Gay Travel Awards 2017

The Gay Travel Awards recognize and promote select destinations and travel-related companies around the globe. These organizations lead by example and help to inspire and challenge other companies and brands to follow their spirit of inclusiveness as well as to constantly improve their amenities and service levels. This year’s winners are: Worthington Guesthouse (Bed & Breakfast of the Year), Advantage Rent A Car (Car Rental), Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Casino Resort), Orlando, Florida (Destination Domestic),  Vienna (Destination International), Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui (Fan Favorite Hotel), Palace Bar (Gay Bar of the Year), New York City (Gay Pride of the Year), Starwood Hawaii (Hotel Collection of the Year), St.James Court, London (Hotel Luxury, Europe), The St. Regis, Mexico City (Hotel Luxury, Mexico), Rancho Valencia (Hotel Luxury, US), Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island (Hotel, Wedding Resort), Atlantis (LGBT Cruise Operator), Toto Tours (LGBT Tour Operator), Cruising with Pride (LGBT Travel Agency), Royal Caribbean International (Ocean Cruise Line ), Castlehotel Schönberg (Romantic Hotel/ Resort), Meadowood Napa Valley (Spa of the Year), Gay Wine Weekend (Summer Event), Hopper (Travel App), Doubletree, Hilton Orlando Downtown (Value Hotel), and Whistler Pride (Winter Event).


University of Calgary commits to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

The University of Calgary has published initial information required by the Canada Research Chair Program (CRCP)’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan, as outlined by the Government of Canada. The university is committed to meeting the requirements of the program and is supportive of initiatives that focus on improving equity, diversity and inclusion in our institution.

Within the public transparency website, community members are welcomed to explore a number of items identified by the CRCP, including diversity and inclusion contacts on campus, protected disclosure processes, Canada Research Chair postings and EDI targets and gaps.

The University of Calgary is currently working on its institutional CRC EDI action plan to guide efforts for sustained participation of designated groups among its chair allocations. EDI objectives, indicators and actions have been outlined in the initial plan submitted in December 2017, as per the CRCP’s requirements.

Through its Eyes High 2017-22 strategy, respect for diversity, equity and inclusion informs the university’s commitment to learning, research excellence and the community. Diversity and inclusion in research strengthens the entire research enterprise by bringing different perspectives, voices and approaches to projects.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the CRCP’s Action Plan, the University of Calgary will limit Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs to two terms, or a maximum of 14 years, in an effort to encourage more scholars to become Tier 1 Chairs.

The University of Calgary shares the goal of universities across Canada to continue making progress toward having active Canada Research Chairs who are reflective of the community while ensuring the highest standards of academic excellence across university faculties.

Visit the University of Calgary’s Canada Research Chair Equity, Diversity and Inclusion site for more information.

This article was originally published in UToday, University of Calgary.

Creating culture change for all engineers: latest survey

The Royal Academy of Engineering has called for profession-wide culture change and regular benchmarking of progress in order to create a truly inclusive culture within the UK engineering profession. The initiative follows the publication of a unique survey of workplace cultures which shows that inclusion benefits all engineers, but there are some discrepancies between experiences of inclusiveness at work.

According to the survey, the first to measure workplace culture in engineering, UK engineers are described by their own peers as good at problem solving, safety-conscious, proud, loyal, team-oriented and flexible. However, many engineers describe their culture as friendly but impersonal, with a strong attachment to tradition and offering too little support in relation to career development.

Over 7,000 UK engineers responded to the survey. Results published today in a report called Creating cultures where all engineers thrive show that some 77% of those surveyed said they like their job ‘most or all of the time’, and 82% would recommend engineering as a great career choice to family and friends. Only 3% of respondents are planning to leave the profession permanently (for reasons other than retirement) in the next 12 months.

Those who took part saw the benefits of working in an inclusive profession, with 80% of those surveyed saying that feeling included at work increased their motivation and 68% saying it increased their overall performance.

Read the report: Creating cultures where all engineers thrive (4.45 MB)

However, the survey found that gender and ethnicity make a significant difference to how engineers perceive the culture of their profession. Being in a minority in engineering gives women and black and minority ethnic (BAME) engineers a consistently different perspective on its culture. Male (82%) engineers were significantly more likely than their female (43%) colleagues to say their gender is irrelevant to how they are perceived at work. BAME (85%) engineers were more likely than their white (58%) colleagues to report that assumptions are made about them based on their ethnicity or nationality.

