'People's Games' designed to reflect diversity of Greater Golden Horseshoe region
TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) today issued its first annual progress report detailing its efforts to build diversity and inclusion initiatives into all aspects of the "People's Games."
By the opening of the Games on July 10, 2015, TO2015's goal is to develop an organization that reflects the Greater Golden Horseshoe's diversity in its leadership, staff and volunteers; promotes respect, inclusion and non-discrimination; is accessible and transparent; and leaves a positive legacy in the region's communities.
"To create a significant and sustaining social legacy for the 'People's Games,' we must be relevant and inclusive to everyone in our community," explained Ian Troop, TO2015's Chief Executive Officer, at the public release of the report.
"Our first-ever progress report on our diversity and inclusion efforts indicates we've built a strong foundation to achieve our goals by July 2015 but we still have a lot of work ahead of us," he continued. "That's why we're stepping up our efforts in outreach and employment in Aboriginal communities and with persons with disabilities. The People's Games are a partnership—we also need communities to get involved when we reach out to them."
Outreach is ongoing to encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply for jobs, go after Games business opportunities and volunteer. In addition, all new Games venues are built to meet some of the highest accessibility standards and the Organizing Committee publicly reports on its successes in achieving these goals on an annual basis.
This groundwork is especially important given procurement efforts and staff recruitment will ramp up significantly in the coming year. As of August 28, 2012, TO2015 had a workforce of 90 people. By July 2015, the organization will increase to a workforce of approximately 400 and 17,000-plus volunteers.
"Since the bid, the TORONTO 2015 Games have been envisioned as a way to bring all the diverse communities of Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe together to create something that truly reflects all of us," said Sandra Levy, member of the TO2015 Board of Directors and Chair of the TO2015 Human Resources Committee.
"I'm proud to see the Organizing Committee hasn't lost sight of this important goal—in fact, it's enshrined in everything it does," she continued. "Going forward, board members and our community-focused advisory councils will continue to push TO2015 to ensure these will truly be the People's Games in 2015."
Entitled Towards TORONTO 2015: Diversity and Inclusion Progress Report 2012, the progress report found women make up 58 per cent of the TO2015 workforce, compared with 48 per cent in Ontario's Labour Force Profile, which is used as a baseline study for comparison.
Women also make up 50 per cent of the TO2015 senior leadership team, an extremely rare achievement in the sport world—including the world of multi-sport games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has had difficulty achieving its long-standing goal of women comprising 20 per cent of the decision-making roles in sport.
Other key findings in the report include:
- 29 per cent of the TO2015 workforce are visible minorities, compared with 22 per cent across Ontario.
- 4 per cent are persons with disabilities, compared with 9 per cent across Ontario.
- 1 per cent are Aboriginal, compared with 2 per cent across Ontario.
- 6 per cent are LGBTQ-identified persons.
- And, 28 per cent speak French, 17 per cent Spanish, 5 per cent Portuguese and 3 per cent other languages.
"Ontario's diversity and commitment to accessibility and inclusion are among our greatest strengths and a huge competitive advantage in the global economy," said Michael Chan, Ontario's Minister responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. "Embracing diversity in the development and delivery of the 2015 Games will truly make them the "People's Games" and will leave a meaningful legacy for all Ontarians."
In addition to its workforce diversity mandate, the report also focuses on efforts by TO2015 to engage with communities throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe on social issues and business opportunities.
"The City of Toronto is proud to support TO2015 and the important principles of diversity, access and inclusion. The City of Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world," said Mayor Rob Ford. "As Host City of the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, we support TO2015 and applaud their commitment and leadership to build diversity and inclusion initiatives into all aspects of the Games."
To ensure the Games connect with communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, TO2015 has created several community-focused advisory councils that meet regularly to provide guidance to the Organizing Committee on a variety of initiatives. They include the Community Engagement Council; Aboriginal Leadership Partners; Francophone Forum; Athlete Advisory Council; and the Youth Advisory Council.
TO2015 has also established a Supplier Diversity Advisory Council to help engage and enable under-represented groups to actively participate in the procurement process for the Games. This includes seminars and other outreach activities.
Seven per cent of TO2015's active suppliers, who have self-identified on the Games online supplier database as meeting criteria in support of TO2015 diversity initiatives, account for 33 per cent of all Games spending to date.
"TO2015 understands small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy," said Idalia Obregon, Vice-President of the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "As a member of the TO2015 Supplier Diversity Advisory Council, I'm proud to help entrepreneurs from all communities gain access to business opportunities with the Games and build their capacity for going after even bigger projects in the future."
Going forward, TO2015 will continue to act as a leader and an influencer by continuing to track its workforce profile and inclusion climate, increase diversity within its supply chain and work with its advisory councils to advance social and economic objectives, as well as launch an Accessibility Advisory Council.
The next Towards TORONTO 2015: Diversity and Inclusion Progress Report 2012 will be issued in June 2013 and will follow on an annual basis thereafter.
TO2015 will issue its first quarterly budget update on Tuesday, November 20.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games
The Pan American and Parapan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and 26 member nations of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC). The Pan American Games are comprised of all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports, while the Parapan American Games are comprised of the majority of Paralympic Summer Games sports. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games will draw more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials and feature 51 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
TO2015 Director, Media Relations and Chief Spokesperson