4 ways tech companies can tackle diversity

There are several key attributes that organizations that successfully retain and advance women and other underrepresented minorities in technical roles share:

  • A top-down commitment to addressing cultural bias
  • A regular, disciplined review of the numbers of women employed in all career stages, as well as comparative analysis to similar organizations
  • An explicit focus on retaining and promoting women
  • An all-hands-on-deck approach to formal training on the value of gender diversity.

Everyone benefits from having a more-inclusive work culture, and companies must acknowledge that women and underrepresented minorities cannot solve this problem alone. The companies that make measurable advances toward diversity goals do so because they have paid attention—across the entire organization—to implementing these solutions.

This is part of an article by Elizabeth Ames of Fortune magazine. For the complete story, click here.



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.

Ontario’s 2017 David C. Onley Award Recipients

The David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility was created in 2014 to recognize Ontarians who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

This year’s award recipients are:

Role Model Award: John Draper, Oshawa

John Draper is committed to creating inclusive communities. In 2006, he founded the socially responsible business, ‘Together We Rock!’ — dedicated to inspiring learning and promoting inclusion for people with disabilities. At the core of his being is the belief that accessibility is not solely a disability issue, but also a community responsibility. He believes we can create extraordinary communities where everyone can participate and belong. Over the past decade, John has led a team of staff and volunteers to help achieve the ‘Together We Rock!’ mission, combining his background in journalism with his trademark humour to spread the message. John has also developed a School Leadership Tool Kit to promote inclusive school communities. Today, the kit is used by schools across Ontario — and as far away as Australia — to inspire students to take on projects that improve inclusion.

Employee Engagement Award: Kenneth J. Fredeen, Oakville

Kenneth J. Fredeen has been a role model of courageous leadership during his tenure at Deloitte LLP (Canada) as General Counsel and Secretary to the Board. He was a founding member and later Chair of the firm’s Diversity Council and has been the founding Executive Sponsor of the group AccessAbility, Deloitte’s employee resource for people with disabilities. Ken was also founding member of Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion, a group of over 100 General Counsel working together to create a more inclusive legal profession, and he now serves as President. In 2012, he was appointed by the Government of Canada to chair a panel that reported on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The panel’s findings have become a valuable resource on workplace inclusion. Ken is leading a firm-wide accessibility strategy intended to make Deloitte the leading professional services firm where people with disabilities can thrive. Ken is a tireless advocate of inclusion and has received several awards for his leadership in diversity and inclusion, including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

Youth Leadership Award: Alexander German, Whitby

Alexander German is an accessibility leader in the world of competitive sports. After being introduced at the 2015 Parapan Am Games, he volunteered to be a coach and sport assistant to Deanna McInroy, a Boccia athlete with Cerebral Palsy. As a sport assistant, he receives instructions from Deanna on where to aim and how to set the pitch of the ramp to help her compete. At only 19 years of age, Alexander plays a large part in Deanna’s success, applying creative expertise to make the sport accessible to her. Alexander is an active participant in practices and tournaments, using his skills to help Deanna achieve her dream of making it to the Nationals and playing with Team Canada. 

Champion Award: Autism Teenage Partnership 

The Autism Teenage Partnership (ATP) is a youth- and volunteer-led organization that is helping to change lives by giving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) an opportunity to be themselves, create friendships, and find their place in the world. To help support individuals as they get older, the partnership offers a free drop-in program, where teenagers can meet weekly to talk and engage in activities. ATP has no paid staff and is entirely run by volunteers under the age of 26. They are trained through Autism Ontario and understand the special needs and circumstances each individual participant may have. They bring kindness and an interest in helping young people with ASD to thrive.

Champion Award: Citizen Advocacy Ottawa

Citizen Advocacy Ottawa is a registered charity and one of the few organizations that supports people of all ages and their families across the disability spectrum. As a pillar in the community, Citizen Advocacy raises awareness, builds bridges, and inspires others to create more opportunities for people with disabilities. Its programs allow individuals with disabilities to access employment opportunities, while its special events, like the annual Celebration of People Award Ceremony, showcase the diverse talents of people with disabilities.

Champion Award: City of Pickering

In planning and executing the inclusive renewal of its Delaney Arena, the City of Pickering has demonstrated leadership and sensitivity to both the letter and spirit of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The city has used a creative and innovative mindset to model exemplary inclusive design elements when renewing its recreational infrastructure. Pickering’s various accessibility improvements have brought economic and social benefits to the city as it becomes a role model for enacting positive urban change.

