Global diversity news briefs – July 2012
The chair of the Halifax Regional School Board is calling for more diversity in Halifax schools. According to Irvine Carvery black and Mi’kmaq students are not seeing themselves reflected in the teaching staff. “We want to see our board hire more African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq teachers into the system until such time as the number of teachers working in our school board is reflective of the percentages in our society,” Carvery told CBC News. Nova Scotia has recently lost 185 teaching positions due to budget cuts.
An online Quick Poll of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s members has found that just over half of Canadian General Counsels (GC) consider a law firm’s policy on diversity when retaining lawyers outside the firm. Just under 49% stated they do not consider diversity in the decision-making process. For the complete article, click here.
A private Christian liberal arts school in Moncton, New Brunswick is under fire for a hiring policy that excludes people who live a gay lifestyle. Crandall University is classed as a religious community and has a moral code that requires its employees to be “sexually pure, reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman.” The school receives provincial funding but says it is not used for operational purposes but job incentives and religious functions.
The latest DiverseCity Counts report, Leadership Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector: Baby Steps, Big Strides, and Bold Stances, found that once a critical mass of 30% of diversity has been reached there is a significant increase in the benefits of diversity experienced by an organization. Based on three surveys of more than 420 organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), results show that a diverse board not only contributes to overall board effectiveness but also improves stakeholder relationships, increases the organization’s responsiveness to the community and their clients, and brings fresh perspectives to decision-making. Despite the overwhelming advantages of leadership diversity, the research found that visible minorities continue to be underrepresented in nonprofit boards in the GTA. While visible minorities make up 40% of the GTA’s population, of the 4,254 board positions examined only 15.6% are held by visible minorities. Read the full report.
The Ontario Human Rights Code has been updated for the first time since 1980s to extend protection to transgendered persons. Members of all 3 parties in the Ontario legislature voted to amend the code to add the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ to prevent discrimination against transgendered persons. New Democrat Cheri DiNovo who has been trying for the past 6 years to amend the code called the vote “historic.”
Excellence Canada is calling for applications for the second annual Excellence Canada – Ontario Accessibility Award. The award recognizes and celebrates organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment by going above and beyond the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) Standards. Russ Gahan, vice president of operations at Excellence Canada, said the program “highlights the passion and dedication of men and women of all abilities who make their organizations into role-models of accessibility.” To download the award application, click here.
MediaSmarts launched a new program, Diversity and Media Toolbox, to address stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and on the internet. The program, which includes professional development tutorials, lesson plans, interactive student modules and background articles, is divided into 2 distinct but complementary topic areas: media portrayals of diversity and online hate. That’s Not Me addresses media representation of ethnic and visible minorities, religion, Aboriginal people, LGBTQ and persons with disabilities. Facing Online Hate explores how the internet is used to spread and incite hate, plus the ways that citizens of all ages can respond to this issue. For more details, click here
Ontario is helping about 350 low-income women gain new skills to get jobs in today’s growing economy. Through the Women in Skilled Trades and Information TechnologyTraining (WIST/IT) program, low-income women receive training in communities where skilled trades and IT workers are needed. Each training program offers in-class training in areas such as carpentry, network administration and web development, followed by a work placement with an employer on-site. To learn more about the WIST/IT training program, click here.
The Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) is launching 4 short promotional videos to encourage new immigrants to call Kingston, Ontario their home. The Call Kingston Home videos which profile immigrants from China, India, Morocco and Honduras give the viewer a look at their everyday life in the Kingston community. The videos are presented in the immigrants’ language of origin and include English subtitles. For more information about the videos, click here.
Egypt has a new president. Mohammed Morsi, candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood, narrowly won over Ahmed Shafiq in the country’s first free elections. In the last week of his campaign, Morsi put in writing his promises to form an inclusive administration that would protect freedom of the press and represent the country’s diversity. Catherine Ashton, foreign affairs and security policy representative for the European Union, called it “a historical moment for Egypt and the Region.”
A new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that there are still barriers to getting women short-listed for board positions. The report of executive search firms found that women were still being judged on their ability to ‘fit in’ with the values, norms and behaviours of existing male-dominated boards. In response to the findings, EHRC has recommended that the selection process for executive boards be more “transparent, professional and rigorous” to allow chairmen and search agencies to appoint more women to boardroom roles and to encourage more women to apply for these positions.
UPS is donating $6.9 million in funding to 44 non-profit organizations around the world that share the mission of championing and cultivating diversity. The donation will support a wide range of programs and initiatives for the development of women and young girls in emerging nations, the hearing and visually-impaired, disabled veterans and other populations as defined by race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. More than $2.7 million, for example, will be dedicated to expanding and enhancing diversity in the workforce to Catalyst for Women, National Urban League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza and the Human Rights Campaign.
The MBA class of 2014 will include 391 of a record 1,038 applicants to the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, the national coalition of top U.S. business schools and corporations that is the leading advocate for diversity and inclusion in American business. The students are committed to diversity, working as mentors for young people, fighting for racial and economic equality, increasing opportunities for minorities, and other similar activities. CEO Peter Aranda said, “The Consortium is proud of its success in increasing the pipeline of executives committed to diversity. But we want to do more than level the playing field. We want to awaken business leaders to the role our graduates can play in helping companies survive, and thrive, in an increasingly multicultural marketplace.” The Consortium’s member schools include Yale, NYU, Cornell, Dartmouth and 13 other top MBA programs.