October 26, 2015
Tom Diment, Vice President of Supply Chain for Agrium Wholesale, would never have guessed that his first job out of college as a young mining engineer would teach him diversity lessons that would last throughout his 26-year career.
Stationed in a mining camp on a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, he lived and worked with 100 men and women, including two different local indigenous groups, and it was precisely this combination of genders and cultures that made the camp a thriving community.
“There was a lot of mutual respect. I learned a lot about tolerance and acceptance and I always come back to those key learnings,” he explains.
Those lessons have served him well in future years, as he worked in three of Canada’s provinces, managing Agrium facilities that produce all three major plant nutrients. In that time, he worked with people from a variety of demographics, and learned that diversity in the workforce is a strength.
“If I surround myself with people that are just like Tom Diment, I’m going to have one point of view. I want different perspectives,” he says. “Gender is an easy area to focus on, but I look at age, ethnicity, experiential and geographical diversity; they all matter. Not any one of them is more important than the other.”
That’s part of the reason Tom is an enthusiastic member of Agrium’s Diversity Inclusion Council and the Executive Sponsor of the Company’s Young Professionals Network. He’s also a strong supporter of the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group.
These initiatives are examples of Agrium’s efforts to create an inclusive work environment, and they’re a big part of the reason the Company has been named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for the past six years, as well as a Top Employer for Young People for three years running.
“It's great that Agrium is winning diversity awards, but I believe our employees are our best ambassadors,” Tom says. “For me, the best measure is if our employees are saying, ‘You need to come and work for Agrium because they value diversity and the perspective you bring’. To me, that's success.”