2020 Highlights 

  • 8, 053 employees, and we were recognized as a top Canadian employer

    • following the Norbord acquisition, 10,600 employees in five countries (as of Feb 1 2021) 

  • 25% of our workforce self identifies with an under-represented racial or ethnic identity

Our People

We are committed to the same core beliefs that were central to our Company when it was founded in 1955: count all your cents, treat people fairly, laugh out loud and work harder than anyone else in the business to be the best.  

West Fraser continues to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. We believe highly engaged employees are a critical part of how we achieve performance excellence, growth and fiscal strength. We aim to foster a working environment where every person and position is valued and every person is challenged to contribute to our shared success.  As we seek to improve our understanding of the people in our company, we are using data to improve our focused action to ensure we are treating people fairly.  As we discover opportunities to do better, we will.

We are focused on:

  • actively recruiting for key roles, 
  • developing the depth and capability of our employees in leadership and in the trades,
  • reducing turnover from mill operations, 
  • and supporting diversity, equality and inclusion at our sites.

As a primary or major employer in most of our operating areas, we want to be recognized an employer-of-choice for a highly-skilled, diverse workforce and to be a positive contributor to flourishing communities. The COVID-19 pandemic was challenging across the business over the year, but it was also an experience that showed the resilience and agility of our people. The following summarizes some our activities to advance our workforce priorities:

Strategic Intent

Highlights on Progress

Provide experience and training opportunities that enable employees to develop skills and advance in their careers

In 2020, we met our promote-from-within target of 60% of salaried professional and leadership positions filled by an internal candidate (2019: 53%). Developing leadership skills in our employees is something we take seriously at every level of the organization. Leadership training and development programs continued through the pandemic by converting to a virtual program. An organization learning management system was established in 2020 to better monitor and track workplace training.

Assess the makeup of our workforce to establish diversity baselines, metrics, objectives and actions to drive measurable progress

A survey in 2020 captured necessary workforce demographic and diversity data for Canadian employees to understand and improve disclosure about the makeup of our North American workforce. A President’s Diversity Council of senior Company leaders has been established to support the establishment of policy, expectations and measures to address diversity, equality and inclusion in the organization. A 2021 Action Plan for diversity, equality and inclusion is under development.

Develop and implement HR plans to recruit, retain and develop our employees, reflecting the communities where we operate

This year West Fraser focused on building relationships with recruiters specialized in recruiting diverse candidates, post-secondary programs and community education initiatives local to our operations that attract diverse candidates to the company. An Operations Diversity Council of employees has been tasked with identifying best practices for recruiting, developing and retaining diverse candidates, with business unit leaders holding themselves responsible for their targets and objectives.

* Historical (2018 – 2019) workforce figures are provided for the West Fraser operations as of December 31 of the respective reporting years. West Fraser completed the acquisition of Norbord Ltd. as a wholly-owned subsidiary on February 1, 2021. Additional 2020 workforce data from West Fraser and Norbord Ltd. has been combined to provide representative performance as one organization. However, as separate companies in 2020, West Fraser and Norbord utilized different approaches for collecting, tracking, and categorizing workforce data and this have been compiled as much as possible to faithfully represent a combined organization.

HR-Related Memberships, Partnerships and Collaborations 

Corporately we support the following programs and initiatives:


Governance & Accountability

The President & CEO and the Executive Leadership Team oversee performance, compliance for the systems and processes of people development, training and succession planning, including the Company’s efforts in diversity and Inclusion. A President’s Diversity Council has been set to provide oversight and coordination for the advancement of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the business.

  • West Fraser’s Statement on Diversity outlines the intention to include and leverage diverse perspectives and experience in our workforce to support the Company’s competitiveness, safety, innovative spirit and to achieve top performance. We aim to create workplaces that are reflective of the communities we are a part of and where diversity in culture, experience and background are valued.
  • The Board has adopted a Board Diversity Policy, affirming the view that inclusion and diversity on the Board improves an understanding of opportunities, issues and risks; enables stronger decision-making; and ultimately improves the Company’s performance and maximize shareholder value.

The Vice-President, Human Resources is responsible for the delivery of systems, policies, practices and processes for labour relations and human resources management for our workforce. This is implemented through management and human resource teams at our offices and operations. As a function, Human Resources supports employee remuneration, performance review processes, diversity and inclusion efforts, labour relations negotiation, training, development and succession planning, recruitment, retirement and pensions.

102-8 Information on employees and other workers

At the end of 2020, there were 8,053 employees in West Fraser’s North American operations. Following the acquisition of Norbord Inc. on February 1, 2021, West Fraser’s total global workforce has reached 10,625 workers in five countries (Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Scotland and Belgium.)

Following the acquisition, 20% of our workforce self-identifies with an under-represented racial or ethnic identity, and 13.5% of employees are women. Our employees are predominantly permanent, full-time employees (98%), with hourly workers representing the largest portion (73%) of our employee group. Part-time, temporary and contract workers combined are a small fraction of our total workforce (1.5%).

Diversity & Equal Opportunity


  • President’s Diversity Council and an Operations Diversity Councils have been set to advance Company diversity, equality and inclusion performance
  • Overall, 25% of our workforce identifies with an under-represented racial or ethnic identity
  • Women make up 14.5% of the total workforce