Announcing Winners of the 2013 Diversity in Governance Awards

TORONTO, June 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Join Maytree on Wednesday, June 19, as we honour the winners of the 2013 Diversity in Governance Awards for their commitment and innovation in creating diverse boards of governance.

The winners are:

  • Blue Hills Child and Family Centre (nonprofit category),
  • The City of Markham (local government category), and
  • William Osler Health System (public institution category).

In the corporate board category, the Canadian Board Diversity Council will present an award to BMO Financial Group.

2013 Diversity in Governance Awards
(Event registration:


  • Representative from the Government of Ontario
  • Emcee: Nil Köksal, Host, CBC News Toronto
  • Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree; Co-Chair, DiverseCity
  • Alan Broadbent, Chairman & CEO, Avana Capital Corp.; Chairman, Maytree
  • Dana Vocisano, Senior Program Officer, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
  • Willa Black, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Cisco - presenting award on behalf of Canadian Board Diversity Council
  • Bala Kumar, Board member, Chair, Nominations Committee, Blue Hills Child and Family Centre
  • Gervan Fearon, William Osler Health System Board of Directors
  • Simon Fish, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, BMO Financial Group
  • Representatives from the City of Markham

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Awards ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m.

St. Andrew's Club & Conference Centre
150 King Street West, 27th Floor
Toronto, Ontario

This year's winners are recognized for being well ahead of the curve in embracing diversity at the highest levels of their organizations. They understand that since the GTA is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, organizations and institutions should reflect the people they serve.

Blue Hills Child and Family Centre
Nonprofit category
The Blue Hills Child and Family Centre has served York Region for over 44 years - an area that now has over one million people from very diverse backgrounds. To ensure its board of directors reflected and met the needs of the community, it decided to implement a diversity recruitment strategy which transformed the board from 13 Caucasian men and women who were mostly born in Canada to full diversity with representatives from the local South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, German and Italian communities. The changes at the board level led to the adoption of inclusive practices throughout the organization - from hiring more diverse management and clinical staff to transforming clinical practices to become more respectful of differences.

The City of Markham
Local government category
The City of Markham is Canada's most diverse community: new immigrants comprise 58% of the population and visible minorities represent 72%. In 2010, Markham launched a Diversity Action Plan to make city services more inclusive. This was followed by City Council adopting a new Board & Committee Appointment policy to ensure that recruitment was fair and open to diverse candidates. The policy introduced term limits to foster regular turnover; a voluntary diversity survey for applicants to board and committee positions to measure change; and a standardized orientation program for all members.

William Osler Health System
Public institution category
Having embraced diversity as a foundation for inclusion and equity, and a key to board renewal, William Osler Health System (Osler) adopted new recruitment practices that have led to 54% of board members representing various ethno-cultural communities, while 40% are women. The principles of inclusion and equity are interwoven throughout Osler's new Strategic Plan, as is a commitment to patient-inspired and culturally-sensitive care. This past year, Osler received national recognition of its diversity initiatives. This included a leading practice in "Embracing Diverse Practices in Palliative Care" as part of its Exemplary Accreditation designation. Osler was also named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013.

BMO Financial Group
Corporate board category
This year's Corporate Diversity Award honours BMO Financial Group for its leadership in diversity over the past 20 years. The Canadian Board Diversity Council believes that boards comprised of directors who bring a wide range of perspectives, skills and experience to corporate governance are effective contributors to the performance of their organizations. BMO's leadership is highlighted by the adoption and publication of a written board diversity policy articulating clear diversity criteria and establishing firm targets for board membership.

About DiverseCity onBoard
DiverseCity onBoard is part of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, a joint initiative of Maytree and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, funded in part by the government of Ontario. The project aims to transform the leadership landscape across the GTA. DiverseCity onBoard connects qualified candidates from Aboriginal, visible minority and under-represented immigrant communities to agencies, boards and commissions in the public and nonprofit sectors.

SOURCE: Maytree Foundation

For further information:

Media contact
Markus Stadelmann-Elder, Communications Manager, Maytree, 416-944-2627 x284,

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