Champion Award: Community Living York South

Community Living York South provides support services to children, youth, adults and seniors who have an intellectual disability and live in Southern York Region. They are committed to empowering people with disabilities to live, learn, work, and participate in their communities. Their dedicated coordinators work to understand each individual’s specific needs and speak over nine different languages. Their work connects people to important services and workshops that enhance skills and expand opportunities.

Champion Award: Digital Echidna

Digital Echidna is a web design and digital marketing agency that has taken a lead in the promotion of accessibility measures both online and off. The company believes in playing a strong role in the community and has committed its time and resources to supporting accessibility efforts in a number of ways. Led in 2013 by owner Andrew McClenaghan and content strategist Jay Menard, the agency instituted an organization-wide focus on accessibility. Thanks to their efforts, Digital Echidna has received the 2015 London Chamber of Commerce Corporate Social Responsibility Award and the 2015 TechAIIiance Community Engagement Award.

Champion Award: Le Phénix

For over three decades, Le Phénix has worked to ensure that Francophones with disabilities are full participants in Ontario communities. Through a variety of focused programs, services, and resources, Le Phénix has helped promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, while highlighting the importance of universal accessibility. One of Le Phénix’s major achievements has been to increase organizations’ awareness of accessibility requirements. Through their workshops and training on employment practices, the recruitment process, and professional training, they have helped improve accessibility in workplaces across the province.

Champion Award: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants 

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants’ Accessibility Initiative helps to improve services, raise awareness, and share information and tools that support people with in/visible disabilities, including immigrants and refugees. The Council’s training is fundamental to enhancing the capacity of member agencies. It provides them with new skills and knowledge in areas related to service provision for immigrants and refugees with in/visible disabilities. This makes them more aware of how they can realistically increase accessibility in the long- and short-terms, and helps them create inclusive environments through policies, practices and procedures.

Champion Award: Town of Ajax

The Town of Ajax Accessibility Advisory Committee’s motto is: “Cultivate Inclusion. When we appreciate the unique gifts inside people of all abilities, everyone grows.” To help beautify the Ajax community, the committee is dedicated to planting seeds of understanding — even handing out seed packets at town events to promote accessibility awareness. Members of the accessibility committee are dedicated to engaging their colleagues throughout the town and are devoted to educating the public about the benefits of accessibility. From newsletters and customer service training, to developing an Accessibility for Business toolkit, the Town of Ajax demonstrates exceptional leadership and passion towards creating a more inclusive and accessible community for all.

Champion Award: Town of Arnprior 

Over the past four years, accessibility has driven many upgrades and design decisions that have taken place in the Town of Arnprior. Significant accessibility enhancements can be seen at municipal facilities and public spaces throughout the town, which results in a community with fewer barriers and more inclusivity. Recently, the town undertook an ambitious two-year Downtown Revitalization project focused on enhanced accessibility measures for both the public and private realms. To persuade businesses to become more accessible, the town also pioneered a new Downtown Accessibility Incentive Grant. The grant will create greater inclusion for patrons and employees, and is a key element in Arnprior’s accessibility agenda.

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 www.cibccm.com for more information on CIBC and CIBC Capital Markets.

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce


DIFERA stands for diversity, inclusion, fairness, equality, respect and acceptance and is the first initiative of its kind in the UK’s Channel Islands. Launched by Liberate, an equality and diversity charity, DIFERA helps organizations with implementing or improving their diversity and inclusion programs by making minority groups feel welcome at work.

”The arguments for employers embracing diversity and inclusion are well-rehearsed: diverse organizations are better able to serve a diverse clientele; a diverse workforce is more likely to produce a wider range of solutions to business problems and be more creative; and, an organization that acknowledges its employees as individuals and works to include them will get a reputation as a good organization to work for, will be able to choose from a wider talent pool when recruiting and be more likely to retain staff who feel their individual needs are met.” ~ Vic Tanner Davy, CEO, Liberate

Anti-Racist Anti-Oppression Practice Supervisor position available: CCAS Toronto

Strategic Services Initiatives of The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto is seeking an Anti-Racist Anti-Oppression Practice Supervisor to provide leadership and program coordination in the implementation of plans and processes and equity strategies to achieve the anti-racist, anti-oppression transformation of the Society.

