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.

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

BPS publishes Declaration on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has published a declaration of its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, a document that is intended to guide them in all that they do and actively promote this culture within its discipline.

The Society will now develop a plan to deliver the objectives of the declaration, which will be embedded at all levels within the organization, and will regularly reflect on and review progress of this endeavour.

President Elect Nicola Gale commented, “Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion is central to our work as psychologists, whether we are generating and promulgating scientific knowledge, working in professional practice and advocating for top quality services, in education and training, or indeed in the course of our work with policy makers and the wider public. I am committed to working with colleagues to foster this in all that we do.”

The full declaration can be viewed at: Declaration on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Get to Know Your Veterans

Veterans Affairs Canada has launched a new section on its website that will encourage veterans to submit their stories and help Canadians get an in-depth perspective into the diversity that has become the foundation of the Canadian Armed Forces today.

This new section, Get to Know Your Veterans, is an online space to showcase the diverse cultures, religions, genders, and ethnicities of Canadian veterans. Throughout each year, Veterans Affairs Canada will profile an array of veterans’ stories from different backgrounds and experiences on its official website and social media channels. Veterans, especially those from modern day conflicts, are encouraged to come forward with their stories and help Canadians get to know them and what they were able to achieve in the name of their country.

“At Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Government of Canada, we believe that diversity is one of Canada‘s greatest strengths,” said Kent Hehr, minister of Veterans Affairs. Canada‘s military history is best told through the stories of those diverse men and women who served in it. This new online initiative is meant to help as many Canadians as possible celebrate their contributions as part of our military history.”

Canadian Armed Forces numbers show that there has been an increase in the percentage of visible minorities enrolling in the CAF. In 2004, the percentage was 2.3, and 12 years later, it is 9.7 over the first three quarters of fiscal year 2016/17.

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Report

The U.S. Department of Education has released a report, Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, building on the Administration’s efforts to expand college opportunity for all. It presents key data that show the continuing educational inequities and opportunity gaps for students of color and low-income students and highlights promising practices that many colleges are taking to advance success for students of all backgrounds.

More than ever before, today’s students need to be prepared to succeed in a diverse, global workforce. Diversity benefits communities, schools, and students from all backgrounds, and research has shown that more diverse organizations make better decisions with better results. CEOs, university presidents, the military, and other leaders have accordingly expressed a strong interest in increasing diversity to ensure our nation enjoys a culturally competent workforce that capitalizes on the diverse backgrounds, talents, and perspectives that have helped America succeed.

“I applaud the commitments to creating diverse campus communities that so many colleges and universities have long sought to implement by attracting, admitting, and educating diverse students. But we must acknowledge that we have more work left to ensure that our campuses are safe, inclusive, and supportive environments that encourage student success and college completion for students from all backgrounds,” Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said.

In conjunction with this report, Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. released a Dear Colleague letter calling on institutions to do all they can to eliminate harassment and discrimination to ensure a positive environment for all students.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Higher education is a key pathway for social mobility in the United States.
  • However, over the past 50 years, racial and ethnic disparities in higher education enrollment and attainment, as well as gaps in earnings, employment, and other related outcomes, has increasingly contributed to gaps in opportunities for students of colors.
  • Underrepresented students of color are disproportionately affected by decreases in participation at multiple points across the higher education pipeline including at application, admission, enrollment, persistence, and completion.

The report also includes the following focus areas that can help campuses advance diversity and inclusion and provide support to students of color, low-income students, and other underrepresented populations to drive success for all students:

  • Institutional Commitment to Promoting Student Body Diversity and Inclusion on Campus. Research shows that colleges and universities seeking to promote campus diversity identify how diversity relates to their core institutional mission and unique circumstances of the educational institution.
  • Diversity Across All Levels of an Institution. Research shows that campus leadership, including ensuring a diverse faculty and administration, can play an important role in achieving a diverse and inclusive campus climate.
  • Outreach and Recruitment of Prospective Students. Institutions committed to a diverse student body can take steps to improve outreach and recruitment of a diverse array of students. However, over the past 50 years, racial and ethnic disparities in higher education enrolment and attainment, as well as gaps in earnings, employment, and other related outcomes has increasingly contributed to gaps in opportunities for students of color.
  • Support Structures for Students. Institutions can implement effective student support services associated with improved academic outcomes throughout the student’s college experience. For example, well-designed course placement strategies mitigate the time students spend in remedial education without making progress toward a credential. Individualized mentoring and coaching can increase the odds that students remain enrolled in school. First-year experience programs such as bridge programs can improve academic achievement and credit-earning.
  • Inclusive Campus Climate. Students report less discrimination and bias at institutions where they perceive a stronger institutional commitment to diversity. Institutions are encouraged to develop and facilitate programming to increase the cultural competency of leadership, faculty, staff, and students. Institutions are also encouraged to perform an assessment of their campus climate related to diversity in order to identify areas for improvement.

