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CIBC introduces new initiative to support employment for Canadians living with a disability

Bank partners with social enterprise Magnet to tackle employment barriers and focus on diversity hiring

TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Committed to increasing employment opportunities for individuals living with a disability, CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) announced today it is partnering with Magnet, an online network that connects job seekers to employers based on skills and talent needs.

A recently commissioned CIBC and Magnet survey* reveals that nearly two-in-five working-age Canadians living with a disability are unemployed, and this newly formed partnership aims to expand access to job opportunities for persons with disabilities. The same poll reveals that lack of opportunities (13%), past non-inclusive employment experience (9%) and fear of discrimination (6%) are just some of the reasons that individuals with disabilities cite 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," says Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer, and Diversity & Inclusion Executive Champion, 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, and will grow that number year over year. As Magnet's Diversity partner for Indigenous peoples and Persons With Disabilities, CIBC's funding will help Magnet to further refine its search engine technology, and expand the platform to offer more opportunities to match employers and strong talent.

"We are thrilled to partner with CIBC and are grateful for its support," said Mark Patterson, Executive Director, 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."

Canadians Living with a Disability Employment Poll: Key Insights

  • Amongst working-age Canadians living with a disability, almost two-in-five (37%) are not currently employed

    • Of those, two-thirds indicate they are not working as a result of their disability
    • One-in-three indicate there are still very real barriers that prevent them from obtaining meaningful employment including: lack of opportunities for individuals with disabilities (13%), their last employment experience was not inclusive (9%),  lack of confidence in their own abilities (7%), and fear of being discriminated against (6%)
    • One-in-four (24%) feel their most recent role did not leverage their qualifications well. Of those, some reasons cited include:

      • 'I settled for the position due to a lack of other offers' (45%)
      • 'I was not given further opportunities because of my employers' perception of my limitations' (23%)
      • 'I was lacking the appropriate workplace accommodations / support' (22%)
      • Of those Canadians who do not disclose their disability with a potential employer, half (51%) don't reveal this information due to fear of discrimination
      • While many respondents reveal they are comfortable discussing workplace accommodations with their employer (70%), among those requiring them almost three-in-five receive less than adequate workplace accommodations (58%)

        • Three-in-ten (30%) don't require any workplace accommodations
      • When applying for a new employment opportunity, one-third (35%) of Canadians seek out employers who have a positive reputation for diversity in the workplace

      CIBC currently works with a number of organizations that help identify talented persons with disabilities for employment opportunities.  In 2015, CIBC became the first Canadian bank to form a partnership with Specialisterne - an organization that connects persons on the autism spectrum with employers. And in 2016 CIBC also forged a relationship with Lime Connect 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 Ms. Dottori-Attanasio. "We need a diverse team to deliver on our goal of being a strong, innovative and relationship-oriented bank."

      To learn more about careers at CIBC, please visit:

      *Canadians Living with a Disability Employment Poll Disclaimer:
      From December 20 to 22, 2016 an online survey was conducted among 1,002 Canadian adults with a disability who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has a margin of error of +/- 3%, 19 times out of 20.

      About Magnet
      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 is also a unique source of real-time labour market information for decision makers and community planners. Magnet's goal is 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.

      About CIBC
      CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at or by following on LinkedIn (, Twitter @CIBC, Facebook ( and Instagram @CIBCNow.


For further information: Olga Petrycki, Director, Public Relations, CIBC, or 416-306-9760.