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Ask any successful salesperson about how best to close a sale and he or she will tell you that the key to doing so is eliminating the foremost reason for the buyer to say “no”. That’s exactly what the Canadian Board Diversity Council did this morning with the release of its Diversity 50 — a list of 50 candidates who are either women, visible minorities or persons with disabilities, and who are willing, available and qualified to sit on corporate boards.
To champion diversity, Deloitte has undertaken a number of initiatives. It held cross-country roundtables for the past two years, which focused on a particular aspect of diversity and inclusion. In 2010 that focus was on the integration of persons with disabilities into the workforce, which aligned Deloitte’s sponsorship of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. In 2011, the firm examined the question of integrating immigrants into the workforce.
But some believe quotas do have a place. Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree, a private foundation that is trying to move more visible minorities into leadership roles in Toronto, believes quotas may work better in public rather than corporate settings. Corporations can be nimble, she says. If you remove the barriers in the corporate world, quotas aren’t required. Public institutions are harder to change.
Why in 2012, is the federal government trying to nudge corporate Canada into changing the makeup of its boardrooms to include more women? The answer is simple: Inclusivity is good for business.
Helping immigrants adapt to their new country and find work is increasingly becoming important with immigrants now accounting for one in five Canadians, a recent TD Economics report shows. And by 2055, Statistics Canada projects immigration will account for 90% of the country’s population growth.
We have all heard the saying, “great minds think alike.” But in today’s business world, it is not this sameness that will drive your bottom line. The more you embrace diversity, the greater your organization will become.