Mar 30, 2022

AIMCo Team Members Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Like many organizations, Alberta Investment Management Corporation recognizes the benefits and immense value diversity can bring to a workplace and the broader community. AIMCo is steadfastly committed to fostering an inclusive culture based on merit and free of bias. One example of AIMCo’s effort to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is the internal DEI Council.

The DEI Council enables individuals to live up to their potential at each stage of their career and bring their whole selves to work every day. The council also promotes the inclusion of different perspectives and ideas to mitigate against groupthink, the psychological phenomenon in which the desire for harmony or conformity within a group results in irrational or dysfunctional decision-making.

Currently, AIMCo’s DEI Council consists of 12 members from different areas of business who are either appointed or elected. As far as responsibilities, the council will:

  • Monitor DEI at AIMCo and its executional effectiveness

  • Assess annual DEI progress against strategy objectives

  • Champion and execute on AIMCo’s DEI goals in alignment with AIMCo’s corporate strategy and objectives

  • Consult with AIMCo employees on issues related to DEI and the work environment

  • Assist in the development and implementation of DEI policies, training and events

  • Oversee employee resource groups

  • Report on DEI strategic objectives and actions at least bi-annually to the executive committee.

Three members of the council took some time to share their personal reasons for contributing to the advancement of DEI at AIMCo.

Carmen Velasquez

Manager, Responsible Investment
Stewardship Pillar Lead

“Throughout my career, be it on an energy trading floor or in a tech start-up, I could always count the number of female peers on one hand. Research shows that women will not apply for roles unless they are 100% qualified, but if you tap them on the shoulder and invite them to apply, they are more much likely to do so. And that became my mission, to pull people with me, to increase diversity and representation where I had the privilege to do so. This type of change does not happen overnight, but if we all make small changes as we go and do our part, the result can be very powerful.”

Kalpana Singh

Manager, Internal Audit – Advanced Analytics
Volunteer Engagement Chair

“Prior to AIMCo, I devoted many years of my career to experimental physics research. For big experiments, detectors were usually at locations around the world nobody would consider pleasant, for example in Antarctica or two kilometres underground in a live mine. This research field had a skewed gender ratio, therefore, when rules were made regarding accessibility of the detector or when unconscious bias seeped into data, sometimes it significantly impacted the personal life and professional growth of the minority group. As a result of my experience, I came away with a belief that DEI is all about the three As — awareness, acceptance and appreciation. My goals for being on the Council include helping to develop practical strategies and metrics for the organization’s DEI initiatives. In addition, while working with the DEI Council at AIMCo in the past years, I realized that it has enhanced my understanding of diversity and how we can move forward as one to create equality for all.”

Waleem Alausa

Manager, Liquidity Risk Modelling
Employee Resource Groups Chair

“My desire to join the DEI Council at AIMCo is motivated by my perspective that together we can make the world a better place for all of us, regardless of our race, gender or other dimensions of diversity. Right from my first day joining AIMCo, I’ve always been fascinated by the level of diversity that’s characteristic of our organization. I’ve come to appreciate how much we celebrate our differences and acknowledge our similarities. Yet, there’s more work to be done to ensure fairness of opportunities, promote equity and make the world a better place by facilitating inclusivity in our organization. I believe I can employ my experience, leadership training and collaboration with other council members to contribute to advancing DEI at AIMCo.”