Linda Iriah, SPHR, GPHR
Senior Director, Human Resources Canada
As the Senior Director of Human Resources for the Allied Universal Canada business, Linda Iriah understands that the power of diversity and inclusion in the workplace comes from more than only gender and ethnicity. It also includes education, experience, age and other attributes that come together to form a recipe for success.
"Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace also impacts the employer brand and plays a key role in how potential applicants as well as internal and external stakeholders see and form opinions of an organization,” Linda said.
Linda joined G4S Canada in 2015 as Director of Talent Acquisition and held that role until 2019 when she was promoted to her current position. Over the past six years, she gained experience beyond recruitment and human resources, often working with operations to gain a deeper understanding of how the business works.
Informed by her keen perspective on diversity in the workplace that organizations should reflect the communities they serve, Linda has witnessed a marked shift in the demographics representing both the employees and leadership in the industry.
She notes statistics from McKinsey that show the most inclusive and diverse cultures have up to a 30% improvement in team performance and in 2019 that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
“The security industry has typically been known as a male-dominated industry,” Linda said. “We must have a diverse workforce to attract new talent to keep the industry both competitive and forward thinking and to be an ultimate destination for talent in a very competitive labor market.”
When it comes to approaching difficult situations regarding diversity and inclusion on a personal and professional level, Linda finds strength in self pride, her family, race and ethnicity, education and experience living in different parts of the world. Linda also uses communication as the key to her approach.
“Communication is essential in educating people on how different actions impact different people. Many times, people may not be aware of their own unconscious biases, so they make judgements and decisions that may not accurately reflect reality,” Linda said. “Communicating my personal experiences to others and learning the experiences of others usually prevents being painted with a broad brush and supports allyship in the workplace.”
As for her future goals at Allied Universal, Linda strives to be a leader who provides stability and balance by building a healthy and inclusive culture that results in enhancing employee capabilities that enable them to thrive and do their best work.
“Allied Universal has several opportunities for growth where I am sure I will be able to continue to profile my best work,” she said.