Over 100 partners announce their support for DiverseCity project

    Private, public and non-profit partners commit to taking Toronto from a
    "diversity deficit" to a "diversity dividend"

    TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Maytree and the Toronto City Summit Alliance
today announced the first wave of over 100 partners that have committed their
support to "DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project". Partners
include private, non-profit and public organizations that are committed to
more diverse leadership in the Greater Toronto Area (a full list can be found
online at http://www.diversecitytoronto.ca/our-partners/).
    Over 600 CEOs and other civic leaders gathered today for a sold-out
Canadian Club luncheon to discuss the social and economic benefits of diverse
leadership and the strategies required to enable a new generation of diverse
leaders to emerge.
    "It is our goal that, over the next three years, 1000 new diverse leaders
will be identified and helped to move into positions of leadership and
influence," says Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree. "Ultimately our city will
benefit from the competitive advantage diverse leaders bring to the public,
private and non-profit sectors."
    The GTA has a higher proportion of immigrants than any other city,
surpassing Miami, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York: forty-four per cent of the
city region's population is foreign born. Despite the GTA's multicultural
strength, visible minorities are currently under-represented in its
leadership. The partners of DiverseCity are committed to change this by
realizing the full potential of our people and transforming the GTA's
leadership landscape through DiverseCity's eight-point plan (see details
    A Conference Board of Canada report, "The Value of Diverse Leadership",
analyzed many of the issues and benefits of diversity in Canadian leadership
circles. The report showed that diverse leadership can benefit the GTA and
other regions in the following areas:
    -  Increased financial performance
    -  Greater employee productivity and organizational performance
    -  Greater ability to attract and retain talent
    -  Enhanced creativity and innovation
    -  Increased civic engagement

    "It is time to reap the benefits of creating a more diverse leadership in
the GTA and we are thrilled to be partnering with so many strong
organizations," says David Pecaut, Chair, Toronto City Summit Alliance, and
Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group. "Toronto has the opportunity to
turn its diversity deficit into a huge diversity dividend."

    Participants in the Canadian Club lunch discussed the eight concrete
projects of DiverseCity including:

    Initiatives to expand the region's networks:
    -  DiverseCity Nexus will bridge business and social connections between
       established and rising executives through an annual salon-style
       speaker series.

    -  DiverseCity Fellows will equip 25 next generation civic leaders each
       year through a fellowship that combines leadership, diversity,
       exposure to top leaders, and action projects.

    Initiatives to strengthen the region's institutions:
    -  DiverseCity onBoard will strengthen public and voluntary institutions
       by matching their governance positions with highly qualified
       candidates from racially and ethnically diverse communities.

    -  DiverseCity in Civic Leadership will broaden involvement in the
       political process by identifying, training and mentoring diverse
       leaders who will run for elected office and manage election campaigns.

    -  DiverseCity Voices will enrich the quality of print, radio and
       television news by identifying and training diverse spokespeople
       across a variety of subject areas and connecting them with

    Initiatives to advance the region's knowledge:
    -  DiverseCity Advantage will build and communicate the body of knowledge
       on the economic and social benefits of diversity in leadership.

    -  DiverseCity Perspectives will create opportunities for dialogue and
       surface new ideas on the systemic conditions that encourage or
       discourage diversity in leadership.

    An initiative to track the region's progress:
    -  DiverseCity Counts will produce an annual check-up on the extent to
       which the GTA's leadership reflects our demographic realities.


    Maytree is a private foundation that promotes equity and prosperity
through its policy insights, grants and programs. In particular, it focuses on
creating diversity in the workplace, in the boardroom and in public office,
changing the face of leadership in the Greater Toronto Area and Canada.


    The Toronto City Summit Alliance is a multi-sectoral coalition of civic
leaders who develop and support initiatives addressing issues critical to the
future health and wealth of the Toronto region. Since its inception in 2002,
over 6000 volunteers have been involved in Alliance initiatives aimed at:
expanding knowledge-based industry (Toronto Region Research Alliance); better
integrating skilled immigrants (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council,
with Maytree); promoting affordable housing (Make Housing Happen);
strengthening neighbourhoods (Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force); supporting
working-age adults (Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults Task
Force); promoting our cultural and tourism assets (Toront03 and Luminato);
connecting and supporting emerging city-builders (Emerging Leaders Network,
the Social Entrepreneurship Summit); and realizing a regional environmental
vision (Greening Greater Toronto).

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Emma Jowett, Counsel Public Relations, Tel:
(416) 961-5898 x 217, ejowett@counselpr.ca

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