Finally, the report recommends areas for further study that can help shape a path toward college opportunity and completion for all students.

SHRM Launches Diversity Jobs Sites

Encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace starts at the top, which is why the largest HR association in the world — the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) — has announced the launch of three specialty websites within its online career center focused on creating an inclusive workforce and setting an example for other employers.

Built on the SHRM Enterprise Solutions platform with technology provided by DirectEmployers Association, the new SHRM careers sites are and

“We know the positive difference a diversity of perspectives makes in the workplace,” said Bettina Deynes, SHRM-SCP, RMSHRM’s vice president of human resources and diversity. “But one challenge faced by HR departments is designing and implementing recruiting vehicles for attracting well-qualified employees across a spectrum of diversity.

“With the launch of these sites, SHRM provides job seekers with direct access to open positions and reaches a broader audience of diverse job seekers, including individuals with disabilities and military veterans,” Deynes said.

For more information on SHRM Enterprise Solutions and the technology powering these sites,

About SHRM Enterprise Solutions

Developed through a partnership between the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Direct Employers Association, SHRM Enterprise Solutions was created to complement a company’s primary job board with targeted tools and messaging, making it simple for employers to embrace diversity by designing and implementing a customized, branded website with desired corporate messaging important for both attracting and retaining veterans, individuals with disabilities and minority candidates. For more information on the diversity solutions, visit

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Go to


11 new bridge training projects for internationally trained immigrants in Ontario

The Province of Ontario is investing $3.35 million over two years through the Ontario Bridge Training Program to help internationally trained professionals find jobs that match their skills and experience.

The investment will support 11 new bridge training projects that will improve access to career assistance services for internationally trained immigrants, for example career mentoring, employment events, language skills-training and a micro-loan program.

Every year,Ontario’s Bridge Training Program helps more than 6,000 internationally trained professionals, in more than 100 professions including such as nursing, medical technology and the skilled trades, get the help they need to find jobs that match their skills and experience. The program also works with employers to develop resources to help them hire, retain and integrate internationally trained immigrants into the workplace.

“Ontario’s Bridge Training projects are making a real difference,” says Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese. “By helping internationally trained newcomers get work in their fields, bridge training projects support our globally connected economy and change people’s lives. This investment will strengthen our communities and help immigrants and their families build better lives inOntario.”

President of Seneca College David Agnew says, “We’re delighted with the government’s further investment in the Ontario Bridge Training Program. We see first-hand how these opportunities for our internationally-trained newcomers make a difference in their lives and the positive effects they have on the community. Working in partnership with business and industry, we’re preparing our students to be career-ready and to contribute to a strongOntario.”

SenecaCollegeis one of several organizations offering the new bridge  programs, as well as ACCES Employment, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), andRyersonUniversity. See the list of new programs below.

New Bridge Training Projects in Ontario

Eleven new Bridge Training projects are receiving $3.35 million over two years to help highly skilled immigrants put their skills and experience to work in Ontario:

Speed Mentoring™ en Français — offered by ACCES Employment

Delivered by ACCES in partnership with Collège Boréal, Speed Mentoring en Français is a pan-Ontario initiative that offers bilingual new Canadians an opportunity to meet face-to-face with professionals in their industry.  Speed mentoring events include a minimum of five mentors and 10 mentees who meet one-to-one for 10 minutes at a time. They discuss networking strategies, business communication practices and interview skills. Each event ends with an open-room networking session where relationship-building opportunities continue, ensuring that participants leave with an expanded network.

CASIP Employment Services Network (ESN) — offered by ACCES Employment

CASIP ESN is a collaborative initiative of Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and the Consortium of Agencies Serving Internationally trained Persons (CASIP)’s 11 member agencies who deliver services to 70,000 skilled newcomers per year. Through a coordinated approach, employers working with any member organization can tap into a broader pool of qualified newcomers from across CASIP, TRIEC and community partners. Along with employer outreach and capacity building activities, ESN supports employment events for newcomers and a job sharing website.

Immigrant Access Fund: Micro Loans for Bridge Training — offered by Immigrant Access Fund of Canada Inc.

Immigrant Access Fund Canada addresses financial barriers by providing low-interest micro loans of up to $10,000 to immigrants who lack the funds to pay for the Canadian licensing or training they need to work in their field. Their mandate is to build its capacity to facilitate quality employment for thousands of newcomers each year.

