Welch LLP – 2023 Employer Excellence Award Recipient

From left: Jim McConnery, Jessica Zhang-Chapman, Monica Valbuena and Chris Meyers

Welch LLP is a mid-size Ottawa-based public accounting firm that provides a range of accounting, tax, and advisory services to private, government, and not-for-profit organizations. The firm has a long history with the Ontario communities it serves and in recent years has made some impactful commitments towards fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace, especially regarding newcomer and immigrant populations.

The formation of its very own Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Community Alliance (EDICA) was a turning point for its improved EDI practices, with several achievements following suit. The creation of ‘Women of Welch’ (WoW) a platform for Welch women to connect and support each other; gender-balancing the Promotions Committee; developing career mapping focused on women and visible minorities, and the addition of EDI training for new hires.

Since removing the Canadian experience requirement from their hiring process last year, Welch has hired over 20 immigrant employees. While all new employees are supported by a well-established onboarding process that includes training and a ‘buddy program’, a new committee was formed to support newcomer new hires in particular.  The Newcomer New Hire (NCNH) committee is a support system made up of immigrant employees who support newcomer new hires in the early days of employment. This group has been instrumental in ensuring the adaptation and integration of newcomer new hires within their first three months.

“We at Welch LLP are incredibly honoured to accept the 2023 Hire Immigrants Ottawa Employer Excellence Award.  This recognition reflects our commitment to creating a positive work environment that is driven by our values of care, impact and empower.  We recognize the talents of our staff are vital to our organization, and that hiring skilled immigrant employees is essential to our ongoing success.  The partners at Welch LLP thank all our staff for their dedication and hard work.” Jim McConnery, Managing Partner, Welch LLP

Welch strives to maximize the success of newcomer and immigrant employees by offering learning and development opportunities, including English language training for newcomer new hires, unconscious bias training for all staff on a biannual basis, and the opportunity to attend networking events. They also have a clear promotion process; performance check-ins occur regularly and include EDI discussion questions.

Hiring more newcomers and immigrants has been beneficial to Welch’s ongoing business success. With over twenty different languages spoken among its staff, they have been able to expand into new markets. Their presence in diverse communities has led to greater collaboration and recognition with community partners. In 2022, RBC and Welch forged a collaborative newcomer/immigrant initiative, and that same year, Welch was featured on CTV Ottawa as an immigrant-inclusive employer.  This, in turn, has led to an increase in the recruitment of immigrants.

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