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CCDI's 10th Anniversary

Belonging Begins at Staples: Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Wanda Walkden

Chief Human Resources & Communications Officer, Staples

Staples Canada fosters a culture of belonging through DEI initiatives, engaging associates, celebrating diversity, and giving back to communities.

As the working and learning company, we are committed to creating a sense of belonging for all who are a part of our ecosystem — this includes our associates, our customers, our vendor partners, and the communities we serve. Belonging is where we begin.

At Staples Canada, we know that our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is not just the right thing to do, but it is a key driver to our success. We are working towards an equitable future by creating a culture where everyone is comfortable being their authentic selves. 


Understanding the sense of belonging for our associates is an integral part in creating that culture of acceptance, inclusion and understanding. With the launch of our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy, we created an opportunity for our associates to share their beliefs on what belonging means to them in their own words, as we strive for continued commitment.

“Belonging is a very personal feeling that each individual experiences in their own unique ways,” Wanda Walkden, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer. “We saw an opportunity to engage each of our associates in new ways, and bring them along the journey, creating individual commitments to DEI.”

With 43 per cent of our directors and above identifying as women, and 44 per cent of our associates (from those who chose to identify in our Associate Engagement Survey) identifying as BIPOC, we are proud of the diversity of our population, and the representation of the communities we serve. 

“We want everyone who steps through the doors at Staples to feel safe, accepted and respected. To achieve this, we know we need engagement from our associates at all levels in the organization, across all roles, in all areas of the business.”

Engaging our associates 

Staples Canada’s Business Resource Groups are run by our associates and for our associates, leading with our awareness events, where we continue to build inclusion and belonging by storytelling. 

Our associates are at the heart of creating our inclusive culture. 

“To me, belonging means that every person is comfortable and confident in expressing their authentic selves — in being the unique individual they are, without feeling the need to silence their voice or passion. Belonging means that we are allies for each other, celebrating each other’s authentic selves while embracing equity,” says Laurel Kress, Manager, Customer Experience – Print Solutions, co-chair, Women who Lead.

Giving back 

A part of our commitment to DEI, is giving back to our communities throughout the year through our partnership with MAP. MAP is a world-class research centre based at St. Michael’s Hospital, a site of Unity Health Toronto.

Through innovative research and real-world program and policy solutions, MAP scientists tackle complex community health issues at the intersection of health and equity. Our Even the Odds campaign works to create an equitable future for all. 

“Engaging with MAP has allowed us to support the communities we live and work in and fund research that will help make the future fair for everyone,” Walkden says. “We know we still have work to do, and we are excited about the opportunities in front of us.”

To learn more, please visit staples.ca/a/content/even-the-odds.

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