image of Janine Tamboli

Janine Tamboli

Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Maple Leaf Foods

(En français)

Janine Tamboli is a trailblazing, strategic leader with a vision to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. She focuses on nurturing conscious inclusivity by educating, engaging, and inspiring others to drive positive change. Janine knows that sustainable change can only happen when people across roles and levels, and especially those in positions of power, are committed to understanding the need for progress and how to drive it forward.

How She Made Change

Leading Impactful Transformations

Janine’s primary objective is to create a workplace culture that celebrates uniqueness, fosters inclusion, and ensures everyone feels valued, heard, represented, and a sense of belonging. Janine approaches culture change by identifying barriers that exist in the systems people use to navigate the organization. She follows this up with targeted interventions, both large and small, to effect change from the ground up and from the top down.

Janine initiated The Blueprint—a steadfast framework with four pillars: Drive Accountability to Represent the Communities We Serve, Align Our People Practices to Our Values, Facilitate Deep Listening and Nurture Curiosity, and Foster Cultural Change That Creates Broad Engagement. This blueprint acts as a guiding light for Maple Leaf’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, changing over time as the company evolves.

Under Janine’s leadership, Maple Leaf Foods has made remarkable progress in advancing gender equality within the company. By introducing various programs, policies, and partnerships, Janine facilitated a marked increase in the representation of women at different levels across the organization. She has used the findings from this work to set next-generation goals to drive further change.

Learning and Connections

To support the development of team members and people leaders, Janine played a vital role in sourcing and developing learning and educational programs. These programs included instructor-led courses such as Managing Bias When Evaluating Talent, self-directed courses, and microlearning resources focused on critical issues.

Through the review of the company’s annual engagement survey results, Janine identified two critical dimensions: authenticity and equal opportunity. Year-over-year improvements in these areas demonstrate the positive impact of her initiatives on employee experiences.

Janine also played a pivotal role in fostering the growth of employee resource groups (ERGs) within Maple Leaf Foods. From 2019 to 2022, the number of ERGs more than doubled, increasing from three to seven. Maple Leaf Foods ERGs now include Accessibility, EcoAction, Maple Leaf Pride & Allies, The Mental Health Network, The Multicultural Advocacy Network (Multi-CAN), The Women’s Impact Network (WIN), and WIN’s Women in Manufacturing chapter. These groups have become a driving force in informing leadership interactions and shaping the company’s evolving DEI approach.

Accelerating Progress Across Functions

Janine recognized the unique talent challenges and opportunities within the manufacturing sector, and was instrumental in assembling Maple Leaf Foods Operations D&I Taskforce. This cross-functional group of business leaders is tasked with redefining how Maple Leaf attracts, hires, develops, and retains talent in operational roles while fostering an inclusive work environment and employee experience. Janine’s efforts have also influenced Maple Leaf’s approach, including updating job postings to attract non-traditional talent and partnering with organizations like ACCES Employment to support newcomers to Canada in finding gainful employment.

Actions You Can Take

  1. Look across roles and functions to see what challenges and opportunities exist.
  2. Leverage the collective knowledge and experience within employee resource groups to support the shaping of your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.

Janine’s curiosity-driven approach fuels a constant desire for learning and knowledge sharing, enabling her to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving landscape of diversity and inclusion. Additionally, she upholds a strong sense of accountability, holding herself and others responsible for achieving their goals and making progress towards fostering an inclusive culture at Maple Leaf Foods. Her passion for ensuring that all team members thrive in an inclusive culture reflects her true purpose and commitment to driving positive change.