Global diversity news briefs – August 2011
In response to a predicted labour shortage in the not-for-profit sector, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) has published a new guidebook to help nonprofit employers attract, recruit and retain skilled immigrants to meet their staffing needs. Beyond the Boomers: A Guidebook for Building an Immigrant Workforce in the Nonprofit Sector outlines the business case for hiring immigrants, educates employers about the barriers to employing immigrants, shares best practices for the recruitment and retention of the best qualified candidates, and provides links to additional resources. To access the guidebook, Beyond the Boomers: A Guidebook for Building an Immigrant Workforce in the Nonprofit Sector.
According to a new Ontario study commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), second generation male Canadians have higher unemployment rates and lower earnings than Canadian-born males despite having higher university completion rates. The study, Educational Attainments and Labour Market Outcomes of the Children of Immigrants in Ontario, included the children of parents from Jamaica, India, Latin America, Eastern Europe and East Asian countries other than China. In terms of employment rates and earnings, the report found most second-generation women are not significantly different from third generation.
Even with underemployed groups such as aboriginals and those with disabilities being fully engaged in the workforce, Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta’s minister of immigration and employment, says the province “will still be short of workers.” As a result, the minister is going to push the Government of Canada to concentrate on the immigrant talent pool. “The federal government took in 280,000 new immigrants this year, the highest number ever, and that’s great,” he said. “But that record intake didn’t make a dent in the 360,000 temporary workers in the country.” Thirty thousand of those temporary workers are in Alberta. Under the current federal 4-year rule, well-trained immigrant workers are forced leave Alberta, end up going to other industrialized countries and not returning.
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has launched a new certification initiative, the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program. PAR covers 4 performance areas: employment, business development, community investment and community engagement. After undergoing a review by aboriginal business people, participating companies receive a bronze, silver or gold logo indicating they are a good employer, a great business partner, and committed to prosperity in aboriginal communities. For more details about the program, https://par.ccab.com.
A landslide victory has led to the country’s first female prime minister. Yingluck Shinawatra is sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was overthrown in a military coup in 2006 and now lives in exile in Dubai. A survey by the Matichon newspaper asking what people thought of having a female prime minister found that 70% saw it as a move in the right direction and an indication of equality.
One of the highest discrimination payouts on record in Wales has been rewarded to a man who was dismissed from his job following a stroke. Jonathan Jones, a branch manager for Jewson, a leading building supplier, was awarded£390,870.58 when the company decided that no job with them would be stress-free and let him go. A doctor’s report had stated that Jones who had previously worked 60 hours a week needed to avoid stress in order to return to work. A tribunal found that Jewson failed to make reasonable adjustments.
In an effort to put more women in board positions in companies, a new voluntary code of conduct has been embraced by the executive recruitment sector. Under the terms of the new code, headhunters will be encouraged to work alongside businesses to produce lists of potential candidates that will include at least 30% women. The new code of conduct which emphasizes skills and experience was compiled by 20 executive search companies.
A new report suggests that older workers are often overlooked when it comes to training and performance management.The Employee outlook: focus on an ageing workforce survey found that older workers are much less likely to receive training, with 51% of those 65+ saying that they had received no training in the last 3 years, compared to 32% across all age groups. In terms of physical accommodations to do their jobs, 76% said that their employer had made no adjustments. Where employers had made adjustments, employees reported that access to occupational health services (7%), reduced hours (7%) and flextime (6%) were the most common.
Linklaters has become one of the first major UK law firms to publish comprehensive diversity data on its website. The statistics also show that 4% of both partners and associates and 6% of trainees identified themselves as either gay, lesbian or bisexual, with less than 10% of each group declining to disclose. With regards to faith, 8% of partnerships identify themselves as of a religion other than Christianity, with this proportion rising to 13% for associates and 18% for trainees. The Legal Services Board (LSB) recently announced that it will make diversity reporting compulsory as of December 2012. Click here for the full report.
The Air Force Academy is spending $1million to make the school more diverse. The new plan includes diversity training for employees, increasing minority recruitment and grooming ‘inclusion ambassadors’ to promote diversity at the academy. Currently, the student body is 71% white, on the same par as its sister academies for Navy and Army, with black and Hispanic cadets representing a combined total of 16%. The $1million will be spent on recruiting in black, Hispanic and Asian neighborhoods, in an effort to grow the academy’s minority population.
Two universities have received federals grants to increase nursing workforce diversity. The University of North Dakota (UND) has received a federal grant for $515,631 and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center one for $269,012. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with funds appropriated by Congress.
The NAACP has condemned 24-hour cable news channel CNN for lack of diversity in its prime time line-up of news anchors.” In an issued statement, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said that his organization was “deeply concerned with the lack of African American journalists in prime time news, both on cable and national news shows.” The new CNN news line-up features John King, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan. The NAACP’s Hollywood Bureau also plans to meet with cable news presidents to address the issue.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has received a $59,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the issues surrounding women executives and the “glass ceiling.” Dr. Sheryl Skaggs and her research team will spend the next year reviewing employment data from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Catalyst from 1996 to 2008 to see if an increase in the number of female executives in C-suites creates opportunities for gender diversity at all corporate levels.
According to latest statistics, the American Library Association (ALA) is overwhelmingly white, despite a program designed specifically to address the lack of diversity in the profession. The Department of Labor’s 2011 Current Population Survey revealed that 83.9% of librarians are white; 9.2% African American; 5.2% Hispanic; and 1.7% Asian. The Spectrum Scholarship Program is the organization’s national diversity and recruitment initiative to attract minority librarians to the profession. Since it was established in 1997, there have been 681 Spectrum scholars, including African American (41%), Hispanic (27%), Asian (25%), Native American (5%) and Native Hawaiian (2%). Despite this effort, the percentage of white librarians, according to the ALA’s most recent report Diversity Counts, remains at 89%.
A Muslim woman who refused to take off her hijab at work has filed suit with the US District Court for the Northern District of California against clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. Initially Hani Khan had been told wearing her headscarf wouldn’t be a problem as long as she wore company colors. When she refused, she was suspended, then terminated. This is the second time the company has been sued for discrimination. In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch reached a $50 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over accusations the company discriminated against women and minorities.
According to a new study released by Forbes Insights, a diverse and inclusive workforce is key to innovation and critical to driving the creation and execution of new products, services, and business processes at the world’s largest companies. Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce showed that 85% of respondents agreed that diversity to crucial to gaining the ideas and perspectives that foster innovation. More than 75% said that over the next 3 years they would leverage diversity to support their business goals. And 70% said responsibility for the success of a company’s diversity/inclusion efforts lies with senior management. Forbes surveyed 321 executives at organizations with $500million+ in annual revenues. For the complete report, www.forbes.com/forbesinsights.