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.”

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 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.



UNWTO releases 2nd Global Report on LGBT Tourism

Following the success of the first edition, published in 2012, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), a UNWTO Affiliate Member, has released the second edition of the UNWTO Global Report on LGBT Tourism.

The report offers an extensive analysis of the LGBT traveler’s profile, providing useful guidance for tourism stakeholders, and destinations in particular, interested in attracting this segment. By means of introduction, the publication includes an overview of the highlights and recent global trends of LGBT tourism, along with a review of the current state of LGBT rights around the world.

“In the last years, LGBT tourism has experienced continued growth, being today widely recognized as an important and promising segment of tourism worldwide. This segment can be a powerful vehicle for economic development, social inclusion and the competitiveness of tourism destinations,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

The report provides a set of recommendations to tourism stakeholders interested in attracting LGBT Tourism and maximizing the benefits associated with this segment. The diversity and complexity inherent to the LGBT consumer is explored, providing a set of recommendations to tourism stakeholders to better understand it. The publication was enriched by a comprehensive recompilation of case studies from public and private sector.

Download the Second Global Report on LGBT Tourism

Download the First Global Report on LGBT Tourism

Additional information:

About IGLTA:

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the world’s leading global travel network dedicated to connecting and educating LGBT travelers and the businesses that welcome and support them along the way. Whether it’s for individual, group, corporate or student travel, we have affiliates in the world’s most sought-after locations offering the most competitive packages for your perfect vacations. IGLTA was founded in 1983 by gay and lesbian travel agents and now operates in 80+ countries on all six inhabited continents. It provides all members who join the IGLTA community the opportunity to customize their travel experience and share it with others through planning tools, trip ideas, events and travel deals from LGBT tourism-related businesses.

Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year: CIBC

The report, Who Cares: The Economics of Caring For Aging Parents, co-authored by CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal and Senior Economist Royce Mendes, estimates the direct and indirect costs associated with the elderly to mushroom by more than 20 per cent in real dollars over the next 10 years due solely to changing demographics.

“An aging population combined with longer life spans and strained social services has in recent years seen more and more Canadians taking on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, and in the coming years, that tendency is only likely to intensify,” says Tal.

“Add in the fact that costs associated with the elderly are already rising faster than the pace of inflation because of the high demand for such goods and services, and you can see that this will be a major concern for a growing number of Canadians in the years to come,” he says.

According to the Statistics Canada census, more Canadians today are over the age of 65 than under the age of 15 for the first time in the survey’s history, and Centenarians (100 years and over) represent the fastest-growing segment of the population. Moreover, the working age population (15-64 years) is on the decline, now at 66.5 per cent of the total population, down from 68.5 per cent in 2011.

While the effects of Canada’s changing demographics will be wide-ranging from interest rates to consumer preferences, some of the most direct impacts will be felt by those who will be assuming a caregiving role for their parents, the report says.

Today, close to two million Canadians, or 14 per cent of those with parents over the age of 65, pay for care-related, out-of-pocket costs, the report says, with those in the eastern and western provinces facing the highest direct costs, compared to those in Ontario and Quebec.

“On average that cost is $3,300 a year per caregiver, translating into an annual cost of just over $6 billion to the overall economy,” says Tal, noting that research in the U.S. suggests survey respondents usually underestimate how much they spend on caregiving-related expenses.

Many of these direct costs are borne by those with lower incomes. Canadians earning less than $50,000 per year spend on average 30 per cent more than higher-earning Canadians, implying a much greater cost relative to incomes, the report says.

However, the direct costs pale in comparison to labour-related costs.

“Close to 30 per cent of workers with parents over the age of 65 lose roughly 450 hours per year of time off work to attend to the care needs of aging parents, with the largest impact falling to women and lower income earning Canadians,” says Tal. “That translates into roughly $27 billion of lost income or foregone vacation time.”

Beyond that, Tal notes that these figures don’t take into account the reduced potential for job mobility or promotion that could be associated with taking time off work.

“It’s worth noting that there is a clear gender story here, with women taking 30 per cent more time off than men to care for an aging parent,” he says.

The report also highlighted that in 2016, costs in assisted living and heavy care services, up 5 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, had risen significantly faster than average rent, up just 2 per cent.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients and three major business units – Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets. CIBC Capital Markets provides integrated global markets products and services, investment banking advisory services, corporate banking, and top-ranked research to corporate, government and institutional clients around the world. Visit for more information on CIBC and CIBC Capital Markets.

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Strategies for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Mortgage Industry: CFPB Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a report outlining a number of strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the mortgage industry, presenting the business case for diversity, and providing current D&I approaches and practices used by mortgage industry participants.

