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New research findings on visible minorities in leadership include the media

DiverseCity Counts report points the way to capitalize on diverse leadership

Just 14 per cent of leaders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are visible minorities (relative to 49.5 per cent of the population studied), up marginally from last year’s 13.5 per cent, finds a research report which measures diversity in leadership released today by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute on behalf of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project.

DiverseCity Counts: A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area tracks 3,348 leaders across the corporate, public, elected, education and nonprofit sectors. Findings from this second annual report continue to point to a serious lack of visible minority leaders. Building on last year’s baseline results, this year’s report reveals new insights that can help expedite progress.

“This year, we dug deeper and our results show that the sector averages mask a big gap between leaders and laggards,” says Wendy Cukier, Associate Dean, Ted Rogers School of Management, who co-authored the report and is the founder of the Diversity Institute. “We also took a special look at the news media given its profound influence on how we think about leaders and leadership.”
When examining the news media, the study reviewed two aspects of the media: who makes decisions at major print and broadcast media organizations serving the GTA, and who gets represented in their news coverage.

Previous research has shown a link between diversity in leadership and prosperity. Diverse leadership fuels organizational performance, expands access to global talent pools and new markets and is linked to innovation. The DiverseCity Counts report tracks progress on diversity in the GTA’s leadership, drawing attention to the challenges and practices worth emulating.

The report finds that a significant percentage of organizations (21.9 per cent) have high levels of representation (more than 20 per cent), but the majority (56.6 per cent) have no visible minority representation in leadership roles, indicating a large gap between the strong and weak performers. The report also found that the top performing organizations measure and track their progress.

Other key findings:

- Government agencies take the lead spot with education (top last year)
in second place; the corporate sector remains at the bottom

- City of Toronto public agencies demonstrate the best results overall
with an impressive 33 per cent visible minority representation in
leadership roles

- Federally regulated companies subject to the employment equity
legislation tend to perform better than others

- Leadership in news media corporations mirrors corporate sector
leadership (4.8 vs. 4.1 per cent)

- While visible minorities are under-represented in leadership roles in
the news media (decision makers), news coverage (who is seen) offers
opportunity for media to diversify. Total visible minority
representation in news media coverage is 19.6 per cent

“The good news is that we’re moving in the right direction and improved results are within reach,” says Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, who together with John Tory is co-chairing the DiverseCity Project, which commissioned the research. “The Counts report gives us a roadmap to reap the benefits of diverse leadership.”

DiverseCity Counts is the second of three annual reports commissioned by DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project. For more on DiverseCity and to read the full report go to: www.diversecitytoronto.ca

DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project is an initiative of Maytree and the Toronto City Summit Alliance and is funded in part by the government of Ontario.
The Diversity Institute at Ryerson University focuses on fact-based strategies for increasing inclusion. www.ryerson.ca/diversity.

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 is changing the face of our region’s leadership. It is expanding our networks, strengthening our private and public institutions, advancing our knowledge on the role of diversity in leadership and tracking our progress. For more information, visit www.diversecitytoronto.ca.

About the Diversity Institute in Management and Technology 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 www.ryerson.ca/diversity for more information.

Posted: Jul 2, 2010

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