Diversity and inclusion is not only good for humanity but also good for business. A recent report from the Centre for International Governance, entitled Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage, states that a one percent increase in cultural diversity was associated with a 2.4% increase in revenue and a 0.5% increase in workplace activity. And yet despite cold hard facts that diversity adds to the bottom line, Canadian companies often still lack the movement in that direction, especially at the board level.
In fact, the Diversity Leads – Diverse Representation in Leadership: A Review of Eight Canadian Cities report says that racialized people represent 28.4% of the population and yet occupy only 10.4% of board positions overall. This study also shows that Black leaders are underrepresented on boards across Canada and are even outnumbered by other racialized groups. Black individuals hold only 3.6% of all board positions in Toronto, for example, despite comprising 7.5% of the Greater Toronto Area. Why?
Your Workplace editor and deputy publisher Joel Kranc brought together experts in the field of diversity and inclusion to discuss the latest challenges for workplaces. In attendance were Sheryl Ries, Director, Diversity and Inclusion (HR) with Vancity; Wendy Cukier, Director, Diversity Institute and Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University; and Brenda LaRose, Partner and Head of Leaders International’s Diversity & Inclusion Board Practice. The following is an edited transcript of that discussion.