Emplois Spécialisés en Soutien à l’Ontario Rural (ESSOR) — offered by La Cité collégiale

This project prepares internationally educated Francophone professionals with previous training and/or experience in agrology and agri-food sectors for employment in ruralOntario. In addition to technical courses in agri-food, animal health and nutrition, ESSOR offers occupation-specific language training, prior learning assessments, job search support, Canadian culture and workplace training, and mentoring and workplace internships.

RAISE – Resource Awareness About ITPs for Small/medium Employers — offered by the Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP)

RAISE helps connect internationally educated professionals with small and medium enterprises in smaller communities by helping employers access information and attract suitable candidates and by providing job-seekers with a province-wide system of employment services. This includes engaging employers with advice and resources to support the hiring, retention and integration of internationally trained persons. Sourcing appropriate candidates will help break down barriers immigrants face in accessing the labour market, while assuring employers of the skills and cultural competencies they need for innovation, growth and effective competition in the global economy.

Communicating for Success and Understanding Workplace Culture — offered by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)

OSPE will develop a communications and workplace culture course for internationally trained engineers, The curriculum will provide newcomers with non-technical communication skills, which employers have identified as very important in the hiring process.  The project will also work with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to ensure internationally trained engineering professionals meet the English language proficiency requirements for certification.  This project will increase access to the engineering profession and increase employment retention of internationally trained engineers.

Industry Leads: Employer Engagement on Immigrant Employment — offered byRyersonUniversity

This project aims to develop a one-stop online platform for employers and job seekers that will assist employers to recruit, hire and retain internationally trained immigrants. The project will provide employers with a reliable pool of job-ready candidates to meet employers’ labour force needs for high-skilled workers. The project will also develop new tools and resources based on the employer needs identified through the project, and a series of webinars for employers that focus on the challenges in hiring high-skilled immigrants.

The Ryerson University – Entrepreneurial Entrepreneurship — offered byRyersonUniversity

This project will conduct research into how best to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice for skilled, internationally trained immigrants in Ontario. The project will also examine what resources and tools are required to best support skilled, internationally trained immigrants who choose entrepreneurship as a viable career path.

Bridging Newcomers to Related and Alternate Careers in Engineering and Natural Sciences — offered bySenecaCollege – Newnham Campus

SenecaCollege’s new project, Bridging Newcomers to Related and Alternate Careers in Engineering and Natural Sciences, will build on Seneca’s current bridging programs by linking the needs of employers and Internationally Educated Professionals with a background in engineering and natural science. The College helps people with backgrounds in engineering and the natural sciences who are seeking licensure or employment in mandatory regulated occupations, or in high skilled non-regulated occupations, find jobs in the green or environmental sector.

Employer Engagement – Strategies for Integration and Retention — offered by theToronto and Region Conservation Authority

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) project will engage employers in the engineering/environmental sector to provide input into the development of tools and training that will help them to hire, integrate and retain internationally trained professionals. The project will develop workshops, online modules and tools/resources to help employers understand and address considerations related to recruitment and retention of internationally trained professionals. Employers will benefit from having a direct role in informing and then accessing the tools and training developed.

360° View of Culture and Communication – A Curriculum Framework  — offered by Touchstone Institute

The purpose of the project is to identify and map all the competencies involved in workplace culture and communications to help create an environment where immigrants can succeed.  Once the competencies, such as collaboration, have been mapped, groups working with immigrants can use this mapping to develop tools to assess an immigrant’s workplace culture and communications competencies, or to develop curriculum that addresses specific competencies and builds skills.


Reprinted with permission from Canadian Immigrant magazine




New reference guide for Inuit clients seeking employment

A reference guide – Pinasuutitsaq – ᐱᓇᓲᑎᑦᓴᖅ – which aims to improve career development interventions with Inuit clients, in urban and northern settings is now available for free download. The guide was developed by Regroupement québécois des organismes pour le développement de l’employabilité (RQuODE) with project funding support from CERIC and the Kativik Regional Government. It is published in both English and French.

The goal of the guide is to equip counsellors working in Inuit communities or with Inuit clients to be able to identify culturally specific features in their interventions, while improving their understanding of the major issues encountered by Inuit seeking employment.

The guide offers strategies that highlight good practices and pitfalls which should be avoided and is divided into four chapters:

  • Contextualization: A brief summary of the Inuit context, major employment challenges, and culture
  • Issues: Targeted courses of action related to 12 common issues
  • Strategies: 50 effective strategies for interventions with an Inuit clientele organized according to 11 themes
  • Resources: References and other resources to further explore various themes or subjects

RQuODE developed this reference guide in the context of its management of two Ivirtivik Centres that offer employability and pre-employability services to Inuit living inMontrealand Inukjuak (Nunavik). While this resource is designed for counsellors (Inuit or non-Inuit) who work with Inuit clients going through a career development process, it is also for those working in other areas, such as social workers or teachers.