The position will provide guidance, coaching, and mentorship to direct service related areas in the society on applying anti-racist and anti-oppression theories to front-line practices. The position also provides support to Leadership, Management, all staff, members of the Board of Directors, agency Committees, Volunteers, and Resource Parents by providing coaching, consultation, advice, and coordination of initiatives, on anti-racist anti-oppression diversity and inclusion matters.

Please Note:
This position is open to current permanent Child Protection Supervisors on a lateral basis.

Where the position is not filled as a lateral transfer, current qualified Child Protection Workers will be considered as a promotional opportunity.

Duties Include:

  • Provide leadership and program coordination to the agency’s efforts to recognize and build a diverse and inclusive environment with the implementation of relevant anti-racist anti-oppressive practices and guidelines;
  • Promote and champion respect and understanding of all individuals who are employed within the agency and towards all those we serve and work with in partnership in the delivery of child welfare services;
  • Assist all employees at CCAS in applying a diversity and inclusion anti-racist, anti-oppression lens to decisions and practices through coaching, mentorship, consultation, and training;
  • Support evidence informed practice through relevant anti-racist anti-oppressive practice research;
  • Prepare reports, statistics, and recommendations to leadership on the societies progress on anti-racist anti-oppression matters;
  • Facilitate anti-racist anti-oppression change initiatives utilizing the Child Welfare AO framework, OACAS One Vision One Voice service framework, and a Trauma Informed Practice framework lens;
  • Research and support the development of content and delivery of training for Staff and Caregivers on change initiatives;
  • Provide support and leadership to the Societies services to African descent advisory committee, and any committee the society develops to promote the direction of the Society becoming a Anti-Racist Anti-Oppressive Practice Organization;
  • Participate in the strategic development of an overall organizational strategy that moves the organization to practice values of inclusion, collaboration and empowerment while identifying practices that support encourage and foster diversity in recruitment, policies, and practices;
  • Recommend policy and service improvements, and support policy development and quality improvement projects as assigned;
  • Outreach and liaise with external stakeholders as required to further the Society’s ARAO objectives and to ensure Society responsiveness and accountability to the broader communities;
  • Identify opportunities for improving linkages, partnerships and joint ventures with a view towards knowledge exchange and ensuring the relevance and effectiveness of CCAS programs and services;
  • Work in a safe manner in accordance with the Society’s Health and Safety Policies and procedures and all relevant legislation;
  • Other duties as assigned by Manager.

Qualifications Requried:

  • M.S.W. Degree from a university of recognized standing and a minimum of 3 years of Child Protection experience; B.S.W. degree or MA in Equity or relevant discipline studies from a university of recognized standing with a minimum of 5 years of Child Protection experience will be considered;
  • Applicants currently accepted and enrolled in an accredited program, for a BSW or MSW and have a minimum of five (5) years and (3) years of Child Protection experience, respectively. If successful in the competition process the offer would be conditional upon continued participation and completion of the respective degree within a reasonable period of time.
  • Several years of frontline practice experience;
    • Understanding and experience in adult education, training and curriculum development;
    • Experience in programs for equity and diversity and/or community outreach programs and initiatives;
    • Comfort in public speaking and conflict resolution practices;
    • Understanding concepts of multiple identities and the intersectionalities associated with those identities.
  • Theoretical understanding and/or practical understanding of anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, trauma informed, critical reflective practice, social work best practice, and equity;
  • Strong leadership and demonstrated ability to support, coach, mentor, and train staff and caregivers in ARAO practices;
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and the ability to liaise with community professionals, agency staff, caregivers, and volunteers;
  • Excellent verbal, written and listening communication skills and interpersonal skills in order to work effectively with individuals and groups from a variety of diverse communities and to resolve conflict in an effective manner;
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, integrating the values in the CCAS Mission Statement, the principles of equity, justice, non-discrimination and accessibility into practice, service delivery and team relationships;
  • Mediation, negotiation, and facilitation skills;
  • Ability to provide critical thinking in all problem solving processes and deal effectively with conflict if needed;
  • Strong leadership abilities to empower, network and motivate staff and caregivers to incorporate anti-racist anti-oppression principles in daily practice;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and maintain confidentiality;
  • Demonstrated understanding of Society’s Health and Safety Policies and Procedures and relevant legislation.

