First-time Study: Visible Minorities Under-represented In Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Leadership

    GTA not fully benefiting from the value of diverse leadership

    TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - Just 13 per cent of Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
leaders are visible minorities, relative to 49.5 per cent(1) of the population
studied in the region, finds a report released today by Ryerson University's
Diversity Institute on behalf of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership
    DiverseCity Counts: A Snapshot of Diversity in the Greater Toronto Area
looked at 3257 leaders in the GTA across the corporate, public, not-for-profit
and education sectors. The report is the first to look across sectors and to
provide a benchmark of how well our region's visible minorities are reflected
in its senior leadership roles.
    "Now that we have a clearer picture of where we stand as a region, we're
in a much better position to do something about it," says Wendy Cukier,
co-author of the report with Margaret Yap, and Founder of Ryerson University's
Diversity Institute.
    Previous research has shown a clear link between diversity in leadership
and prosperity. Diverse leadership improves organizational financial
performance and stimulates innovation, among other well-documented benefits.
"Diverse leadership has a profound effect on the hopes and aspirations of
citizens, and consequently, their achievements and social inclusion," Cukier
    "We found significant differences within sectors and between sectors and
also surfaced some high performing examples. What's interesting is that
organizations that make a point of tracking and reporting on their results
tend to have higher levels of diversity. What gets measured gets done," adds
    The boards of the City of Toronto's public agencies scored highest with
31 per cent of their membership comprised of visible minorities. Since
building in mechanisms to measure their performance in this area, these boards
have seen a 40 per cent improvement in just four years. Also of note, boards
in all but one sector had much higher levels of representation than the
executive staff of their organizations.

    Other key findings:

    -  Across sectors, the education sector came out on top with college
       boards showing the best results at 27 per cent;
    -  The business sector trailed other sectors at the board and executive
       levels (3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively);
    -  Comparisons within sectors found significant differences. For example,
       only 10 per cent of councillors are visible minorities in the five
       municipalities studied, compared with 23 per cent of MPPs.
    -  The report also identifies a number of successful strategies to
       increase diversity across sectors.

    "These results are a wake-up call," says Ratna Omidvar, President Maytree
and Co-Chair of the DiverseCity Project that commissioned the research. "We've
got work to do to give the GTA the edge it needs to compete on the world
    DiverseCity Counts is the first of three annual reports commissioned by
DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project. For more on DiverseCity
and to read the full report, go to:
    DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project is an initiative of
Maytree and the Toronto City Summit Alliance.
    The Diversity Institute at Ryerson University focuses on fact-based
strategies for increasing inclusion.

    About DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project

    DiverseCity is the latest project of Maytree and the Toronto City Summit
Alliance. With its eight initiatives, the project will change the face of our
region's leadership. It will expand our networks, strengthen our private and
public institutions, advance our knowledge on the role of diversity in
leadership and track our progress. For more information, visit

    About the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University

    The Diversity Institute in Management and Technology is located in the
Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The
Diversity Institute undertakes diversity research with respect to gender,
race/ethnicity, disabilities and sexual orientation in the workplace. The goal
of the Institute is to generate new, interdisciplinary knowledge about
diversity in organizations to contribute to the awareness and the promotion of
equity in the workplace. Visit for more information.

    (1) Based on Statistic Canada data for the five regions included in this
        study. (Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Markham and Richmond Hill).

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Julia Howell, DiverseCity
Counts (416) 402-4274,; Kathleen Powderley, On behalf of
the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, (416) 803-5597,; Emma Jowett, Counsel Public Relations, (416) 909-6463

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