STM awarded Rights and Freedoms Award by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse

Press release

This considerable acknowledgement is the culmination of 33 years of persistent efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce - On the photo : Alain Brière, Executive Director, Human Resources at STM - Photo credit : Pamela Lajeunesse/CDPDJ

Montréal, April 1, 2021 – Having dedicated several decades to becoming a leader in equality and equity, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is proud to accept this year’s Rights and Freedoms Award presented by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ)  for its contribution to equal access to employment.

“We are extremely humbled to receive this award from the CDPDJ. It is a considerable acknowledgement of the many measures that we have taken over the years to promote real employment equality. This represents the culmination of 33 years of persistent efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce,” said Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM board of directors.

“This is wonderful news for the STM, because this recognition confirms that our hard work is paying off. Cultural diversity holds a key position in our 2025 Strategic Organizational Plan. The company has come a long way since we adopted the very first draft of our equal access to employment plan in 1987! I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our employees, who make a difference each and every day,” said Luc Tremblay, FCPA, FCA, CEO.

“This award highlights the STM’s leading position in terms of diversity among Quebec public companies. Diversity and inclusion are two of our core values, so we intend to continue on this path and keep pushing employment equality forward,” added Alain Brière, Executive Director, Human Resources.

The actions taken by the STM to promote real employment equality include:

  • Involving employees at all levels in the cultivation of an inclusive, discrimination-free workplace
  • Promoting visibility and creating partnerships to attract candidates from underrepresented groups
  • Achieving gender parity on the executive committee

In its award application, the STM put forward three major accomplishments:

  • "S’inspirer pour mieux agir", a 2019 conference on diversity, was attended by nearly 150 colleagues from across the STM. The goal was to promote engagement and best practices on gender diversity throughout the company and give employees the tools to strengthen an inclusive culture.
  • Diversity workshops for operations managers of STM bus garages presented the ways that adopting an inclusive management approach can create more engaged, effective work teams and lead to better customer service. Through these sessions, managers gained valuable tools for dealing with the specific diversity issues that arise in their work environment.
  • The 2019 diversity portfolio summarized all the diversity actions taken by the STM over the year and was presented as a follow-up to the company’s Declaration for Diversity and Inclusion, adopted in 2012. The portfolio was divided into five sections: visibility initiatives, partnership developments, internships, summer jobs and internal and external outreach.

The STM’s history of providing equal access to employment:

  • In 1987, the STM adopted a voluntary equal access to employment plan addressed to women, with the goal of hiring more women in traditionally male-dominated jobs: bus drivers, métro operators and support service employees.
  • In 1990, concerned with reflecting the diversity of its customers, the STM adopted the first version of its equal access to employment policy. In it, the company stated its commitment to positioning itself as a pioneer of equal access to employment and established an initial plan to this end.
  • In 2012, the STM adopted its first Declaration for Diversity and Inclusion, stating five commitments to its employees and customers.
  • In 2016, Jacques Frémont, Chair of the CDPDJ, stated: “The STM is a model of equal opportunity employment, and other transit agencies in Quebec should be inspired by it to ensure better representation of women, Indigenous peoples, and visible and ethnic minorities.”
  • In 2020, after the tabling of the report from the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, the STM board of directors unanimously adopted the Declaration on Systemic Racism and Discrimination.

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