BAME (72%) and female engineers (80%) also feel less able to be open about their lives outside work than white (85%) and male (85%) engineers. BAME (72%) and female (72%) engineers are also less likely to speak up on inappropriate behaviour, than their white (83%) and male (84%) colleagues.

Creating cultures where all engineers thrive identifies seven indicators of inclusion: openness, respect, relationships, career development support, flexibility, leadership and diversity. Creating a more inclusive culture will require targeted interventions for women and BAME engineers, and the 1 in 5 white male engineers who also reported feeling less included. It will mean taking action across each of these indicators, and measuring and monitoring progress towards a more inclusive future for all. The survey provides a- baseline against which to measure future progress.

The research also gathered information on the extent of inclusion amongst lesbian, gay bisexual and disabled engineers, as well as from engineers with different religions and belief or none. Results from this will be published later this year.

In the foreword to the report, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, says: “Equality of opportunity is a critical part of a modern Industrial Strategy, and the progress this report calls for is essential if we are to maximise the potential of the UK’s engineering sector to drive productivity and continue to secure our leading position in the global marketplace.”

Loraine Martins MBE FRSA, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Network Rail, a member of the steering group overseeing the survey, says: “With only 9% of UK engineers being women and only 6% coming from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, we clearly need to do more to improve diversity in the engineering profession. This will require a significant culture change, if our vision of an inclusive profession that is welcoming, respectful and supports career development for everyone, is to be realised.”

Allan Cook CBE FREng, Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says: “We can take many positives from this extensive survey. UK engineers are highly focused on delivering the best solutions to challenges which exist in their demanding jobs and this problem-solving expertise can be applied to improving diversity and inclusion. Engineers recognise the benefits of working in an inclusive environment and acknowledge that we need to work harder to drive change. The Academy’s Diversity and Inclusion programme has been set up do exactly this task.”

The Diversity Bus

The Diversity Bus, the latest incarnation of the Pride Festival Bus, has been designed to promote and celebrate diversity in the community by carrying messages that will make a difference. The bus has been named in memory of local drag artist Phil Starr who performed on stages across the world for more than 50 years, raising thousands of pounds for charity.

“The Diversity Bus not only celebrates Pride and everything it stands for but is a symbol of our broader support for diversity and inclusion in general. We want to stand side by side with those who work to heal divisions in our society.” ~Martin Harris, managing director, Brighton & Hove Buses

Adecco pushes for diversity

The Adecco Group hosted its first Global Sports & Inclusion Day (GS&ID) for employees, elite athletes, partners and clients. The leading global workforce solutions provider urged organisations to encourage healthier lifestyles among their workers to improve well-being, team spirit and performance.

The day was an opportunity to unite two of the Group’s global programmes – Win4Youth and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) & International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athlete Career Programmes (ACP).

The IOC and IPC, in cooperation with Adecco, have supported more than 35,000 athletes from over 185 countries with career counselling and job placement through the ACP.

“We hope that the day will come when no one will struggle to find or lose a job because of discrimination or limited accessibility.”

“For businesses to be successful in a world where depending on others is critical, being inclusive is essential: diversity of capabilities, experiences and perspectives gives you an edge,” the Adecco Group Chief Human Resources Officer Shanthi Flynn said at the inaugural event of the Swiss GS&ID at the Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil.

“Governments and companies need to focus on the skills, education and experiences relevant to the jobs of the future. Being agile and adaptable to change will be necessary for survival. If we focus on what people can do, not what they can’t, and are creative about adapting jobs to accommodate differences, our organisations will move faster.”

Olympic and Paralympic athletes – including Swiss Olympic heptathlete Ellen Sprunger, Swiss Paralympic cyclist Armin Kohli, Swiss Paralympic swimmer and Ironman triathlete Chantal Gavin and Swiss Olympic triathlon hopeful Florin Salvisberg, among other elite sports women and men – joined Adecco teams and clients to raise awareness about the benefits of inclusive societies and workplaces.

“Today is a big opportunity because people come here to do sports together, regardless of personal abilities or disabilities. Companies need to give people with disabilities more opportunities, and to seek to benefit from their abilities,” said Kohli.

IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: “Time and time again, the performances ofPara athletes have triggered seismic shifts in attitudes and perceptions towards people with an impairment. We hope that the day will come when no one will struggle to find or lose a job because of discrimination or limited accessibility.”