D&I has been a foundational principle of the CFPB since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  Specifically, Section 342 of the Act created Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at all federal financial regulatory agencies, including the CFPB. OMWIs are responsible for promoting diversity and inclusion in employment and procurement practices at their own agencies, and within the financial entities they regulate.  Pursuant to that mission, the April 27 report came out of a roundtable meeting from CFPB’s OMWI which included representatives from larger and smaller banks, nonbank financial companies, and federal agencies.

The report first highlights the notion that a diverse and inclusive workforce is important to help mortgage industry participants attract and retain the talent and perspective necessary to solve complex issues, create innovative solutions, and improve business outcomes.

Next, the report shares strategies and best practices for creating a D&I program, including:

  • Sustaining a D&I program requires “buy-in” and accountability from leadership. A top-down approach reduces organizational resistance and causes employees to more likely understand the company’s position and be an active participant in D&I efforts. In addition, proper accountability creates a focus that directs D&I efforts to the goals set by management and enhances the organization’s likelihood of achieving its goals.
  • The need to clearly define “diversity and inclusion” so that both employees and consumers can more clearly understand the broad nature of D&I programs and be able to see themselves included in such definitions.
  • The need to make the business case for diversity, which includes diversifying workforces and employee bases in order to more effectively meet the needs of diverse consumers, as well as capitalize on a robust and diverse talent pool. More specifically, the report notes that when the diversity of the workforce is aligned with the demographics of targeted consumers, there is a greater likelihood of increasing business opportunities.
  • The importance of data as data collection and analysis play an integral role in supporting many D&I programs. In fact, the report explains that understanding the demographics of an organization’s workforce is key to ensuring that it reflects the available talent pools as well as customer bases.

In addition to the CFBP OMWI, the Bureau plans to work with the other OMWIs to host additional roundtables that will expand upon the business case for diversity and inclusion. The report concludes by encouraging entities to develop a D&I program that best fit their needs.

Biotech Company Boardroom Diversity Has a Long Way to Go: Liftstream


A study of 177 biotechnology companies which publicly listed between 2012-2015 shows that women participate on biotech company boards at a current level of 10.9 percent, and to reach gender parity would take 40 years. In 2016, a total 57.2 percent of companies in the study have at least one woman board director, representing an increase over previous studies of the biotech sector, the report notes. Liftstream, the executive search firm who compiled the report, analyzed the gender diversity in the boardrooms of the companies to assess how they take advantage of going public to reconstitute their boards and introduce greater levels of gender diversity.

“This new study of the gender diversity on biotech company boards provides multi-year data on the sector’s progress and brings forward new insights. Our discovery of the link between the corporate governance structure and more diverse boards is an important finding, as is the evidence linking diverse boards to better financial returns.” said Karl Simpson, CEO of Liftstream. “It also illustrates the cultural transformation required in many biotech boardrooms to bring about a fully diverse and inclusive board. After all, it is the board which sets the cultural tone and standards for the entire company.”

Abbie Celniker, Partner at Third Rock Ventures said: “This study by Liftstream confirms the gender diversity problem and highlights the need for active and intentionally disruptive approaches for appointing directors to biotech boards. Venture capital firms and company directors must plan more effectively to increase their opportunity for recruiting directors from outside their customary networks when meeting the changing needs of the company.”

Liftstream collected data from the securities and exchange commission S-1 filings and proxy statements (Form DEF 14A) issued between 2012 and 2016 for 177 public biotech companies listed in theUnited States. The study looks at a cumulative peak of 1297 company directors, including executive, non-executive and VC directors. The report, A Public Reality for Women in Biotech Boardrooms, tracks the number of directors who leave the company’s boards, and those who are newly appointed, providing insight to the boards’ behaviors when appointing directors post-IPO. The results from the analysis is published in a 41-page report.

Wende Hutton, General Partner at Canaan Partners commented: “The Liftstream report shines yet another light on the critical business case for diverse boards in biotech. With these well-researched financial and performance benefits, our industry has no excuse for continuing to lag on gender diversity in biotech boardrooms. We must embrace recruiting women from the entire C-Suite – and not just from the pool of CEOs, of which only 7% are women. I’ve worked with tremendously talented CMOs, Heads of R&D, Heads of Business Development and CFOs in my career. In order to make a change now, that’s where we need to look to recruit diverse boards and improve bottom lines.”

Key findings from the study are:

·                                 Women added to many company boards after IPO but companies have not sustained their board diversity.

·                                 Women chair the board of directors in less than 2% of companies.

·                                 Less than 8% of companies were found to have a woman CEO.

·                                 Company boards have just 4% of women VCs as directors.

·                                 Cumulatively women occupied 10.9% of board positions in 2016.

·                                 The number of company boards with a woman director increased to 57.2%.

·                                 Companies with separate Chairperson and CEO have more diverse boards.

