OHRC, business and community say "yes" to collecting human rights-based data

TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - This morning, senior business and community leaders joined the Ontario Human Rights Commission to launch "Count me in!," a new guide that provides information and advice on collecting human rights-based data in a wide variety of sectors across Ontario.

For many years, fears of misuse led some organizations to avoid collecting human rights-based data. This 81-page guide helps dispel those fears and others by providing a plain language, common-sense framework for collecting data in a way that can build trust and encourage proactive solutions.

A growing number of businesses, public sector and non-profit employers are finding that collecting data can play a useful and often essential role in creating strong human rights and human resources strategies. "Count me in!" includes best practice examples of how data collection can improve internal work environments, provide better customer service, promote higher productivity, identify opportunities for growth and have a positive effect on the bottom line

"You can't solve human rights problems without all the information," said OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. "Collecting human rights-based data can help, whether you're looking for indications of racial profiling or for opportunities to expand to new markets. Each of our partners agrees that this kind of information is the right thing, and also the smart thing, to collect."

The guide features the experiences of KPMG Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, Mount Sinai Hospital, Maytree, The Toronto City Summit Alliance, Ryerson University's Diversity Institute and the University of Guelph, among others. Each of these organizations provided input and guidance to the OHRC as it developed the guide.

Two organizations, KPMG Canada and TD Bank Financial Group, also served as sponsoring partners, providing both financial and in-kind assistance to design, print, distribute and launch the guide. Both offer compelling examples of how collecting human rights-based data makes solid business sense.

"At KPMG our goal is to create an inclusive work environment that respects each and every member of our team," said Bill Thomas, CEO of KPMG Canada. "Our goal is also to celebrate and encourage the variety of perspectives our people bring to the table. Collecting data helps us to learn what those perspectives are, and what steps we can take to continue to be an employer of choice."

"Creating an inclusive culture for all TD employees and customers is a top priority," says Scott Mullin, Vice President, Government and Community Relations, TD Bank Financial Group. "Ongoing data collection is paramount to understanding and meeting the needs of our diverse employees and customers and supporting groups and causes that matter to these stakeholders and the communities in which we operate."

"Count me in!" is available in English and French, in a variety of formats. Each can be downloaded at the OHRC website at: www.ohrc.on.ca

Aussi disponible en français

SOURCE Ontario Human Rights Commission

For further information: For further information: Rosemary Bennett, Senior Communications Officer, Ontario Human Rights Commission, (416) 314-4549, rosemary.bennett@ohrc.on.ca; Julie Bannerjea, Senior Manager, Media Relations, KPMG, (416) 777-3243, jbannerjea@kpmg.ca; Suzanna Cohen, Manager, Diversity Communications, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 983-7487, (416) 317-8962 (cell), suzanna.cohen@td.com

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