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New Research Report Finds More Visible Minorities in GTA Leadership
DiverseCity Counts shows progress over three years
Toronto, ON. June 7, 2011. The leadership of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is more diverse than it was three years ago, reveals a new research report released today.
The third annual DiverseCity Counts report, produced by the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University on behalf of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, finds that 14.5 per cent of leaders in the GTA are visible minorities (relative to 49.5 per cent of the population studied) which is an overall increase of eight percent from 13.4 per cent in 2009.
DiverseCity Counts: A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the GTA tracks over 3,000 leaders across the corporate, public, elected, education and nonprofit sectors. The 2011 report results show that year after year government agencies, boards and commissions (22 per cent) and the education sector (20 per cent) have consistently out-performed other sectors. Elected officials are the third most diverse group of leaders at 19 per cent and the corporate sector has remained the least diverse at 4.2 per cent.
“Perhaps the reason that the public sector typically has more visible minority leaders is the higher level of transparency and scrutiny that inspires action,” explains Wendy Cukier, the lead author and founder of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. “Organizations that make a point of tracking and reporting on their results tend to have higher levels of diversity. What gets measured gets done.”
While visible minorities in the GTA are still under-represented in leadership positions, great strides have been made. Over the three-year timeframe, elected officials show the largest growth across sectors studied from 16.1 per cent in 2009 to 19 per cent in 2011 – an 18 per cent increase. Within this category, the Town of Markham stands out with visible minorities comprising 30.8 per cent of Council.
This year’s report also took a unique look at the legal sector. Lawyers and judges are important decision makers who shape the laws that act as a foundation for a democratic society. In addition, lawyers often become leaders in other areas, such as in elected office – in fact, 73 per cent of Canadian Prime Ministers were practising lawyers.
The study finds that just 6.8 per cent of leaders (judges, governing bodies and law school leaders and law partners and crown attorneys) in the GTA legal sector are visible minorities compared to 14.4 per cent of a talent pool of practising visible minority lawyers in the GTA. While 6.6 per cent of partners at the biggest law firms are visible minorities, 8.3 per cent of judges are visible minorities.
DiverseCity Counts is part of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, a multi-pronged initiative to accelerate prosperity in the GTA by enabling a more diverse leadership to emerge. Previous research has found a link between diversity in leadership and more effective, innovative and productive organizations.
“In terms of the overall results we are glad to see movement in the right direction. But we recognize that at this pace it will be 30 years before our leadership catches up with our demographic reality,” says Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, who together with John Tory is co-chairing the DiverseCity Project. “Our project is working to collapse natural timeframes so that we can reap the benefits of diverse leadership now.”
Julia Howell, on behalf of DiverseCity, (416) 402-4274, email@example.com
Kathleen Powderley, on behalf of the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, (416) 803-5597, firstname.lastname@example.org
About DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project
DiverseCity is the latest project of Maytree and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, funded in part by the government of Ontario. With its eight initiatives, the project is changing the face of our region’s leadership. It is expanding our networks, strengthening our private and public institutions, advancing our knowledge on the role of diversity in leadership and tracking our progress. For more information, and to read the full report visit www.diversecitytoronto.ca.
About the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University
The Diversity Institute is located in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The Diversity Institute undertakes diversity research with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, disabilities and sexual orientation in the workplace. The goal of the Institute is to generate new, interdisciplinary knowledge about diversity in organizations to contribute to the awareness and the promotion of equity in the workplace. Visit www.ryerson.ca/diversity for more information.