·                                 Men are appointed to boards at twice the rate of women.

·                                 VC directors replaced by non-executive directors improved board diversity.

·                                 Post-IPO share performance of diverse boards shows a 28 percent net gain over companies with all-male boards.

·                                 To reach 30% participation of women on boards would take 20 years, and parity 40 years.

Karl Simpson commented: “I am exceptionally proud that Liftstream has been able to lead on the issue of board diversity in the biotech sector over the past few years. Our view that diverse company boards are better business and offer greater economic potential is supported by this new research. As we continue to engage leaders from across the life science sector on board diversity, this new data will be important evidence to focus that discussion. More importantly, we hope it further highlights the incentives for gender diversity, thereby encouraging industry stakeholders to take the required action towards finding interventional solutions capable of accelerating the pace of change towards equality.”

The study, A Public Reality for Women in Biotech Boardrooms, can be downloaded free at

About Liftstream

Liftstream is an executive search recruitment practice focused exclusively on board and executive appointments in the global life sciences sector. Since 2003, Liftstream has been strengthening company boards, executive teams and functional management across international bioscience clusters, improving the leadership and governance standards of its clients. Liftstream is committed to equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion. For more information about Liftstream,

Diversity Day: Recognizing New Canadian Talent: CPA Ontario

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario has announced Diversity Day: Recognizing New Canadian Talent, a new annual initiative aimed at highlighting the value and importance of internationally trained professionals to Ontario’s economic prosperity.

The initiative comes as Canada steps up efforts to recruit top global talent and the recent federal budget focuses on building the “most skilled, talented, creative and diverse workforce in the world.” International professionals are not only critical to growing the economy, particularly as baby boomers get set to retire, but they are a bridge to new markets and new ways of innovating in a fast-changing global landscape.

Our diversity is not only something to be proud of, but arguably our greatest competitive advantage. Internationally trained professionals bring valuable skills and global experience, which are crucial for enhancing competitiveness and building an innovative economy,” explained Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA, President and CEO of CPA Ontario. “Given current global uncertainty, more immigrants are looking to Canada as a place to settle and build their careers, and we have a unique opportunity to attract even more of the world’s top talent. At CPA Ontario, we see the success of newcomers to Ontario as our success, which is why we have decided to launch Diversity Day: Recognizing New Canadian Talent.”

In the case of CPA Ontario, internationally trained professionals now make up approximately 20 per cent of the organization’s 19,000-strong student body, representing a rich source of talent for Ontario companies. Yet, while new Canadians are expected to make up approximately 30 per cent of the population in the coming decades, research by Statistics Canada and others consistently shows they remain underemployed and their skills not fully utilized. A key objective of Diversity Day is to raise awareness around the need to better leverage the skills of new Canadians.

For more information about CPA Ontario and Diversity Day: Recognizing New Canadian Talent, please click here.

About the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

CPA Ontario protects the public interest by ensuring its members meet the highest standards of integrity and expertise. CPA Ontario serves and supports its more than 87,000 members and 19,000 students in their qualification and professional development in a wide range of senior positions in public accounting, business, finance, government, not-for-profits and academe. Chartered Professional Accountants are valued by organizations of all types and sizes for their financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. For information on the profession, visit

Air India flies around the world and into history books: all-female crew

Commemorating International Women’s Day, National Carrier Air India has made history flying the world’s longest all-women operated and supported flight on the Non-Stop Delhi- San Francisco route. Close to 17 hrs and travelling a distance of around 14500 Km, the flight AI 173 departed from Delhi on March 6th at 0235 Hrs and landed San Francisco at 0621 Hrs.

The historic flight was under the command of Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and Captain Shubhangi Singh along with First Officers Captain Ramya Kirti Gupta and Captain Amrit Namdhari.

Speaking on this historic moment, Captain Kshamata Bajpayee said, “I feel truly blessed to be part of the Air India family. Only when you wish can you be granted that wish. Only when you dream can that dream come true.

On this special flight Mr. Ashwini Lohani, CMD Air India said “It is a historic flight and the longest operated by all women crew. The airline has immense respect for women and it is a symbol of women empowerment.”

Air India celebrates International Women’s Day every year by deploying women crew on its select international and domestic routes. This year for the first time, on the world’s longest nonstop flight, the entire flight operations from Cockpit Crew to Cabin crew, Check-In staff, Doctor, Customer Care Staff, ATC and the entire ground handling from operator to technician, Engineer and flight dispatcher and trimmer is handled by women.

Air India’s mission to make women self-reliant, forms a core facet of the national carrier’s corporate responsibility towards its women employees and reflects the “Truly Indian” tradition of showing respect to women. The airline has around 3800 women employees, including women pilots, cabin crew, engineers, technicians, doctors, security personnel and executives.

SOURCE: Air India