This new resource fills a gap with almost no targeted measures previously existing to foster the integration and ongoing employment of Inuit clients. Given the magnitude of differences between Inuit and Euro-centric cultures, firmly anchoring career development services in current Inuit reality is seen as essential. By equipping career development professionals with the right kind of intervention techniques and tools to support this young and growing clientele, the overarching goal is to improve the economic and social welfare of Inuit communities across Canada.

Source : CERIC

NuEyes: a wireless, wearable technology for visually impaired users

NuEyes, a head-mounted, hands-free, wearable magnification technology, makes CCTV and text-to-speech capabilities available in an easy-to-use headset about the size of a pair of sunglasses. NuEyes, featuring ODG smartglasses, magnifies—up to 12 times the original size– and displays enhanced versions of anything that a user looks at.

NuEyes wearable technology is the first and only magnification device that is completely wireless, hands-free and mobile so users can have magnification and complete freedom without having to stop and fiddle with bothersome wires and control buttons. It can be used anywhere to increase mobility, independence and quality of life.

The device is the creation of NuEyes and mac-fusion, California-based businesses. Before NuEyes, people with vision loss had to rely on heavy desktop magnifiers that offered magnification but no portability or handheld devices that were portable but lacked stability. NuEyes uses technologies originally designed by ODG (Osterhout Design Group) for military use.

Called smartglasses, NuEyes is a visual prosthetic that combines lenses and software in an augmented-reality way to enable people with severe vision loss to see again. Most people think of augmented-reality smartglasses as highly specialized glasses that allow the military to perform high-risk missions. NuEyes has taken this technology and applied it to the specific needs of people with low vision.

“Our goal with this partnership is to get NuEyes visual prosthetics into the hands of every visually-impaired…person…suffering from vision loss to help them see and live independently again,” says NuEyes Founder/CEO Mark Greget.

Women, nonwhite execs promote diversity to their own detriment, says CU-Boulder study

By Elizabeth Lock.

Not only does the promotion of diversity in the workplace not help executives in their performance evaluations, but the behavior actually hurts women and nonwhite executives, found a University of Colorado Boulder study.

Women and nonwhites who favor and promote other women and nonwhites through hiring decisions, for example, receive much worse ratings from their bosses than those who follow the status quo, according to the paper, published online this month in the Academy of Management Journal.

“For all the talk about how important diversity is within organizations, white and male executives aren’t rewarded, career-wise, for engaging in diversity-valuing behavior,” said lead authors David Hekman and Stefanie Johnson in an article they contributed this month to the Harvard Business Review (HBR). “And nonwhite and female executives actually get punished for it.”

Hekman is an associate professor and Johnson is an assistant professor, both of management and entrepreneurship at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

For the study, 350 executives took a survey gauging their own diversity-valuing behaviors including whether they respect cultural, religious, gender and racial differences; value working with a diverse group of people; and feel comfortable managing people from different racial or cultural backgrounds.

In a separate confidential survey, bosses and peers rated the same 350 executives on diversity-valuing behaviors, competence and performance. Diversity-valuing behavior was negatively related only in the evaluations of the female and nonwhite executives.

In addition, 307 working adults reviewed a hiring decision made by a fictitious manager for the study. The participants read a description of the hiring decision, saw a photo of the manager that revealed their race and gender, and completed a survey to rate the manager on competence and performance.

Participants rated nonwhite managers and female managers as less effective when they hired a nonwhite or female job candidate instead of a white male candidate.

The result has serious implications, said Hekman and Johnson in their HBR piece.

“Our set of studies suggests that it’s risky for low-status group members to help others like them,” said Hekman and Johnson. “And this can lead to women and minorities choosing not to advocate for other women and minorities once they reach positions of power, as they don’t want to be perceived as incompetent poor performers.”

Hekman and Johnson will present their research at the White House on Tuesday, April 12. The event, recognizing National Equal Pay Day and centered around discussion on how companies can change, will include other speakers, as well as Fortune 100 corporate executives, heads of chambers of commerce and organizations like the NAACP.

Maw-Der Foo, associate professor at the National University of Singapore, and Wei Yang, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, co-authored the paper. Foo was a faculty member and Yang was a doctoral student at the Leeds School at the time of the study.

Elizabeth Lock is the business and industry news editor at the University of Colorado Boulder.