, and that’s gratifying. Of course, we are looking for people who have a strong desire to integrate into their new communities. But then I would say most people have this desire, anyway. And, when you give them the right conditions, well, they flourish. It is certainly a win-win for all involved.
This isn’t just a characteristic of our Montreal office either. For example, I just got back from our Peruvian office and it has the same culture of acceptance. A significant part of their workforce comes from other South American countries, and the work dynamic is great. I think this is really good.”
An administrative assistant’s perspective
“I see this as an outside recognition of something that, internally, we knew we already had. Our internal policies are great in respect of multiculturality. And, both management and employees respect differences. Also, everyone helps sustain this harmonious environment. That’s especially motivating. Some companies’ values aren’t fully accepted by the employees,which of course, doesn’t work. We (the employees) actually chose our values. (ed. Note see Insum’s values here) and there are about 12 nationalities represented here!
The Abe-Limonchik award intercultural award
The Abe-Limonchik Intercultural Award was created in 2009. It is in honor of Abe Limonchik, a former city councilor of the highly diverse Montreal neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges. Most notably, he worked in the promotion of ethnocultural diversity and the reduction of discrimination.
See also: Women in Tech