Salary:  $91,382 – $109,348

Internal Closing Date:  June 14, 2017

External Closing Date:  June 23, 2017

If you are interested the  position,  please submit your resumé to later than the internal closing date at 11:59 p.m.

All communications will be held in strict and professional confidence.
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto is committed to equity and diversity and encourages applicants from varied backgrounds.  We will accommodate disabilities in the recruitment process in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Should an applicant require an accommodation during the recruitment process, please contact the Human Resources Department.

Apply Now

Potential Problem with a Diverse Workforce and a Solution

By Simma Lieberman
We’ve probably all have heard that a culturally diverse workforce is more creative and innovative than a homogeneous one. It’s become the “diversity meme,” so much so that there is hesitancy on the part of many people to question that statement.
In over twenty years, and with at least 100 clients,  I’ve come up with three key potential problems and solutions with a diverse workforce.
Here is Problem #1 with the solution.
Your workforce is visibly diverse but people aren’t talking to each other.
 Your organization has a lot of visible and cultural diversity, but employees stay in their own groups and don’t talk to each other.  People are making assumptions, and talking about each other, but not talking with each other or interacting in a productive way.
Reason: Employees in the organization are used to primarily being around people from the same background when they are not at work, or when they’ve worked in other organizations.
Your workplace is one of the first times they’ve interacted with people  from different cultures. They know little about people from different backgrounds except what they’ve heard from other members of their community or the media.
There may be discomfort and even tension between groups. They’re hesitant to ask people from other groups for help or share resources. Communication styles and ways to express disagreement or resolve conflict are may be different. No one wants to say the “wrong thing.”
 Solution: They need to see people who are different as individuals and not as a monolith. In order to work well  together they have to be comfortable with each other.
Bring people together for problem solving meetings. Break employees into small working  groups with people who are different from each other. Before they begin working, engage them in a dialogue process where they get to know a little about each other as people.
It can be a simple topic like discussing how they came to work at your company, what they enjoy the most about working there, or what they wish they had learned in school.
You can then ask them to talk about a time when they had to collaborate with others to solve a logistical problem and to describe how they solved it.
Then give them a real problem they need to work on in their groups.
This process may seem simple, or you might think it will take too much time when everyone has so much work to do. You’ll actually save time, money and energy.  The sooner you get people talking, sharing information, and interacting, the more comfortable they will be working together, sharing ideas and resources. You will see a rapid growth of innovation, creativity and discover their hidden genius.
Book Simma your diversity and inclusion strategist now to speak at your next meeting, conference or event. Call or email:  510-527-0700 or simma@simmalieberman.com.

Top 3 tips for encouraging diversity at work

Here are the top three tips for actively encouraging diversity in the workplace from the Above the Law Career Center.

  1. Assign high-profile work to minority attorneys.  Not doing this creates a lose-lose situation for the firm where clients will question if it is truly committed to diversity and the firm will end up with a dwindling talent pool.
  2. Mentor a minority attorney. If more attorneys are willing to help ensure that everyone at their firm has an equal opportunity to flourish and get the support they need, minority attorneys may be more likely to stay and move up the ranks.
  3. Leverage your background. Having an understanding of a particular culture and/or a fluency in a foreign language can help develop business relationships and ultimately build a book of business.

Premium Friday

This government initiative encourages Japanese firms to let workers out a few hours early on the last Friday of every month so that they spend money on shopping and leisure to help boost the economy. Japan has traditionally had a problem with workaholics and this push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration hopes to reduce working hours and crack down on excessive overtime.

“In creative industries like ours, inspiration won’t come just from staying in the office for a long time. But take some time off, breathe new air and see new things and the ideas will come, and you’ll be refreshed when you come back on Monday.” ~Etsuko Tsugihara, CEO, Sunny Side Up Inc.


2017 Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards

The 14th annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards were held recently in Abbotsford, BC.  The 2017 recipients were The Water Shed Arts Café, Langley (Inclusive Environment, small organizations); University of the Fraser Valley ( Inclusive Environment, medium/large organizations); Seabird Island Health Services, Agassiz  (Marketing); Spill Ur Beanz, Fraser Valley (Innovative Initiative, small organizations); Emma’s Acres, Mission (Innovative Initiative, medium/large organizations); Correction Service of Canada (Effective Human Resources Strategies); and Kanta Naik, Abbotsford (Champion of Diversity).