Good news on diversity

TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorial – Good news on diversity
Published On Tue Nov 17 2009

Greater Toronto is one of the most immigrant-rich regions on Earth but you would be hard pressed to know it wandering the halls of finance, government and culture.

In the most diverse GTA municipalities, visible minorities make up nearly 50 per cent of the population. But just 13 per cent of the top leaders in the public, non-profit and corporate sectors belong to visible minorities, according to a study earlier this year. Corporations fared the worst, with minorities accounting for just 5 per cent of senior executive positions in the firms studied.

It is welcome news, then, that a progressive initiative of the Maytree Foundation and Toronto City Summit Alliance seems to be having an impact. The initiative, called DiverseCity, has met or exceeded its targets, the organizers announced last night.

More than 300 people from minority groups have made it on to public, private and non-profit boards, and 140 have become spokespersons helping to ensure a broader range of media voices.

This is good news not just for minorities but for everyone. When all our citizens are able to contribute their utmost, society as a whole benefits. Studies have linked diversity in leadership to better corporate performance and more creative thinking. We need those benefits now more than ever.

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