October 13, 2022

Our Latest Diversity Data Set

Hi there! My name is Mireille, and I am a Senior Research Analyst at rel8ed.to. I help organizations leverage curious data and unexpected insights to reach their business goals.

One of our most exciting and recent projects has been working with a long-time partner to develop a rich dataset of Canadian diversity indicators. Every quarter we will be tagging and reviewing our entire database of Canadian businesses and organizations with Woman-Owned indicators. Smart minds in the rel8ed.to analytics department have made it possible to identify whether a company is:

1) solely-owned by a woman;

2) majority-owned by a woman; or

3) whether a woman plays a significant role but is not a majority owner.

Developing this data set is more work than it may seem.

We start with self-declared and a few publicly-available lists of Women-Owned businesses. In the Canadian market there is no official registry sponsored by the government, so we're left with a number that does not nearly match the actual market penetration. We knew there would be a gap, but this publicly-available gap is quite large. Time to start up those Curious Data engines...

Then we identify diversity indicators through our algorithms, which are developed against the complete Canadian Business Owner data set and third-party repositories. We perform a series of cross-checks and filters to each identified firm in order to arrive at a final selection of companies for designation. Algorithms are rigorously tested and results are verified through machine and direct human validation.

But the work is worth it. This data set is a gamechanger.

Through our work developing these diversity indicators, we are arming our partners with the hard facts and actual data they need to propel their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This data can be leveraged across several different functionalities including but not limited to:

  • Targeted marketing and partnership engagement.
  • Generating market statistics reports.
  • Identifying market gaps and opportunities.
  • Conducting reviews and compliance checks for funded programs.

In other words, this is big!

Now more than ever, organizations are prioritizing support for underrepresented business owners. A data set like ours provides the opportunity for us to shed light on the many women, indigenous, and underrepresented entrepreneurs out there – knowing the diversity of our businesses in Canada means creating greater awareness of where we can foster new partnerships, provide more funding, and support more diverse talent.

The opportunities this data set creates to increase the visibility of diverse and underrepresented companies is promising to me personally as a black-woman entrepreneur. When I first moved to Canada from Rwanda, I started a business that I eventually had to close down – increased visibility would have been a major benefit and may have allowed us to remain open. Today, it brings me great pride to be able to play a role in the enablement of other Women-Owned businesses -- as this data set is already being leveraged to increase visibility and access to growth programs for underrepresented companies and founders.

I should also note that while I’ve talked mostly about how we’re leveraging Women-Owned business indicators, this is just a small piece of our diversity data set. We also have indicators for Indigenous-Owned and Visible Minority-Owned businesses.

Saying that I am proud to be playing part of this very progressive vision to empower and support diversely owned businesses would be an understatement!


Mireille Mwiza Iradukunda joined rel8ed.to as part of the RTA program in the last term of her Master's Program at Carleton University. Her focus on product development though Data Analytics helps our clients succeed with their custom data projects. Read more about her experience here.

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