More than one billion people or one in five, globally live with some kind of disability and every person at some point has a temporarily disability. This group can face prejudice on a daily basis, especially in the workplace. Yet research shows that companies benefit when they invest in diversity:

• Increased employee engagement and motivation

• Greater efficiency

• More innovation and creativity

• Better service and customer satisfaction

• Access to new markets

Alongside supporting the IOC and IPC Athlete Career Programme, Adecco placed more than 82,000 people with a disability in jobs around the world between 2004 and 2016.

New tool to assess organizational diversity released: BRF

The Biogerontology Research Foundation has released the results of their first pilot study, conducted as part of their ongoing partnership with Diversity.AI, alongside scientists at Youth Laboratories, University of Virginia, Insilico Medicine, University of Oxford and the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. The pilot study involved the application of deep learning to characterizing the organizational diversity of the 500 largest companies from the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list, applying deep learned predictors of race, sex and age to the executive management of companies and ranking them according to a sex, age and race-diversity index. The purpose of the deep learned predictor presented in the study is to serve as a means of rapidly and impartially assessing organizational diversity.

“This pilot study is the latest fruits borne from the Biogerontology Research Foundation’s ongoing partnership with Diversity.AI, and its implications for reducing age-discrimination in the face of rapidly aging populations and a future workforce increasingly dominated by older individuals is of particular interest to us. Ageism has been with us for a long time, and today seems to have fewer stigmas associated with it than sexism and racism, which is very unfortunate. Considering population aging and the increasing role that older individuals will come to play in society as demographic aging continues, efforts to reduce age-based discrimination become increasingly important, as does the need for tools able to assist in assessing the age-based diversity of organizations.” said Franco Cortese, Deputy Director of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

While Diversity.AI’s mission extends beyond aging to include reducing sex and race-based discrimination, the think tank recognizes the deleterious role that ageism plays in society today and the increasing need to reduce age-based discrimination in the face of demographic aging and the growth of the elderly portion of developed countries’ populations, and many of their efforts are focused on the prevention of age-based discrimination in artificially intelligent systems, including the development of more inclusive biomarkers of aging utilizing data from a wider range of elderly patient population ethnicities in order to minimize the extent with which ethnic variations in aging biomarkers decrease the predictive accuracy of AI-based predictors of chronological age and quantifiers of biological age.

“Diversity.AI is an international think tank dedicated to reducing discrimination and bias in AI systems in the many industries where these technologies are rapidly proliferating. This mission is of increasing importance because AI is quickly becoming the main driver of progress in so many fields of science, technology and human endeavor that it is easy for one to lose count. From healthcare to finance to governance, AI is galvanizing rapid paradigm shifts all around us, and efforts aiming to reduce bias and discrimination in artificially-intelligent systems are more important now than they ever have been before” said Dmitry Kaminskiy, Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

Building Blocks of Workplace Inclusion

By Jill Walters

When it comes to creating a culture of inclusion, many don’t know where to begin. And although it’s a cliché to say, “begin at the beginning,” that is, in fact, is exactly where you have to go. But relax. It’s not as overwhelming as you may think. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen and more easily than you ever imagined.

In the current issue of TD at Work, you will learn:

  • ·The importance of creating a mission statement, vision statement, and value statement around inclusion
  • ·how to establish an action plan
  • ·best practices for developing an inclusive organization
  • ·steps to creating a workplace inclusion committee
  • ·how to develop an employee-friendly workplace.

Take a peek inside the publication and read more of the article, here.

Building Blocks of Workplace Inclusion which was written by Evelina Silveira, president of Diversity at Work, and me can be purchased here.

Jill Walters is the publisher of Diversity! in the Workplace.






Top Global Employers for LGBT staff

Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity announced its Top Global Employers for 2017.  They are:


  • Accenture

  • Baker & McKenzie

  • Barclays

  • BP plc

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

  • Herbert Smith Freehills

  • HSBC

  • Pinsent Masons

  • RBS

  • Simmons & Simmons

  • Thomson Reuters

  • Vodafone

Stonewall’s Global Top Employers list celebrates the pioneering efforts of leading organisations to create inclusive workplaces and advance equality for LGBT people wherever they are in the world.  It’s compiled from submissions to the Global Workplace Equality Index (GWEI): a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to create inclusive workplaces across the markets in which they operate.

Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, said: “‘It’s an honour to join Stonewall in recognizing the efforts and achievements of these top global businesses which have done so much to increase equality for LGBT people across the world.  We have a proud history in the UK of championing LGBT rights and equality and civil society and businesses have played a key role in helping us become a diverse and welcoming country. We also know that the most cosmopolitan societies attract the best talent from every corner of the world, which is good for business and for economic growth.  When civil society and businesses work together in the spirit of genuine partnership they can bring real benefits to the communities they serve.”

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: “LGBT people face discrimination, violence and isolation in every country in the world. Consensual same-sex activity remains illegal in 72 countries, and is punishable by death in eight. In more than half the world, LGBT people may not be protected from discrimination by workplace law. That makes this ongoing work all the more important, and is why we are so proud to continue working alongside our Top Global Employers, and the FCO, to ensure that LGBT people can be protected and feel welcome at work, wherever they are.”

Now in its sixth year, the Global Workplace Equality Index is reaching more people than ever before –this year’s participants collectively employ over 1.6 million people.

Fasken Martineau fosters diversity through new pilot project

Fasken Martineau is partnering with Diversity Lab along with 30 leading US-based law firms, in piloting the Mansfield Rule project. The Mansfield Rule was one of the winning ideas from the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon hosted by Diversity Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School.

Fasken Martineau’s Tracey M. Cohen, Q.C., Partner and leading litigator, represented the Firm and participated in the Hackathon.  Cohen, a member of the Firm’s Partnership Board, and high-level partners from 54 leading US-based law firms, brainstormed ways to improve the opportunities for women to advance to senior leadership positions in law firms.

Fasken Martineau embraced the challenge to implement one of the proposed solutions emerging from the hackathon: the Mansfield Rule, roughly designed after the National Football League’s revolutionary “Rooney Rule.” It aims to ensure that at least 30 per cent of candidates for senior positions in law firms include women and visible minorities. More details are available in the press release issued by Diversity Lab.

“One of the Firm’s core values is that we believe that diversity and inclusion leads to better decision-making,” said Peter Feldberg, Firm Managing Partner. “We anticipate that the Mansfield Rule could add some discipline and measurement to our leadership selection processes.”

About Diversity Lab

Diversity Lab creates and experiments with innovative ways to close gender gaps and boost diversity in law firms and legal departments by leveraging data, behavioral science, and design thinking.

About Fasken Martineau

Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. With more than 700 lawyers, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, London and Johannesburg. For additional information, go to

New initiative launched to inform and inspire entrepreneurs

A new report, titled Entrepreneurship: Canada’s Golden Opportunity has been released  by the newly formed Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative and reveals that many barriers still exist if Canada is to reach its full potential. In a survey of 2000 Canadians, new data shows Canadian entrepreneurship is stuck in the past.

The survey results showed that the Canadian view on entrepreneurship is outdated and male dominated. When asked to identify the most famous Canadian entrepreneurs, the top Canadians cited were all men, mostly historical figures (born between 1764 and 1954) or inactive in the businesses that made their name. The survey also highlights a tendency towards risk aversion in business, and underlines how those entrepreneurs who are pushing an aggressive agenda are not being recognized for their efforts by Canadians.

To address these challenges and support Canada’s work to become a global powerhouse for 21st century entrepreneurship, the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative launched today in Ottawa. The Initiative will focus initially on helping women. Sir Richard Branson, global entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, and Canadian television personality and Clearbanc Co-Founder Michele Romanow joined Initiative Founder and Chair Ruma Bose to celebrate the launch.

The initiative has committed to several programs to support both entrepreneurial spirit and action in Canada. This includes supporting increased access to online support and capital investment for small and medium-sized businesses. It will act as a convening force to draw attention to Canada’s entrepreneurial story.

“I founded this initiative because I wish this program had been there for me as I was growing up in Trois-Rivières,” said Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative Founder Ruma Bose. “I see so much incredible Canadian potential that could be unleashed if our culture was more supportive of entrepreneurship.”

“I’ve seen through my own journey, from building companies to being a Dragon, that we need more support for entrepreneurs. They are the rock stars that will build Canada’s future and need to be celebrated,” said Michele Romanow.

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, it’s time to realize the country’s potential to become a global powerhouse of free enterprise and innovation,” said Initiative supporter Sir Richard Branson.

Read the full report.