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New immigrants contribute to the changing face of Canada

Immigrants are changing the face of Canada. They come in hundreds of thousands, from all corners of the world, representing all professions known to man. They settle all over Canada (okay, mainly in Toronto and Vancouver!) hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families.

How are they received by corporate Canada and by the average Canadian? Released over the summer, DiverseCity Counts: A Snapshot of Diverse Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area tracked 3,348 leaders across the corporate, public, elected, education and nonprofit sectors.

And reported that 14 per cent of leaders in the Greater Toronto Area are visible minorities (relative to 49.5 per cent of the population studied), up marginally from last year’s 13.5 per cent.

Other key findings:

• Government agencies take the lead spot with education in second place; the corporate sector remains at the bottom.

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

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

“The good news is that we’re moving in the right direction and improved results are within reach,” said Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, who together with John Tory cochairs the DiverseCity Project which commissioned the research.

Interestingly, while many of us think of immigrants and visible minorities in the same sentence, a report in The Globe and Mail identified Americans as the fourth largest group of immigrants. They number more than a million and, according to the report, are attracted to Canada for its universal health care, gun control laws, positive attitudes towards the gay community and yes, multiculturalism.

• More on DiverseCity and the full report at 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.

Posted: Oct 16, 2010

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